By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz March 21, 2014 at 2:30PM
The Guadalajara International Film Festival (also known as FICG29 or Festival International of Cine in Guadalajara) is on my regular beat, but this year my work with the Talents will include an introduction to the book I am writing on Iberoamerican Film Financing.
The festival's inception occurred in 1986 during Mexican cinema's worst crisis in terms of production (only 12 features were made that year), and it was held with the help of the University of Guadalajara. This small showcase was curated by filmmaker Jaime Humberto Hermosillo and researcher/professor Emilio García Riera. It consisted of 5 features, 7 shorts, 2 documentaries, and a selection of Jaime Humberto Hermosillo's work. During this edition a young Guillermo del Toro stood out as one of the most outstanding volunteers.
A few years after in 1992, the festival premiered Alfonso Cuaron's Love in the Time of Hysteria (Solo con tu pareja), the film that launched his Hollywood career, this year he won the Academy Award as Best Director for his film Gravity. The next year, Guillermo del Toro presented his feature debut Cronos, which would go on to be selected for the Critic's Week at the Cannes Film Festival. From the beginning this film showcase became a required stop for Mexican filmmakers and programmers from various international film festivals.
In 1999 a selection of Iberoamerican films was added to the program and a section highlighting Canadian cinema was included, from the 7-selection 3 were from Quebec (Streetheart by Charles Binamé; The Red Violin by François Girard and 2 Seconds by Manon Briand). During the 23rd edition of the festival a selection of 7 features and 7 shorts was presented. Added to this Patrick Bouchard held a workshop on animation at the University of Guadalajara. This year the festival will have the pleasure to present the latest works from Léa Pool, Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, and of course, Patrick Bouchard.The results of the 2008 workshop are visible in the constant production of animation in Guadalajara.
Starting in its 15th edition, in 2000, the showcase became a competitive contest for Mexican films. Two years after all iberoamerican films began taking part in the competition. From that year on, the impact of the Guadalajara program reached the entire iberoamerican region and became the premier meeting point for the region's cinema. In 2003 the initiative know as Iberoamerican Market (Mercano Iberoamericano) was launched bringing together over 170 industry professionals dedicated to selling, buying, and distributing films internationally.
In 2005 the showcase became the Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG) with the clear goal of having a space for Mexican and Latin American films, as well as a to expose the public and the industry professionals to international works. In 2013 the festival screened 254 films, 102 of which were in competition. The festival received over 800 journalist, and 817 companies in the industry section. Throughout the years the festival has honored artists such as Pedro Almodóvar, the Taviani brothers, Patricio Guzmán, Theo Angelopoulos, Álex de la Iglesia, Agnès Varda, and more recently Werner Herzog and Mike Leigh, among many other great filmmakers. In terms of actors John Malkovich, Marisa Paredes, Andy Garcia and Ángela Molina have also been recognized at the FICG.
The festival is divided in 3 competitive sections: Iberoamerican Dramatic Features, Iberoamerican Documentaries, and Iberoamerican Shorts. In total FICG hands out 16 Official Awards and 5 parallel others though different sections.
Among the array of awards the one dedicated to the Best Mexican Film stands out -The Mezcal Award (Premio Mezcal)
This year the third edition of the Maguey Award (Read more HERE) will take place. It brings together, promotes, and recognizes cinema focused on sexual diversity around the world
In total there are more than 200 works programmed and there will be over 500 screenings in Guadalajara and the surroundings areas. Throughout the last 29 years Mexican cinema has changed deeply. From the crisis it suffered in 1986 to its current state there is a notable contrast. From 12 films a year, the average number of films produced currently a year is 120. During the 20 years the Mexican Cinema Showcase and the FICG have been protagonists in the promotion of Mexican cinema, specially in the last decade.
It is also revelatory to see how influential has Mexican cinema been in the emergence of other film industries in the region such as in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Paraguay, as well as the great period that the cinema of of Chile, Colombia, and Uruguay are experiencing.
Withing the FICG there are also other sections dedicated to international cinema, which are not competitive, but allow for the festival to be a meeting point for many cinematic voices.
Industry and Market
In order to encourage a productive agenda for filmmakers, producers, distributors, and sales agents during the festival, the Market oriented department will hold the following events:
Over 800 film-related companies will be in attendance
During the last edition of the FICG, the different events taking place at the festival were the product of strenuous labors by the organizers. They included the 5th edition of Talents Guadalajara, an experience in which 70 filmmakers from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean participated, as well as the the 5th edition of the Doculab where several Iberoamerican documentaries in post-production were evaluated. Aiming to take advantage of the important figures present, the festival also hosted the 9th Creators Conference on Writing with Light.
