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Film Clapboard
Original Title:
95 minutes
Spanish, English with English Subtitles
Lila Avilés
Clear to this child's eyes are her increasingly broken family, and that same brokenness diffused throughout the world around her. She sees the sadness that lurks beneath all the surface glamor: something very horrible is about to happen, but what is it? The world of grown-ups has forgotten not only joy, but also true loneliness; the hardest goodbyes to say are the ones yet to come, and the hardest wounds to heal are the ones that are hidden. Through the eyes of our protagonist, Sol, Totem leads us to unlock the truly distinctive fear of all the secrets that adults take great measures to hide away.
“Avilés works in a generous, open-ended style, treating her characters as impulsive, occasionally contradictory souls with lives that continue when the cameras aren’t rolling — three-dimensional beings only partly revealed to us, each one hiding unknowable mysteries all their own”-----Variety
+ Berlin International Film Festival: 2023 Golden Berlin Bear Best Film Nominee
+ Berlin International Film Festival: 2023 Winner Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
+ Denver International Film Festival: 2023 WinnerKrzysztof Kieslowski Award, Best Feature Film
+ Hong Kong International Film Festival: 2023 Winner Golden Firebird Award, Young Cinema
+ Chicago International Film Festival: 2023 Gold Hugo Best Feature Nominee
+ Gotham Awards: 2023 Nominee Gotham Independent Film Award, Best International Feature
Presented By: 
CMU Modern Languages Department, Las Palmas Supermercado y Taquiera
Sponsored By:
Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation, Latin American Cultural Center

Event Schedule


March 23


Harris Theater

Screening Time:


Doors Open:


Pre-screening Event(s)

Post-screening Event(s)

+ Family Style Taco Catering from Las Palmas Supermercado y Taquiera

Additional Event(s)

Event Decoration
Lila Avilés

Director Bio

Born in Mexico City, Avilés studied scenic arts with Ximena Escalante and José Caballero, and film scriptwriting with Beatriz Novaro and Paula Marcovich. After directing some shorts, she made her feature film debut in 2018 with The Chambermaid, which premiered at the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival. With this film, Avilés won the Ariel Award for best debut work, and got a nomination for best director.The film was also chosen as the Mexican entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards.

With a Special Thank You to

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