Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Roma’ Sweeps Mexico’s Ariel Awards

Netflix’s universally acclaimed period drama won 10 awards, including best picture and director.

Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma has triumphed yet again, this time racking up a slew of awards in the filmmaker’s native Mexico.

Roma, the semi-autobiographical story revolving around Cuaron’s indigenous childhood nanny, walked away with 10 of Mexico’s Ariel Awards on Monday night, including nods for best picture, directing, cinematography and original screenplay.

Due to family matters Cuaron was unable to attend the event held in Mexico City, where his passion project Roma was shot, but he sent along a pre-recorded video message.

“I am sad that I cannot be there with you tonight to close out the circle of Roma,” he said. “I feel profoundly moved, appreciative and proud to belong to a community known throughout the world for its fraternity, solidarity and generosity.”

Cuaron had not won an Ariel since his 1991 feature film debut Solo Con Tu Pareja. He declined to submit his hit 2001 road movie Y Tu Mama Tambien (starring Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal) after calling into question the transparency of the Mexican film academy’s voting process in its selection of the country’s foreign-language Oscar entries.

Earlier this year, Roma took home Academy Awards for best director, cinematography and foreign-language film. For Yalitza Aparicio, it marked the first time that a Mexican actor of indigenous descent had been nominated for an Academy Award. It was also a historic moment for Cuaron, who won Mexico’s first ever Academy Award in the foreign-language category.

Though Roma dominated the ceremony, the biggest surprise came when Aparicio was edged out of for best actress by Ilse Salas (The Good Girls). Best supporting actress went to Marina de Tavira of Roma, also an Oscar nominee.

The 61st Ariel Awards went down as a huge night for producer Nicolas Celis, who not only won best Mexican picture for Roma but also grabbed best Ibero-American film for Birds of Passage (Parajos de Verano), a Mexico-Colombia co-production directed by Cristina Gallego and Ciro Gomez.