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San Francisco Fest:: Eimbcke, a New Mexican Talent To Watch

With all the headlines emerging from Mexico about drug cartels and gang wars, the zeitgeist culture of America's neighbor to the south is undeniably dramatic and more than a bit terrifying. Out of this cultural conflict often emerges great art and artists, and Mexico has been for the past decade a prime resource of exceptional film talent. Add to the list that includes Del Toro, Cuaron and Innaritu, the name of writer/director Fernando Eimbcke, whose film LAKE TAHOE is premiering at the San Francisco International Film Festival later this week.

Eimbcke was born in 1970 in Mexico City and studied at the Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos of the National University of Mexico. His first feature, TEMPORADA DE PAT0S (Duck Season), cowritten with Paula Markovitch, was selected for Cannes' Critics' Week in 2004 and won a record seven major awards at the Guadalajara Film Festival. LAKE TAHOE received the Alfred Bauer Prize and the FIPRESCI Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival.

In the film, set in a small seaside town on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, a teenager crashes his car and sets off to find help, falling into the hands of local characters whose lifestyles and unique points of view create an emotional undercurrent that runs the gamut from zany to threatening. As he gets more and more drawn into their lives, the young man confronts his own inner pain. The storyline is strongly supported by cinematographer Alexis Zabé’s minimal camera setups and eloquently held close ups, which communicate mightily the character's inner states. The film mixes comedy with surrealism, humanity with brutality, in a deft stroke that demonstrates that its young director is a creative force to be reckoned with and a blazing new star in the Mexican cinema universe. Luckily for American audiences, the film will reach them via theaters and on dvd from arthouse distributor Film Movement (www.filmmovement.com)

Sandy Mandelberger, San Francisco Film Festival Dailies Editor

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