Political satire Herod's Law (La Ley De Herodes), directed by Luis Estrada, swept the 42nd Ariels, Mexico's equivalent of the Oscars, on Monday night, grabbing 10 awards from 14 nominations.
The film, which openly criticises Mexico's former ruling party, the PRI, survived a censorship brouhaha last year that led to the resignation of Eduardo Amerena, director of state-backed film institute, Imcine.
Among Herod's Law's haul were prizes for best film, best director, best actor (Damian Alcazar), best supporting actor and actress (Pedro Armendariz and Isela Vega) and best original script.
Box office record-busting Sex, Shame And Tears (Sexo, Pudor Y Lagrimas) fared poorly in comparison, winning only six awards, mainly technical, from a dozen nominations. However the film won the best actress award for Susana Zabaleta's performance and best adapted screenplay for the film's writer-director Antonio Serrano.
Juan Rulfo won four Ariels for his directorial debut Juan, I Forgot (Del Olvido A No Me Acuerdo) which garnered best first work, best sound, best editing and best photography.
Herod's Law director Luis Estrada accused Imcine, a co-producer on the film, of censorship when it tried to prevent its screening at the Acapulco French Film Festival last November, and released sub-standard copies in two Mexican arthouse cinemas without his knowledge. The film was eventually released on 250 screens across the country by Mexican indie Gussi and ranks among the top Mexican films of the past 12 months.
Both Herod's Law and Juan, I Forgot are currently featured at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival which runs from July 21 to 30. Sex, Shame And Tears is set to be distributed in the US, possibly by 20th Century Fox which released it in Mexico.
The complete list of winners:
Herod's Law (La Ley De Herodes)
Luis Estrada, Herod's Law
Susana Zabaleta, Sex, Shame And Tears (Sexo, Pudor Y Lagrimas)
Damian Alcazar, Herod's Law
Best Supporting Actress:
Isela Vega, Herod's Law
Best Supporting Actor:
Pedro Armendariz, Herod's Law
Best Ensemble Performance by an Actress:
Fabiana Perzabal, Terminal Rite (Ritmo Terminal)
Best Ensemble Performance by an Actor:
Juan Carlos Colombo, Herod's Law
Federico Barbarosa, Juan, I Forgot (Del Olvido a No Me Acuerdo)
Ramon Cervantes and Juan Carlos Rulfo, Juan, I Forgot
Best Musical Score:
Aleks Syntek, Sex, Shame And Tears
Best Original Screenplay:
Luis Estrada, Jaime Sampietro, Fernando Leon, Vicente Lenero
Best Adapted Screenplay:
Antonio Serrano, Sex, Shame And Tears
Best First Work:
Juan Carlos Rulfo, Juan, I Forgot
Best Short Fiction:
The History of I And O (La Historia De I Y O)
Evelia Cruz, Antonio Diego, Lena Esquenazi, Daniel Hidalgo
Juan I Forgot
Alfredo Mora, Felipe Salazar, Herod's Law
Mariestela Fernandez, Herod's Law
Salvador Parra, Herod's Law
Francisco Maira, Sex, Shame And Tears
Best Art Design:
Brigitte Broch, Sex, Shame And Tears
Lifetime Achievement Awards:
Gunther Gerzso and Libertad Lamarque