Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Got 1 min? Mexican filmmaker Lila Avilés chosen by Mattel as Barbie ‘role model’

Mexican filmmaker Lila Avilés was honored with a Barbie doll as part of the brand’s “Role Models” line, released yearly to commemorate International Women’s Day.

This year’s Role Model theme was storytelling.

Mattel, the company behind the world-famous doll Barbie, chose Avilés in recognition of her achievements in the film industry. She’s joined by actresses Helen Mirren and Viola Davis along with Canadian country-pop artist Shania Twain, Australia’s Kylie Minogue, German comedian Enissa Amani, Japanese model Nicole Fujita and Brazilian Indigenous influencer Maira Gomez.

The 42-year-old filmmaker is the director of the acclaimed film The Chambermaid (2018), which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and her latest movie, Tótem (2023), has been selected for the long list of the Best International Feature category at the Oscars.

Speaking to Variety magazine, Avilés said her selection was an “incredible, beautiful and surreal surprise.” The doll features her with a camera on her shoulder, a script in one hand, and her cat by her feet.

“It is not only me who the doll is honoring, but my entire career,” she added.

Poster for Lila Avilés' movie Tótem
Avilés most recent move, Tótem, is a candidate for the Best International Feature category at the Oscars. (IMDb)

Tótem, which delves into childhood and the idea that childhood defines our destiny, has been showcased in over 100 film festivals around the world and will soon be released in more than 40 countries, including the United States, where it is still being screened. The movie will also be featured on Criterion Channel and is now available on Netflix Latin America.

“People ask me if my movies are feminist. In as much as my protagonists are women, they are, in an organic way,” she noted. “The Chambermaid, my feature debut, gave voice to a woman who’s ostensibly invisible to many,” she said.

Avilés was born in Mexico City in 1982. She started her career in theater before moving into filmmaking. Her first feature film earned her various national and international awards and was screened in more than 70 film festivals worldwide.

“This Barbie is more than a trophy for me; it’s like my Oscar,” Avilés told newspaper Milenio. “I love what I do very much, and I hope I can continue on this path to inspire many more women,” she said.

With reports from El Universal and Reforma

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