Producer Salma Hayek Pinault talks about her heartfelt family drama El Sabor de la Navidad as it addresses the issue of transgender acceptance in Mexican families, it reflects a changing and more progressive country and culture.
“Misunderstandings within families have to do with generational differences,” said the Mexican-American star producer. The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the world premiere of director Alejandro Lozano’s Christmas family film at the Toronto Film Festival on Wednesday evening. Hayek Pinault also showed her support for the SAG-AFTRA strikes by proudly wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the actors union’s protest logo at TIFF.
“It’s not just Spanish (language), but a Mexican movie. And so we’re very grateful that we were able to bring the film to Toronto and that the union was behind it, otherwise I wouldn’t have come without permission,” she said as her film premiered at the Royal Alexandra Theatre.
El Sabor de la Navidad offers three intersecting stories set around Mexico City’s Christmas celebrations, which converge in the film’s emotional finale. In one storyline, Penelope, an estranged transgender daughter, tries to reconcile with her family. And her mother, played by Mónica Dionne, has to accept her new gender, while her sisters take it all on themselves.
Hayek Pinault says she is part of an older generation that is keeping pace with younger and more progressive Mexicans in understanding transgender people. “The way people understood things back then is not the same as it is now. We’re trying to catch up with her,” she insisted.
The film’s screenwriter Jose Tamez, who is also a longtime producing partner for Hayek Pinault as part of their Ventanarosa Productions banner, said Mexico has, albeit uncomfortably in parts, come around to embracing transgender people. “I’m not saying that transgender people don’t experience discrimination at times, but at the same time there is a level of acceptance that we haven’t seen before,” Tamez argued.
As a measure of progress, Hayek Pinault pointed out that the country’s Supreme Court recently expanded abortion rights in the country, just as Mexico is set to elect its first female president next year, as two women will vie for the leadership position.
“Things are being legalized while in the United States they are no longer legalized,” she said of the spread of abortion bans in U.S. states as Mexico moves toward decriminalization. The other two storylines El Sabor de la Navidad similarly, we have characters trying to navigate the emotionally charged season of Christmas.
In one version, two friends put their friendship to the test by working as competing Santa Clauses in Alameda Central Park, and in the third storyline, a lonely chef with trust issues hires a new kitchen assistant to prepare family Christmas dinners for customers. cooking, and then have a long-simmering romantic atmosphere. revive feelings in her.
El Sabor de la Navidad is the second film in a first look deal for Spanish-language films that Ventanarosa Productions has with TelevisaUnivision and its VIX streaming platform, with the first film being the romantic comedy Quiero Tu Vida.
“This is our second film with VIX. The first one was a number one hit and it’s only been a year. We are doing very well,” said Hayek Pinault. El Sabor de la Navidad With Mariana Treviño, Andrés Almeida, Armando Hernández, Juan Carlos Medellín, Mónica Dionne and Marco Treviño.
The film’s producer credits are shared by Erica Sánchez of Lemon Studios.