May 27, 2019
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Platino Awards could make return to Mexico for 3rd year, Benzal says

Playa del Carmen, Mexico, May 12 (epa-efe).- Platino Awards for Ibero-American Cinema director-general Miguel Angel Benzal opened the door on Sunday for Mexico to once again host the gala ceremony in 2020, giving the country the honor of providing the venue for the prestigious film prizes for three years in a row.

"Setting the venue for several years, whether it is in Mexico, Colombia, Peru or any other site, is good because it lets us work the way we want and because from an organizational standpoint, it's very complicated to get a feel for the location each time," Benzal said during an interview with EFE.

The 6th Platino Awards gala will be held on Sunday at the Teatro Gran Tlachco in Parque Xcaret, located outside Playa del Carmen, a resort city in Mexico's Riviera Maya.

This year will be the first time the Platino Awards have been held in a previous location after being hosted by Panama in 2014, Marbella in 2015, Punta del Este in 2016 and Madrid in 2017.

Mexican actress Cecilia Suarez and Spanish filmmaker Santiago Segura will share MC duties at the gala.

"We're not wedded to any place," Benzal said, adding that "all options are open" since the government of Mexico's Quintana Roo state and hotel operators have asked that the Platinos return to the Riviera Maya in 2020.

Benzal, however, did not rule out the possibility of moving the ceremony from place to place, holding the gala at one venue for a period "of three to five years."

The director-general said that after six editions, the Platinos had established themselves and increasingly contributed to "more films and series with audiovisual content" being produced in Latin America, Spain and Portugal.

"It's pretty healthy in terms of production (quality)," Benzal said, adding that it was a shame that US-made films continued to dominate at the box office.

The Platinos have become a gathering for Ibero-American film professionals, "who go to meet and work" with others in the industry, Benzal said.

The Platino Awards director-general reached an agreement on Sunday with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) opening the way for the UN agency to include the film prizes "on its calendar of cultural events" of the year.

The agreement with the UNWTO bolsters the Platinos and opens the way for greater awareness of the awards in Argentina, Chile and Colombia, which have not hosted the ceremony, Benzal said.

Sunday's gala will be attended by international stars such as Spanish actress Penelope Cruz and Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio, star of the Oscar-winning movie "Roma."

"Roma," in fact, leads the way with nine nominations in this year's edition of the Platino Awards, which are promoted by the Spain-based Audiovisual Producers' Rights Management Entity (EGEDA) and the Ibero-American Federation of Film and Audiovisual Producers (FIPCA).

The goal of the Platino Awards has been to promote and disseminate Ibero-American cinema and help ensure that the films' success at the most prestigious festivals is translated into outstanding results in commercial theaters.

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