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Mexico is on the Move!

by Sydney Levine
March 11, 2012 10:48 PM
1 Comment
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FICG27 Guadalajara Film Festival 2012
FICG27 Guadalajara Film Festival 2012
Guadalajara Wraps and a New Fest Begins

FICG (pronounced FeeSeeg and standing for the Festival International de Cine in Guadalajara), displayed a new vibrancy. Besides some great films, great attendance and great organization, several Latin American countries are entering the international film business for the first time (Peru and Ecuador) with subsidies from their government pointing to an optimism for film production as an economic factor in their country's growth.  I blogged about the Dominican Republic but not about the new Law 226 in Mexico which encourages businesses to invest up to 20 million pesos (U.S.$2 million) or 10% of the taxes they owed the previous year (whichever is higher) into Mexican film production, or Brazilian access to subsidies.  

In addition, Guadalajara is becoming known as the Silicon Valley of Mexico as its economy is based especially on information technology with a large number of international firms having facilities there. It is also considered to be the home of Mariachi music. The city is named after the Spanish city of Guadalajara with the name originating from the Arabic word meaning "Valley of Stones".  It is the highest ranking major Mexican city and has the second strongest economic potential of any major North American city.  Only Chicago scores more highly for sheer economic potential  (Per a 2007 report in fDi magazinean English-language news and foreign direct investment publication owned by The Financial Times Ltd and edited in London). The same research calls Guadalajara the "city of the future" due to its youthful population, low unemployment and large number of recent foreign investment deals.  It was also ranked the third most business friendly city in North America.

A new digital film studio is going up. The University is an important center of culture and learning.

And sadly, violence over drugs is not far away. This past Friday, Narco gangs appropriated 25 vehicles in 16 separate incidents – 11 of them in the Guadalajara metropolitan zone where they set fire to them in retaliation for action taken against them in a military action to capture two Mexican drug cartel members. At the Centro Magno festival venue, festival transport staff stopped filmgoers leaving a screening of Andres Wood's Violeta Went to Heaven as they sought to return to the festival's central Expo Center venue, acknowledging concerns for safety.  A truck was set on fire not far (but not too close either: at Calzada Lázaro Cárdenas and Mezquite, at la Colonia de El Fresno) from the Expo where the festival was still being held, but there was no disruption of the festival.

Our friend, Hebe Tabachnik, Iberoamerican programmer for the Palm Springs Film Festival is on the jury and writes from there:

Dear friends, in spite of the disruptive and unfortunately deadly incidents in Guadalajara today, all the attendees to the Ficg Guadalajara are OK. We are sorry this beautiful city and specially its amazing people have to experience this kind of criminal acts. The festival is going ahead with its schedule events, as it should be. Celebrating the arts and show no fear is the best way to manifest against the non sense violence. Viva Guadalajara. Viva Mexico!!!!

The activities of the industry, with meetings about Iberoamerican coproductions with its well presented professional projects, the film market itself with films available to watch up to 2 weeks after the closing, the Cannes Marche Producers Network, Works in Progress, Berlinale's Talent Campus and Doculab, and of course, the festival itself with galas every night, a Focus on U.K. and Mike Leigh, Homages, Mexican and Iberoamerican Competition, Sounds of Cinema, Children's Cinema, LGBT prizes, Open Air Screenings - all defy easy decision making on how best to spend one's time there.

The prize winners:






















Premio Maguey

Mención Especial  

Todo el mundo tiene alguien menos yo” (México) Dir. Raúl Fuentes

Premio Maguey     

  • Mía“ (Argentina) Dir. Javier van de Couter

Premio del Público Milenio        

Premio Mezcal

Premio Cinecolor

Mejor Cortometraje de Animación - Premio Rigo Mora

  • Un ojo” (México) Dir. Lorenza Manrique

Mejor Cortometraje Iberoamericano

  • Minuto 200” (Colombia)   Dir. Frank Benítez

Mejor Cortometraje Mexicano

Largometraje Iberoamericano Documental

Mención Especial

El salvavidas“ (Chile)   Dir. Maite Alberdi

Mejor Documental Iberoamericano

Largometraje Mexicano Documental 

Mención Especial  

Carrière, 250 metros”   Dir. Juan Carlos Rulfo y Natalia Gil

Mención Especial  

El paciente interno”    Dir. Alejandro Solar

Mejor Documental Mexicano

Largometraje de Ficción Iberoamericana

Mejor Guion

Mejor Fotografía   

  • Mauro Pinheiro Jr. por “Sudoeste” (Brasil)

Mejor Actriz 

Mejor Actor 

  • Andrés Crespo por “Pescador” (Ecuador)

Premio Especial del Jurado

Mejor Opera Prima

Mejor Director

  • Sebastián Cordero por “Pescador” (Ecuador)

Mejor Película Iberoamericana 

Largometraje de Ficción Mexicana

Mención Especial

Música Original de "Días de gracia"

Mejor Guion

Mejor Fotografía

Mejor Actriz

Mejor Actor 

Mejor Opera Prima

Mejor Director

Mejor Película




Premio de los Niños

Premio FEISAL      

Mención Especial  

No hay lugar lejano” (México)   Dir. Michelle Ibaven

Mención Especial  

Oro Colombiano: 400 años de música del alma” (Colombia) Dir. Sanjay Agarwal e Iván Higa



Guerrero de la Prensa

  • Mejor largometraje de ficción
  • Días de gracia” (México) Dir. Everardo Gout

Academia Jalisciense de Cinematografía

  • Mejor cortometraje jalisciense
  • La noria”   Dir. Karla Castañeda

No sooner does this festival and market wrap when a new Mexican festival, the Riviera Maya Film Festival, begins March 20 - 25 which will play in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Cozumel and Holbox.  The industry component Rivieralab, a coproduction event will take place in Quintana Roo March 22-25 and will host 158 projects from Latin America and Europe.  10 projects will be showcased to financiers, fund representatives, producers and sales agents, 3 will receive 200,000 pesos or approximately US$15,500.  8 international works in progress at post-production stage from a pool of 40 will be selected to receive support. 

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1 Comment

  • Marian | March 12, 2012 12:24 AMReply

    Hi Sydney
    What's your impression of the position of women filmmakers in Mexico at the moment? There don't seem to be many women's names in this list? I read parts of this book by Elissa Rashkin ( recently, which showed that in the '80s and 90s women in Mexico were making films in unprecedented numbers, and one of them—Dana Rotberg–is currently making a film here in New Zealand.

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