For the moment it is the winner of the Gotham Award for Best International Feature. PHOTOGRAPHY: Kino Lorber for Identifying Features
Identifying Features is winner of the Gotham Award for "Best International Feature." Graphic: Kino Lorber for Identifying Features

'Identifying Features' is a new thriller that unveils the horror behind the quest at the border

Mexican director Fernanda Valadez and Astrid Rondero lead an important female cast to present their take on the border debate.


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The affection of a mother can be such a malleable force, especially if its over a child that has disappeared and when even the police don't listen to reason. That is the drama that Identifying Features explores through many branches and in the form of an intense thriller and social drama.

The premiere of the show will be on Jan. 22 and multi-platform. It can be seen streaming at Kino Marquee and in movie theaters across the country, including New York's Lincoln Center and Los Angeles' Laemmle Virtual Cinema.

The story follows Magdalena (Mercedes Hernandez) as she tracks her son's disappearance at the U.S. border while confronting the ruins, remnants, and flashes of horror with intense imagery from the hundreds of similar cases.

Another branch of the film follows Miguel (David Illescas), who has just been deported. Both characters' stories converge on the border as a political and social entity that, almost like a monster in a fantasy film, devours and transforms lives.

The film is produced by Kino Lorber and directed by Fernanda Valadez (1981), a well-known Mexican director who won numerous international awards for her short film De este mundo. Identifying Features is the current winner of the Gotham Award for "Best International Feature."

The script was written thanks to a grant from the Young Artist of the Mexican Fund for the Arts (FONCA) by Astrid Rondero, also a Mexican producer and director with an illustrious career (Los días más oscuros de nosotras, 400 maletas).

Both have a filmography that presents social fiction in intense genres that compete with the accelerated pace of international trends.

Earlier in the week, another seriesCoyote, premiered which also seeks to reinvent the imaginary of the border, emphasizing that it has already become a symbol and narrative trope, and a metaphor for the paranoia and the states.

In this case, the metaphor is also confronted as an overwhelming void, a source of unanswered questions that can fall from many directions, hence the notes of horror and thriller that contribute to his proposal.


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