Director Issa López / 2017 / Mexico

Tigers Are Not Afraid is a stunning contemporary fairytale that does for the Mexican drug war what Guillermo del Toro did for the Spanish Civil War. It saw Issa López become the first woman to win the Fantastic Fest award for Best Horror Director.

Estrella is 11 years old when her mother disappears, a victim of the ruthless Huascas cartel. Left to fend for herself, she finds companionship and a fragile sense of security with a gang of similarly orphaned boys. But Estrella’s new reality is complicated not just by the dangers of life on the streets in a city ruled by violent sicarios – she also has her mother’s ghost whispering in her ear.

Acclaimed Mexican author, screenwriter and director Issa López’s Tigers Are Not Afraid tackles the monstrous reality of life in the crossfire from a child’s-eye view, subtly weaving magical realist elements of the supernatural into a script that gives voice to a forgotten generation. Winning awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress among others at LA’s Screamfest Horror Film Festival (in addition to López’s Fantastic Fest gong), it’s a work of exquisite beauty and quiet terror, a haunting fable that seamlessly melds timeless fantasy with timely reality.

"This is one terrific film, both tough and touching. Two minutes in, I was under its spell." – Stephen King

As part of The Bigger Picture program, enjoy a short introduction by Adrian Hearn from The University of Melbourne – MIFF Learning Partner.

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