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Mexico celebrates as Roma grabs 10 Oscar nominations

Actress Aparicio moves the nation with Oscar nom

Mexicans celebrated on Tuesday as Roma grabbed 10 Oscar nominations - none more exuberantly than the film's breakout star Yalitza Aparicio, who melted hearts and went viral with her ecstatic reaction to her best actress nomination.

Aparicio, an indigenous schoolteacher with no acting experience who landed the part when she accompanied her sister to the audition, posted a video on Twitter of the moment she got the news.

Watching the announcements on a laptop in what appeared to be her hotel room in Tijuana, Aparicio let out a scream when her name popped up, then pressed her hands to her face, choking back tears.

The video went viral.

"I am so happy. I was not expecting this news when I woke up so early today," Aparicio wrote. "From the very first casting call to this morning, my Roma journey has been extraordinary. As a daughter of a domestic worker and an indigenous woman myself, I am proud this movie will help those of us who feel invisible be seen."

Filmed in Spanish and the indigenous Mixtec language, set in Mexico City in the 1970s and filmed in black and white, Roma is not supposed to be the kind of movie that finds huge success in the US - especially not in the Mexico-bashing era of US President Donald Trump.

But director Alfonso Cuaron's portrait of his childhood and the two women who raised him - his nanny, played by Aparicio, and his mother, played by best supporting actress nominee Marina de Tavira - garnered the most Oscar nominations of any film this year, tied with Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos' The Favourite.

Roma scored several firsts in the process: First Spanish-language film nominated for best picture and the first nominations for Netflix in the directing, original screenplay, foreign language film and best picture categories, among others.

Cuaron said: "It's so gratifying that a black and white film about life in Mexico is being celebrated around the world.

"We are living a great moment in cinema where diversity is embraced by audiences."

For Mexico - where the film triggered a national conversation on race, class and the traumas of the past - the news was celebrated by figures from the president on down.

"Cuaron is a first-rate filmmaker, a source of pride for Mexico. I congratulate him and all the actors and production team... We should all see the film," said Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, admitting that he himself had not watched it yet.

Mexican film-makers have racked up an impressive string of successes at the Academy Awards in recent years.

The trio known as the Three Amigos - Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - have won the best director award four of the past five years. Cuaron, who won in 2014 with Gravity, now stands to make that five of the past six.

The Mexican film community was jubilant.

"Viva Alfonso," tweeted del Toro, whose film The Shape Of Water won four Oscars last year, including best picture and best director.

"Roma is making history for Mexican film, on an international level," said the president of the Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences, Mr Ernesto Contreras. - AFP

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