Every day it becomes more evident how in the last decade or so, almost all of the major international awards have entirely surrendered before the jarring narratives of a new wave of Mexican storytellers. Precociously following the steps of cinematic legends like Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu and Alfonso Cuarón, last year was Guillermo Noriega's turn to make history.
Noriega's web-series pilot AMERICAN PAROUSIA has recently won the AWARD OF EXCELLENCE FOR A WEB SERIES in the latest edition of the Accolade Global Film Competition. Having earned more than eleven national and international awards, the recognition of one of Hollywood's most prestigious festivals becomes the perfect way to end the more than successful festival circuit of this daring piece.
Photographer: Alejandro Mateos Rodriguez
Written, directed, and conceived by Noriega, this unprecedented victory doesn't come as a surprise. Both the prestigious jury and the specialized press have expressed how thanks to Guillermo's cleverly crafted plot, this short film managed to achieve a level of sophistication rarely seen in this format.
To put all of our readers up to speed, American Parousia is a dark comedy web series starred by BAFTA-winner Gonzalo Martin and Esteban De La Isla that follows the misadventures of a failed LA actor. This arrogant character decides to stage Jesus Christ's second coming to teach his shallow society a thing or two about pure talent.
Getting an Accolade Global Film recognition is a high honor few artists ever get to accomplish. The Accolade, currently in its 11th year, is a top-tier prestigious global film competition that is unique in the industry. It honors the achievements of filmmakers who produce high-quality entertainment, attracting powerhouse industry filmmaker veterans as well as highly awarded, superb screenwriters.
It has now become common knowledge that winning an Accolade award is the first step towards other industry competitions, such as the Academy Awards and the Emmy Awards; a first step Guillermo has taken confidently.
Some of the other filmmakers that have shared Guillermo’s same privilege are Abby Ginzerberg (the Peabody Award and Oscar-nominated producer for THE BARBER OF BIRMINGHAM), Jane Fonda (Oscar-winner actress), Clair Robinson (BAFTA-nominee producer), and Academy and Emmy Award winner executive producers Mitchell Block and Mark Jonathan Harris.
With a slightly younger career, Guillermo encounters himself in the same place all these great winners were as soon as they triumphed in the Accolade. The only difference is that Guillermo achieved this award at a way younger age. A good example of this is the honorable Malcolm Clarke, another Accolade Global Film Competition success story. Clarke's piece, THE LADY IN NUMBER 6, got catapulted by a victory in the Accolade Global Film Competition and ended up obtaining an Oscar.
Born and raised in Mexico City, Guillermo Noriega became an established short film writer/director in his intimidating hometown before moving to Los Angeles. It is in Hollywood, where Guillermo has quickly become one of the most recognized and versatile writers of his generation.
With his outstanding debut in THE BAILEY SOCIETY, another web series he wrote, directed, and conceived, Guillermo received the attention of the highest ranks in the independent filmmaker's community. Bailey Society won 6 awards including BEST WEB SERIES in the FESTIGIOUS FILM FESTIVAL, another distinguished industry competition whose judge panel includes two-time Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Melissa Jo Peltier, and Jeff Melman, a six-time-Emmy nominated director who has worked in unforgettable series such as DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, GREY'S ANATOMY, FRASIER.
Photographer: Fernanda Guadarrama
Besides this reputable recognition, Guillermo’s THE BAILEY SOCIETY also achieved the impressive JURY PRIZE FOR A WEB SERIES in the TOP SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL, one of the most prestigious short film festivals in the industry, included in the TOP 10 ranking of best reviewed film festivals according to the specialized critic (Motion Array, FilmFreeway, IMDB, Independent Shorts Magazine). Counting with a first-class batch of judges including Academy Award- and Emmy-nominated director & producer Mike Tollin (SMALLVILLE, COACH CARTER), and Emmy Award-winning actress, Eileen Davidson (THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, DAYS OF OUR LIVES), the victory in this contest allowed Noriega to go into production of his most ambitious project, and the piece we're celebrating today: American Parousia.
Against all expectations, Guillermo managed to outdo himself with American Parousia. It’s with this satire of Hollywood’s “system” that Guillermo achieved notoriety in high regarded films festivals like: ONIROS FILM AWARDS (one of Italy’s most respected film festivals), where he obtained the BEST WEB-SERIES AWARD, THE LOS ANGELES FILM AWARDS (which judge panel includes Emmy-winning writer Ronn Kilby and Emmy-winning writer Michael Zimbalist, among other highly honored professionals), and of course, the Accolade Global Film Competition; just to mention a few.
But festival awards and international recognition is not the only thing this dark comedy granted Guillermo. This project also served as a calling card for his narrative voice and talent, scoring him the opportunity of getting his first feature film greenlit. To have your first feature film script greenlit while being granted a more than remarkable budget is a formidable accomplishment. Guillermo fought for this once in a life-time opportunity day and night. According to him, he just wanted to tell his story.
"When I heard Back To Lyla got greenlit, I couldn't believe it. That became one of the best days of my life," says Guillermo.
BACK TO LYLA, produced and starred by BAFTA-winner Gonzalo Martin, was very lucky to score America Young (the director of different highly acclaimed and top rated Warner Brothers shows including BLINDSPOT and LEGACIES) as its director.
Back To Lyla tells the story of a disillusioned young man desperate to figure out why his high school sweetheart left after he learns he has only days to live.
Guillermo's imaginative plot managed to attract some of the most talented and most recognizable faces in Hollywood, including Mara Escalante, star of the films ¿QUÉ CULPA TIENE EL NIÑO? And SEXO, PUDOR Y LÁGRIMAS. Escalante is by far Mexico's number one comedian, according to REFORMA. She as well, couldn’t resist participating in such a well-crafted story. The impressive cast is also conformed by Emma Kenney, star of Showtimes' legendary series SHAMELESS and ABC's most rated show of the season THE CONNERS, Hassie Harrison, from the True Tv's single-cam comedy TACOMA FD, and Chris Lee, star of CW's LEGACIES.
Even when it's only in its post-production phase, the film Guillermo wrote by himself has received a full press coverage, including articles from Mexico's biggest Newspaper EXCELSIOR, and Mexico's most recognized and popular film publication CINE PREMIERE.
None of this would have been possible for Guillermo without first receiving an Accolade Global Film Competition award. This moment will become a landmark in Guillermo Noriega's career. With more than a decade consolidating itself as one of the most prestigious award ceremonies in the film and television industry, the Accolade Global Film Competition has awarded and propelled the career of some of the most talented and recognized artists of our times… Guillermo now joins the ranks of the highly remarkable artists of Hollywood, with the great advantage that he is only twenty-three years old.
This victory represents a transcendent win for Mexico and Guillermo. We are proud we can share this moment with you!
CONGRATULATIONS TO GUILLERMO AND THE WHOLE TEAM BEHIND AMERICAN PAROUSIA!