Relationships with International Festivals
Throughout its development the FICG has formed working relationships of support with many of the most important festival in the world. With the Marché du Film at Cannes the two festivals have developed the Guadalajara Film Market Producers Network, which is a window for the exchange of knowledge and ideas among professionals interested in the Iberoamerican cinematic spectrum. Talents Guadalajara is organized with the collaboration of the Berlinale Talents from the Berlin Film Festival, which supports filmmakers from the region. In addition with the help of the San Sebastian Film Festival, FICG presents the program known as New European Trends : San Sebastian-Guadalajara, allowing for the discovery of new European directors. It is important to mention that FICG has a close relationship with the Montreal World Film Festival, which allows for films of the region to screen at the Canadian event.
Since 2001 the festival hascdesignated a country or region to be the guest of honor
Germany, 16, 2001
Switzerland, 17, 2002
Chile, 18, 2003
Italy, 19, 2004
Greece, 20, 2005
Spain, 21, 2006
Brazil, 22, 2007
Argentina, 23, 2008
Colombia, 24, 2009
France, 25, 2010
Israel, 26, 2011
U.K., 27, 2012
Scandinavia : Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, 28. 2013
Besides screening a selection of films from the selected nation, the FICG always tries to have some of their most notable filmmakers present at the festival. After a decade of its inception the Special Guest section has become one of the most anticipated ones. It allows attendees the opportunity to see the most recent works from that national cinema as well as to have a direct conversation with the filmmakers, actors, and other representatives of that country's film industry.
Quebec 2014The selection of films was made possible thanks to the support of the Quebecois Delegation in Mexico, the SODEC, the International Documentary Conference in Montreal, the ONF, among other institutions, companies, and filmmakers. This offers the possibility to be confronted with visions that explore the world and its conflicts, it's cinema without borders.On the other hand this can also be a very intimate cinema that captures the multicultural richness of contemporary Quebec with its diverse contradictions. This selection also represents the audiovisual expression of several generations, there are films from filmmakers with a careers that expand over 4 decades who interact with directors who have just finished their debut features.
The selection of films is divided into 4 sections
Narrative FeaturesConformed of 16 features completed between 2012 and 2013. Each one of these films has had acclaimed international exposure and have played at festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Venice, San Sebastian, among others. Together these films have received more than 23 international awards and 30 awards in Canada.
RIDM - DocumentariesCounting with 15 years of experience the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) is one of the most important events for documentary filmmaking. The rigorous selection process of this festival gives validation to the 5 films that will be shown at the FICG, which will definitely be a center piece within the Quebecois program in Guadalajara. The FICG will also have a special screening of a very important work in the history of film, For Those Who Will Follow (Pour la suite du monde) by Michel Brault, who past away last year.
Denis Côté's career as a filmmaker began in 2005. Since then, he has created a short film, 3 documentaries, and 5 narrative features. Via his intense working rhythm this artist has demonstrated his abilities, rigor, and creativity. A look into his work will easily confirm that he has a profoundly original vision that takes storytelling to its radical limits.
The Short Films
Quebecois short films show an incredible imaginative freedom. Given the fact that in recent years several shorts, including animation, have been produced in Guadalajara, this will be an enriching exchange of perspectives.
Women in Film and TV Quebec-Mexico
Finally, aiming to strengthen the friendship that exists between the associations for Women in Film and TV both in Quebec and Mexico, the FICG will host a second panel, which will be paired with a selection of documentaries that deal with the contemporary female experience.
David K. Ross (1966,
Canada) works in various mediums including film, video, photography, and art installations. Ross' formal training in architecture and great experience in photography of large scale and film have resulted in a great variety of projects in which he investigates the history of optical technology and geodesic practices, as well as many urban structures. His work has been exhibited in the most important institutions in the Americas and Europe, they also form part of many public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Contemporary Art Museum of Montreal and the Canadian Center for Architecture. The artist will be present at the FICG screening his work to expose the audience to his particular style.
Quebecois Presence in the Different Juries
Prominent members of the Quebecois film industry will be part of the diverse juries which will evaluate the films in competition.
Narrative Feature: Denise Robert's experience as a producer expands over 51 projects including narrative features, documentaries, shorts, and television.
Documentary: Roxanne Sayegh, who has worked with Ambulante, the most ambitious project to promote documentary distribution in Mexico. She is currently the Executive Director of the RIDM.
Short Films: Danièle Cauchard, Executive Director of the Montreal World Film Festival.
Maguey Award to Support Sexual Diversity in Film: Katharine Setzer, in charge of programming at the Image+Nation festival, which is in its 26th edition.
FIPRESCI: Montreal based critic Jorge
For more information on FICG 29 and its different sections visit HERE