Issa Lopez’s critically acclaimed Tigers Are Not Afraid has been making waves at the festival circuit. And now, it is finally coming to a wider audience, thanks to Shudder. In a press release, Shudder announced that they’ve acquired the rights to the film and it’ll be coming to the platform later this year.
Tigers Are Not Afraid premiered at Fantastic Fest in 2017, earning Lopez the honor of Best Director. Since then, it has screened at festivals around the world, such as Screamfest, Boston Underground, Toronto After Dark, and Amsterdam Imagine. It also won ten nominations and two wins at the Ariel Awards, Mexico’s equivalent to the Oscars.
This is the film’s official synopsis from Shudder’s press release:
Lopez’s film uses horror and fantasy to deliver a moving portrait of the dire circumstances of the children left behind by Mexico’s brutal drug wars. Estrella (a mesmerizing Paolo Lara) is ten-years-old and alone. Given three magical wishes, she asks first that her missing mother come back, and she does… from the dead. Fearful of the ghost she believes she’s invoked, Estrella escapes to the streets and earns her way into a gang of other children, orphaned by cartel violence. But soon Estrella discovers you can never really leave the dead behind.
Guillermo del Toro and Stephen King have both praised the film on Twitter. King said “this is one terrific film, both tough and touching. Two minutes in, I was under its spell.” Del Toro called Lopez a “fantastic new voice in the genre” and is now working with her on a few of her future projects. Tigers Are Not Afraid has skyrocketed Lopez to fame—she’s now slated to develop a supernatural revenge thriller for Legendary Pictures.
Shudder GM Craig Engler shared that “Tigers Are Not Afraid is a horror fable for the ages, as moving as it is frightening thanks to Issa’s fearless imagination. We are honored and excited to share this powerful film with our members.”
NOFS contributor Chris Aitkens had the chance to review the film at Ithaca Fantastik in 2017. In his review he said “Writer/director Issa López is able to show the beauty in the ugliness by using shots of vandalized alleyways and landscapes of the slums lighting up at a night. Attaching a dark fantasy and a human story to a real world epidemic, López is able to capture the concern of privileged viewers of the developed world who would of otherwise continued to ignore the pain of Mexico.”
Lopez is also excited for the film to finally acquire distribution. “I’m incredibly happy to announce that Shudder will distribute Tigers Are Not Afraid for English-language audiences,” said Lopez. “Shudder is an outstanding curator of the best and the weirdest of international fantastic cinema, including many of my favorite new movies from trailblazing filmmakers. The opportunity to have Tigers Are Not Afraid among them is an absolute honor.”
We’ll be sure to update when we get an exact release date for Tigers Are Not Afraid. Have you had a chance to see it yet? Are you excited it’s finally getting distribution? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and in the Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook group!