by Lila Avilés




Seven-year-old Sol spends the day at her grandfather’s home, helping with the preparations for a surprise party for her father. Throughout the day, chaos slowly takes over, fracturing the family’s foundations. Sol will embrace the essence of letting go as a release for existence.


TÓTEM is a choral film about life. Seven-year-old Sol spends the day at her grandfather’s home, helping her aunts Nuri and Alejandra with the preparations for a surprise party they are throwing for Sol’s father, Tonatiuh. As daylight fades, a strange and chaotic atmosphere takes over, shattering the bonds that hold a family together. Sol will come to understand that her world is about to change dramatically, embracing the essence of letting go and cherishing the breath of life.


Mexico, Denmark, France 2023  4K   95 mn  4:3  5.1 Spanish

Written & Directed by

Lila Avilés

Produced by

Tatiana Graullera, Lila Avilés, Louise Riousse

Coproduced by

Per Damgaard Hansen (Paloma Productions), Jean-Baptiste Bailly-Maitre (Alpha Violet Production)

With the support of Eficine Produccion-BBVA, Danish Film Institute, HBF Hubert Bals, Aide aux Cinémas du Monde, CNC, Visions Sud Est with the support of the SDC


Sol : Naíma Sentíes

Nuri : Montserrat Marañon

Alejandra : Marisol Gasé

Esther : Saori Gurza

Tonatiuh : Mateo García Elizondo

Cruz : Teresita Sánchez

Napo: Juan Francisco Maldonado

Lucía: Iazua Larios

Roberto: Alberto Amador


Diego Tenorio, Cinematographer

Omar Guzmán, Editor

Guido Berenblum, Sound design

Rune Palving, Sound mixer

Nohemi González Martínez, Art direction

Nora Solís & Jimena Fernández, Costume designers

Vanessa Campos, Make up

Gabriela Cartol & Lila Avilés, Casting

Thomas Becka, Music

Carmina Carballal, Assistant Director

Héctor Zubieta, Line Producer

Berlinale Official Competition