FICG 31: A Look Back at Mexico’s Premier Film Festival


Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara Photo Gallery

Mexico's premier film festival is in Guadalajara, Jalisco and an impressive parade of robust independent and international films. This year the Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara (FICG) showcased Swiss films. It was 10 days of screenings, red carpets, panels, art, industry events and more.

I spent the first weekend at the FICG and quickly found that it is a huge event that takes over the city, specifically the Museo de Las Artes Universidad de Guadalajara and the Cineforo across the street. The first big night included a gala at the Telmex Auditorium. The impressive production started with a very Mexican red carpet and awards ceremony. No other red carpet on the planet has a charro arriving on a horse yelling "viva Mexico!"

Actor Alfonso Arau received recognition for his work in both Latin and US films. Arau played memorable characters in films like The Three Amigos, Calzonzin Inspector and Like Water for Chocolate. Actor Tab Hunter received the Premio Maguay, an award given to those who help celebrate and advance LGBT cinema. Hunter hosted a screening of Tab Hunter Confidential, a documentary about his life as a gay man in the golden age of Hollywood. The awards ceremony was a massive televised production that included live music and a screening of the Swiss film Heidi.

Speaking of the Swiss, I enjoyed the Swiss short block that showcased an interesting catalog of drama, animation and experimental films. Copenhagen (a Selig favorite) producer Mauro Mueller screened his short Fingerspiel. The rest of the weekend was truly inspiring. I had the opportunity to attend an actors panel with director/actor Diego Luna, actor (and Spanish sex symbol) Eduardo Noriega, Hellboy himself, Ron Perlman and the great Danny Glover. Luna and Glover were there to promote their film, and Sundance darling, Mr. Pig. Luna will attend the 10th Annual Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF) Sunday, April 17 and Monday, April 18. For more information about the screenings and a special Q&A, check out the DIFF website.

The last day at FICG included a documentary run with a variety of subjects, from a the funny and touching story of a single Argentinean in 35 and Single to a comprehensive investigation of the Conquistador Cortes and his relationship with Latin America's indigenous people in Hernan Cortes, Un Hombre Entre Dios Y El Diablo. But for me the highlight of the day was the contemporary narrative Me Estas Matando, Susana starring Gael Garcia Bernal. I interviewed director Roberto Sneider and music director Victor Hernandez Stumpfhauser.

Keep reading for exclusive FICG interviews and film reviews. Check out the FICG official website for a list of festival winners.

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