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El Jefe is an adult male jaguar from Sonora, Mexico, currently living in the Santa Rita Mountains just south of Tucson. Inhabiting both countries, he’s the perfect emblem for Tucson Cine Mexico.

The Tucson Cine Mexico Jaguar Award is presented to the festival’s most impressive feature film directorial debut. 

 

2013: Kyzza Terrazas received the Jaguar Award for his critically acclaimed drama El Lenguaje de los Machetes/Machete Language. The film, which also won Special Jury Prize at the Cartagena Film Festival, and was nominated for the Gold Hugo Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, helped establish Terrazas as a key figure of the Mexican new wave.

 

2016: Celso García was awarded the Jaguar for La delgada línea amarillo/The Thin Yellow Line. The film went on to receive 14 nominations at the 2016 Ariel Awards - the most of any film that year - and was short-listed for Mexico's entry for Best Foreign Film at the 2016 Academy Awards.

 

2017: María José Cuevas received the Jaguar for her documentary Bellas de noche/Beauties of the Night, which received a standing ovation in Tucson. The film went on to receive multiple awards at festivals around the world and received 4 Ariel Award nominations, including Best Picture.

 

2018: Diego Ros received the Jaguar for his suspense-filled El Vigilante/The Night Guard, and went on to collect the World Fiction Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and Best First Work at the Ariel Awards.

 

2019: Lila Avilés was awarded the Jaguar for her poignant and delicate class portrait La camarista/The Chambermaid, which was subsequently selected to represent Mexico at the Oscar and Goya Awards.