64th TIFF: Greek Premiere

With the livelihood options for underprivileged Mexicans being inherently limited and often steeped in illegality and danger, 18-year-old Luis chooses what seems to be a safer path to financially support his ailing mother: he enrolls in the national military academy to stay away from the drug cartels. However, the brutal and often criminal practices he encounters during his training will challenge his moral, psychological, and physical boundaries. The director of Workforce (screened in Thessaloniki IFF in 2019) takes a fresh perspective to explore the adversities faced by Mexican youth but with the same steadfast political commitment. He draws from real testimonies of aspiring officers, creating his own version of Full Metal Jacket, shedding light on the macho culture and the perilous path of violence that shapes his homeland’s working class.

Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: David Zonana
Script: David Zonana
Cinematography: Carolina Costa
Editing: Oscar Figueroa Jara
Sound: Erik Clauss
Music: Murcof
Actors: Santiago Sandoval Carbajal, Fernando Cuautle, Mónica del Carmen, Esteban Caicedo, Isabel Yudice, Carlos Gerardo García
Production: Teorema
Producers: Michel Franco, David Zonana, Eréndira Núñez Larios
Co-production: CommonGround Pictures, Film i Väst, Filmadora, CTT Exp & Rentals
Co-producers: Jonas Kellagher, Kristina Börjeson
Costumes: Gabriela Fernández
Production Design: Ivonne Fuentes
Executive producer: José Nacif, Marco Polo Constandse
Format: DCP
Color: Color
Production Country: Mexico, Sweden
Production Year: 2022
Duration: 88'
Contact: Goodfellas Film
Awards/Distinctions: FIPRESCI Prize for Best Film, MEZCAL Award for Best Mexican Film, MEZCAL Award for Best Actor – Guadalajara IFF 2023

David Zonana

David Zonana was born in Mexico City in 1989. He has worked as a producer with Teorema (formerly Lucia Films) in films like 600 Miles (Best First Feature Film at Berlinale 2015), Chronic (Palme D’Or for Best Screenplay at Cannes 2015), and April’s Daughters (Jury Prize at Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2017). Workforce (2019), his feature film debut, had its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (Platform Section). It had its European premiere in the Official Selection of the San Sebastian Film Festival. It became the most internationally awarded Mexican film in 2019. It also won the Ariel Awards (Mexican Academy Awards) for Best First Feature and Best Actor. His second feature, Heroic, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2023 in competition and was screened at the Berlin Film Festival 2023 (in the Panorama Section), among other international festivals.


2014 Princesa (short)
2016 Sangre alba (short)
2019 Workforce
2023 Heroic