Michelle Garza Cervera Wins 10th Nora Ephron Award at 2022 TFF

Mexican writer/director Michelle Garza Cervera has won the 10th Annual Nora Ephron Award for first-time female filmmakers at the 21st Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) with her debut ‘horror’ film Huesera. The New York City fest screened June 8–19, 2022 in person, and selections will streamed online through July 3.

Michelle was also acclaimed Best New Narrative Director. Unusually, her film was slotted in the “Midnight” section for innovators in the horror genre, where she was the only female director. Her creative crew was also led by women: co-writer novelist Abia Castillo, cinematographer Nur Rubio Sherwell, and editor Adriana Martínez.

Huesera was inspired by Michelle’s grandmother, and Mexican folklore tales of “the bone woman” who collects skeletal parts. Centered on Natalia Solián’s striking first film performance as Valeria, the visually enthralling film goes beyond the classic Rosemary’s Baby vibe of a frightening pregnancy full of night terrors. Valeria goes through painful childbirth and flees severe post-partum depression for her ex-lover Octavia (Mayra Batalla) to recapture their rock ‘n’ roll youth (like Cervera’s own with a punk band).

Redolent with the supernatural, the disturbing images of bent demonic bodies are matched by the cracking sound design of breaking bones.

Michelle has already lined up her next project – to adapt and direct Argentinian novelist Mariana Enríquez’s That Summer In The Dark, about two teenage friends obsessed with American serial killers.

Members of the 2022 Nora Ephron Award jury were: Pam Grier (the icon of “blaxpoitation” films); Lisa Addario (director and writer of indie and Hollywood films including Parental Guidance); and actress Amandla Stenberg (the star of The Hate u Give).

The Nora Ephron Award honors excellence in storytelling by a female writer or director embodying the spirit and boldness of the late filmmaker. Previous winners also received $25,000. (According to The Hollywood Reporter, the prize this year is $20,00 and Best New Narrative Director prize carries an additional $10,000.)

FF2 Media is proud to provide unique continuing coverage of TFF’s annual Nora Ephron Awardees.

© Nora Lee Mandel (6/16/22) — Special for FF2 Media


Follow this link for TFF ’22 coverage in The Hollywood Reporter.

Follow this link for more information about the annual Tribeca Film Festival.


Huesera photos of Natalia Solián by Nur Rubio Sherwell.

Huesera poster designed by Adam Maida/Maida Studio, courtesy of XYZ Films

All Rights Reserved.

Tags: Huesera, Mexican Filmmakers, Mexican Folklore, Michelle Garza Cervera, Nora Ephron Award

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Nora Lee Mandel is a member of New York Film Critics Online. After high school weekends spent learning film history at NY’s Museum of Modern Art, she studied film criticism at New York University. In addition to many years of writing for national and New York City organizations in the arts, education, history, and city planning, her reviews of documentaries, independent, and foreign-language films, books, television, exhibitions, and music have also appeared in such outlets as: Film-Forward.com, FilmFestival Traveler and Lilith Magazine, the independent Jewish feminist quarterly. Her ongoing Critical Guide to Jewish Women in Movies, TV, and Pop Music has been the basis for her talks around the New York region.
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