To light candles, ask Montserrat Marañón so that Totem, the film by Lila Avilés embarks on an adventurous path towards the Oscar. This is the filmmaker's second feature film (The chambermaid) and was chosen by the Mexican Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences to seek the nomination for Best International Film at the next Oscar ceremony.
“You do the work and the rest is profit, I love acting and telling storiesbut what has happened with Totem he is very lucky, at film festivals He has had many successes, winning awards and more awardsit has become surprising, I had never experienced anything similar in my career, it has been very exciting," he commented to MILLENNIUM Montserrat Marañon.
Since the AMACC made the announcement to seek the Oscar nomination, the actress can only be grateful: “It is a great distinction that among so much talent, so many productions, so many incredible directors and so many good stories Totem is chosen for the Oscar, it is surprisingexciting and unexpected,” he explained.
Once the official announcement of the AMACC was made, “What follows is to light candleswe don't know what's coming, this is new for us and we know it's a whole process, I hope we get to the nominationsbecause we are happy with what has happened with this film,” added the actress, regarding the filters that the film will have to go through in the coming months.
What is Totem about?
Totem It is the story of Sol, a little girl who discovers the complexity of life after a crisis she goes through with the support of her family, “it is the story of a family in its daily life; The wonder of Lila Avilés is that she offers an intimate direction of what this family goes through at a critical moment and all through the vision of a seven-year-old girl,” explained Montse.
From a particular eventwe see the bonds that are created in this family to face problems. It is a very particular film, because it eventually seems like a documentary, because of how intimate and natural it looks, it describes the Mexican idiosyncrasy very well, but with comedy and drama, a little bit of everything is what we see here,” commented Marañon.
The film directed by Lila Avilés has crossed a circuit of more than 40 film festivals around the world, including those in Berlin, London, Biarritz, Telluride and San Sebastianwhere it has been recognized with more than 15 awards“It is a job that was done with the heart and when you do things like this, incredible things bloom, I hope we go further,” he said.
Learn from children
Acting work with children was special for Marañon, and “you always manage to learn. The complex of Totem It is very difficult to achieve that naturalness of the documentary type and here there are all acting ranges; from children to old people, including actors who are or are not professionals; “They were tremendously incredible,” explained the actress.
Naíma Senties is Sol, the little protagonist of the story, but the children's cast also included Saori Gurzain the character of Ester, and other children who, beyond the acting, enjoyed the games, “they are incredible, they managed to perfectly develop everything that Lila told them and we were surprised by the protagonist, he said.
“Naíma is perceptive and knew, but the one I had the most scenes with was Saori, She is my daughter in the story and my god with her acting qualitybut in reality all the children had an impressive level, that is partly due to the fact that we had previous table work and a lot of play to get at their level and develop bonds and a natural connection," he added.
A universal story
Totem It is the story of how a family overcomes adversity and there is nothing more universal to connect with international audiences than the family, “in all families there are painful events and this family goes through one, but That pain is passable between everyday life, continuing with life, cooking, making a cake, bathing and living.”Marañon said.
“We can go through the pain, but the next day we have to work, eat and do everything that living entails, and how one goes about continuing life; that's what the story is about,How do we manage to get ahead? and that's where the word totem comes from, because This structure has many pieces to hold together. and if a fault weakens, so does the family”; she added.