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Guadalajara's Maguey Award

by Sydney Levine
March 23, 2013 3:30 PM
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Roberto Fiesco receiving the Maguey Prize for Best Picture at the Black Cherry.
Maguey, pronounced Ma Gay -- the plant from which Tequila is distilled here in the State of Jalisco and the City of Guadalajara -- is the perfect name for the Gay Prize of the Festival International de Cine de Guadalajara (FICG)

FICG The Maguey Awards 

(AKA: Premios Maguey: Pasiones intimas del cine queer or Intimate Passions of Queer Cinema)The jury -- comprised of Colombian Juan Carlos Arcienegas of CNN Latino, journalist and film critic; Kevin Murphy, Germany, Talent Campus; Darryl MacDonald, Director of Palm Springs IFF, Swedish filmmaker Ingrid Ryborg and Alexander Mello,Brazil, Director at Diversity in Animation. International Festival of LGBT Animation--made a quick and easy decision after one hour of deliberation, but it took 2 1Ž2 hours to write the statement.

Maguey, the plant, from which Tequila is distilled in the State of Jalisco and the City of Guadalajara -- is the perfect name for the Gay Prize of the (FICG).

The line-up 

Included some films I had seen including the Chilean (again!!) film by Esteban Lorrain The Passion of Michelangelo which I quite liked when I saw it at Berlin’s EFM; Gun Hill Road, Sundance 2012’s debut feature and Masters Film (from NYU Graduate Film School) Gun Hill Road by New Yorker Rashaad Ernesto Green, Graduate of Dartmouth College, recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation Award and Spike Lee Fellowship which most unfortunately has been caught in the bankruptcy of its U.S. distributor Motion Picture Film Group (See Indiewire: What Happens You’re your Distributor Goes Bankrupt – Why Gun Hill Road is now Finally on DVD), Sundance 2012 lesbian Chicana film Mosquito y Mari, Any Day Now, starring Alan Cummings which I saw at the Napa Valley Film Festival where it won the Audience Award and the 2013 Sundance film Joshua Tree 1951: A Portrait of James Dean.

And the winner is: Quebranto (Disrupted), from Mexico, the memorial and testimony of trail blazers Fernando García, known as Pinolito, who was a child actor in the seventies and Doña Lilia Ortega, his mother, an actress. Fernando came out as a transvestite some years ago, and now calls himself Coral Bonelli. They live together in Garibaldi, Mexico yearning for their past in the movies, while Coral bravely comes to terms with her gender identity. They both still perform.

Honorable Mention went to the Israeli film Out in the Dark

FICG28 Foto: Pedro Andrés Closing Night Party for the Maguey Prize at the Black Cherry.

The announcement and celebration party at the Black Cherry was great fun.  I was honored to meet the great and beautiful Mexican actress Laura Zapata.  I hung out with my new-found friends Lydia Genchi from Nomad Film Distribution in Italy and Catalina Arango of Zancudo Films from Argentina, and old friends Darryl, JC and Kevin up until midnight when the prize should have been announced, but instead, the disco dancing with two great dancers a la “Rage” in West Hollywood went on another half an hour… Someone saw the poor exhausted dancers in their open window dressing room above the club afterward, self absorbed in private activities as they tried to rest their beautiful bodies.  Personally I wish they would add a Latin beat to the monotony of one-one-one-one-one-one-one beat which really exacerbated my tinnitus.

So I went home, sharing a car with Swedish Staermose Soren of Yellow Bird Productions and Greek Patrice Vivancos, spokesman for Media Mundus which is Media’s international film fund and whom I had seen earlier moderating the roundtable on funds and funding strategies for Latin America.

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