Multi Oscar-nominated Guillermo del Toro is slated to open a new cinema named after him in Guadalajara, his hometown, on March 10, in an event which is likely to prove one of the festival’s highlights.
“Hopefully, he’ll have a few Oscars in tow,” said Guadalajara Film Festival director Ivan Trujillo.
The new cinema is one of several that the city is building to improve the festival’s offer. Del Toro’s acclaimed fable “The Shape of Water” has received 13 Oscar nominations, including best director and best picture. The 90th Academy Awards ceremony is slated for Sunday, March 4th.
At least five emerging Mexican filmmakers out of 11 contenders are vying for the Premio Mezcal cash prize of $27,000 (500,000 pesos) for best Mexican fiction film and an audience award of some $5,000 (100,000 pesos).
Leading the pack of titles is Sebastian Hofmann and his sophomore feature “Time Share,” which premiered at Sundance, winning the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Screenwriting.
Hailed by Variety as a “puzzle piece that cleverly probes patriarchal insecurity and corporate invasiveness through the course of one botched family vacation,” “Time Share” is co-penned and produced by Hofmann’s partner Julio Chavezmontes at Mexico City-based shingle Piano.
Ehecatl García’s feature debut, “Cría Puercos,” inspired by his own mother’s experience, turns on a woman – depressed after the demise of her spouse and by the neglect of her son – who finds new impetus in life when she acquires a pet pig.
Actor Ianis Alexis Guerrero (“Nosotros los Nobles,” “Club of Crows”), who has directed shorts and commercials, makes his directorial feature debut with road movie “Juan and Vanessa” about a truck driver trying to mend his ways and a wayward teen who hitches a ride with him.
Alejandro Andrade’s feature debut “Cuernavaca” stars former Almodovar muse Carmen Maura who plays the stern grandmother of a young boy whose mother is gravely injured in an accident. As his mother fights for her life, he faces the rejection of his grandmother and seeks out his father.
Cross-border drama “Mente Revolver” is Alejandro “Jano” Ramirez’s feature debut, produced by his Alma Mater, UNAM, which turns on three characters whose lives intersect over a gun.
Meanwhile, influential vet filmmaker Ignacio Ortiz, who has won multiple Ariel awards – Mexico’s Oscars – for past films “Mezcal” and “Bedtime Fairy Tales for Crocodiles,” returns with father-daughter drama, “Betrayal.”
“Out of the 170 Mexican films produced in the last year, 65 films were presented to us for consideration,” said Trujillo., who’s pleased at the diversity of genres in the selection.
In contrast to the Premio Mezcal’s fiction section, which has only one femme-directed entry, six out of nine Mexican docs vying for the Premio Mezcal are by women this year.
Among the non-fiction standouts in contention are Arturo Diaz Santana’s “Rita, the Documentary,” about iconic Mexican ‘90s music, theatre artist and activist Rita Guerrero, who died at the age of 46 from cancer.
Produced by Bertha Navarro and Del Toro, “Ayotzinapa, el Paso de la Tortuga” by Enrique García Meza delves into the mystery behind one of Mexico’s most tragic and still unsolved crimes: the disappearance of 43 students from a local teaching college.
The 33rd Guadalajara Int’l Film Festival runs from March 9 to 16.
33RD GUADALAJARA INT’L FILM FESTIVAL
OFFICIAL MEXICAN COMPETITION SELECTION
“Eight out of Ten,” Sergio Umansky
“Cría Puercos,” Ehecatl García
“Cuernavaca,” Alejandro Andrade Pease
“The Uncertainty,” Haroldo Fajardo
“Juan and Vanesa,” Ianis Guerrero
“Revolver Mind,” Alejandro Ramírez Corona
“Nadie Sabrá Nunca,” Jesús Torres Torres
“La Negrada,” Jorge Pérez Solano
“Wind Traces,” Jimena Montemayor Loyo
“Time Share,” Sebastián Hofmann
“Betrayal,” Ignacio Ortiz
“Ayotzinapa, el Paso de la Tortuga,” Enrique García Meza
“The Best Thing You Can Do with Your Life,” Zita Erffa
“¿Dónde estás?” Maricarmen Merino Mora
“Donde se Quedan las Cosas,” Daniela Silva Solórzano
“Hermanos,” Laura Plancarte
“Lejos del Sentido,” Olivia Luengas
“Mi Hermano,” Alana Simões
“Rita, el Documental,” Arturo Díaz Santana
“Un Filósofo en la Arena,” Aarón Fernández & Jesús Muñoz