Luis Estrada separates from Netflix and seeks a distributor for his film ‘¡Que Viva México!’ one day from the premiere

It is well said that reality is stranger than fiction, even if that fiction is a political satire by Luis Estrada. A few hours before the premiere of Hurray Mexico!the latest film by the acclaimed Mexican director, the script has taken an unexpected turn and can no longer be seen in theaters in the country, at least not for the moment.

One day after its premiere, Estrada confirmed that he has bought the exhibition rights to his film from Netflix ―funder of the project― and looks for new distributors for the tape. According to the initial contract, the entertainment giant was going to take over the distribution of the film in national and international theaters from November 3, to later offer it in its catalog in more than 190 countries, starting on the 16th of that month. But the agreement has blown up. “I bought these rights to have them exclusively and not to lose control of the film,” Luis Estrada told EL PAÍS and assures that despite the last-minute changes, the film can be seen on the platform “once it is released in the theaters that I get from Mexico and the world”, he emphasizes.

The news has been confirmed by Netflix, which ensures that after the commercial premiere of Hurray Mexico! The film can also be seen along with the rest of the director’s titles on the platform, although he has not yet specified when. “We are excited to work with the maestro Luis Estrada on his new film, however, in recent weeks the director and producer has expressed interest in implementing a distribution strategy other than the one agreed,” a company spokesperson told this newspaper. . “We want to honor that vision, so we have agreed to revert the rights to the film to him,” he adds.

The disagreements between the director and the company a few hours after the premiere are striking. Estrada stresses that during the recording there was always an “extraordinary relationship with Netflix” in which their criteria were respected at all times. In addition to being a director, he is also a screenwriter and producer of the film. After filming, he explains that one of his demands was always that Hurray Mexico! could be seen in commercial cinemas, something that, he says, was not included in the Netflix plans. “Originally there was an agreement so that the film It was released in a few select theaters, since they could not be released in commercial theaters because it was an immovable company policy,” he explains.

However the recent premiere of another long-awaited Mexican film in theaters across the country at the hands of the giant seems to have been the trigger for Estrada to hit the table. “As they say in Mexico: what is even is not chipotudo”, the filmmaker replies with the sarcasm that characterizes him. “I am a movie dinosaur who continues to think that his films have to be seen collectively: in a dark room with a big screen and with people eating popcorn”, he points out and adds: “I am trying to defend my dignity because I believe in the movies”.

After eight years of silence and after the success of Herod’s Law (1999), Hell (2010) or the perfect dictatorship (2014), Estrada returns with his black humor to delve into political satire and confront Mexican society with its worst ghosts, in what he says is his “most ambitious” film.

Hurray Mexico! is starring Alfonso HerreraAna de la Reguera, Damián Alcázar, Joaquín Cosío and Ana Martín, among other greats of interpretation, and tells the story of Pancho, a man who receives an inheritance from his mining grandfather and the problems that break out in the family after hearing the news. “The film is a political bombshell for what is happening in Mexico,” says the director. “It goes beyond what is Mexican because it is a compendium of all the political incorrectness, of those that have become taboo subjects in our society. It is a microcosm where we are all portrayed and where no one is spared: it deals with intolerance and polarization”, he assures. Estrada, the great provocateur, returns to the charge. Even before showing his movie in theaters.

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Luis Estrada separates from Netflix and seeks a distributor for his film ‘¡Que Viva México!’ one day from the premiere