Best First Feature Award
Berlin International Film Festival
Golden Bear
Berlin International Film Festival
International Jury Award ~ Best Feature Film
San Sebastián International Film Festival
Bustamante’s film is downright Herzogian…in its surfeit of physical detail, observed ritual and looming clash of civilizations.
View Trailer
Spread the word about this film!


Maria, a 17-year-old Mayan girl, lives and works with her parents on a Guatemalan coffee plantation in the foothills of an active volcano. An arranged marriage awaits her: her parents have promised her to Ignacio, the plantation overseer. But Maria doesn’t sit back and accept her fate. Pepe, a young coffee cutter who plans to migrate to the U.S., becomes her possible way out. Maria seduces Pepe in order to run away with him, but after promises and clandestine meetings, Pepe abandons her, leaving her pregnant, alone and disgraced. There’s no time to lose for Maria’s mother, who thinks abortion is the only solution. But again things do not go as planned.

Guatemala’s entry for the Academy Awards, Best Foreign Language Film

Winner Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize, 2015 Berlinale Film Festival

Official Selection, 2015 Telluride Film Festival

Official Selection, 2015 Toronto International Film Festival

**** (Four stars) “A fascinating blend of modernity and ritual.” —The Guardian

About the Director: Jayro Bustamante was born in Guatemala in 1977 and trained as a director in Guatemala, Paris and Rome. Bustamante’s short films have been awarded prizes in several festivals. The most recent, Cuando sea grande, debuted at the Clermont Ferrand Festival where it won the CNC Quality Award, and was broadcast on French, Swedish and Dutch television. His script El escuadrón de la muerte was selected in the San Sebastián, Guadalajara, Cartagena, Biarritz, Amiens and NALIP Film Festivals. Ixcanul is Bustamante’s first feature film.

Winner of the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer prize at the 2015 Berlinale—the most prestigious film prize ever received by a Central American production—
Ixcanul was an official selection of numerous leading international film festivals, such as Toronto and Telluride, and was Guatemala’s Academy Awards entry for Best Foreign Language Film.

Played at

Playhouse 7, 8.27.16 - 9.25.16
Monica Film Center, 8.26.16 - 9.25.16
Rated NR This film is subtitled This film is subtitled
Runtime: 91 min
Language: Kaqchikel

Director: Jayro Bustamante
Cast: Justo Lorenzo, Manuel Antún, María Mercedes Coroy, María Telón, Marvin Coroy

  • Nominee, Best First Feature Award, Berlin International Film Festival
  • Nominee, Golden Bear, Berlin International Film Festival
  • Nominee, International Jury Award ~ Best Feature Film, San Sebastián International Film Festival
  • Winner, Alfred Bauer Award, Berlin International Film Festival
FEATURED REVIEW: Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice
The most destructive villain in this year's summer movies isn't some super-powered fiend. It's us, the consumers of North America, whose desires have shaped the world in a pair of devastating new films from Guatemala and Peru. The U.S. looms over Jayro Bustamante's patient, observant...