Mexican Cinema: Guadalajara International Film Festival in LA


A First time collaboration between The American Cinematheque, Festival International de Cine en Guadalajara, University de Guadalajara Los Angeles, University of Guadalajara Foundation/USA, Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles presents a weekend of films from the famed Guadalajara Film Festival.

Opening Night: Thursday, September 8
 Egyptian Theatre • Thu, September 8 • 7:30pm
Discussion following with director Sergio Sánchez Suárez and actress Daniela Schmidt.

2011, Quality Films, 103 min, Mexico, Dir: Sergio Sanchez Suarez
In the Mexican town of Tequila in 1942, honor is paramount. Problems begin when Antonio (Unax Ugalde) falls in love with Lola (Daniela Schmidt), the wife of his uncle Vicente (Salvador Sanchez), one of the town’s local heroes. As the web of lies protecting their forbidden affair grows tighter, Antonio wants to escape Tequila to a new life with Lola, but will he leave his honor behind too? With Angélica Aragon and Edward Furlong. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Screening format: 35mm

Friday, September 9
THE PRIZE / JEAN GENTIL  Fri, September 9 • 7:30 pm ( Double Feature!)
Discussion between films with director Paula Markovitch (THE PRIZE).
2011, 120 min, Mexico, Dir: Paula Markovitch
Seven-year-old Ceci (Paola Galinelli Hertzog) has to keep a huge secret – the life of her family depends on her silence – but she doesn’t completely understand what the secret is about. Living under military repression in 1970s Argentina, Ceci must figure out what she can safely say at school and what she must do to keep her mother happy. This intense drama won several awards at the 2011 Guadalajara Film Festival, including Best Picture and Best Actress, and took home Silver Bears at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival for cinematography and production design. In Spanish with English subtitles.

JEAN GENTIL  (Los Angeles Premiere!)
2010, Canana Films, 84 min, Mexico, Dir: Israel Cardenas, Laura Amelia Guzman
Multilingual Haitian accountant Jean is relegated to a poverty-stricken, ghostly existence when he immigrates to the nearby Dominican Republic. Composed with impeccable visuals by co-directors Israel Cardenas and Laura Amelia Guzman, this documentary-like portrayal of one individual’s struggle for identity captures the plight of the masses of Haitian immigrant workers forced to lead invisible lives on the fringes of society. Winner of the Jury Award at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival and recipient of the Horizons special mention at the Venice Film Festival. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Saturday, September 10
Mexican Filmmakers Working in L.A. and Mexico
Sat, September 10 • 3:00 pm Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian
Join us for a panel discussion on the increasingly positive relationship between the Mexican and US film industries, and the Mexican filmmakers who work fluidly between Mexico and Los Angeles, with this bridged cultural gap informing their work. Panel will include actor Demian Bichir (“A BETTER LIFE”, “Weeds,” “CHE”), director and producer Roberto Sneider (“TEAR THIS HEART OUT”, “BETWEEN US”), and producer Pablo Cruz (“JEAN GENTIL”, “SIN NOMBRE”, “Soy tu fan”). Moderated by Alejandro Pelayo, Mexican Consul for Cultural Affairs in Los Angeles.

NACO ES CHIDO Sat, September 10 • 5:00pm
2010, Art Naco Films, 90 min, Mexico, Dir: Sergio Arau
Los Angeles Premiere! Director In Person!

In this inventive mockumentary, director Sergio Arau (“A DAY WITHOUT A MEXICAN”) revisits his old musical group Botellita de Jerez, pioneers of “guacarock” in the 1980s. The band’s blend of blues, cumbia, punk and performance art has proven highly influential (Botellita’s disciples include La Maldita Vecindad and Café Tacuba), and their sharp sense of humor is put to fine use here. A crazy quilt of music, comedy and Mexican culture, “NACO ES CHIDO” stitches together actual footage from the band’s heyday and interviews with other music stars with a fictitious storyline about a rediscovered recording that sparks a reunion of the now down-on-their-luck group members. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Screening format: 35mm

Sat, September 10 • 7:30pm
2011, La Banda Films/Cuevano Films, 95 min, Mexico, Dir: Patricia Martinez de Velasco
Rodolfo Guerra (Jesus Ochoa) is tired of being treated solely as the family breadwinner by his wife (Carmen Beato) and their three daughters, so he decides to spend some time away from work – and one day is all it takes to realize he is a stranger in his own home. As Rodolfo begins to pick away at the dishonesty (some of it his own) running through his middle-class family, the truth has unexpected consequences. This finely tuned comedy boasts several superb performances, and Ochoa won the Best Actor Award at the 2011 Guadalajara Film Festival. In Spanish with English subtitles. (Discussion between films with director Patricia Martinez de Velasco, actress Carmen Beato, and cinematographer Paula Huidobro.

2011, Ciudad Cinema, 124 min, Mexico, Dir: Iria Gomez Concheiro
A motley crew of four teenage stoners decide to rob the local multiplex, with instantly recognizable adolescent listlessness as their main motivation. Writer-director Iria Gomez Concheiro keeps the youngsters’ rapport flowing and believable as she follows the gang on their seemingly typical journey of run-ins with cops, relentless weed-smoking and casual banter, until the ante ratchets up with pleasant freshness to the goal of the day: the heist. Winner of the Best First Fiction award at the Guadalajara International Film Festival and nominated for the World Cinema award at Sundance 2011. “Announces debut director-writer Iria Gomez Concheiro as a talent worth tracking.” – Variety. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Screening formats: 35mm (BETWEEN US) and HD-Cam (THE CINEMA HOLD-UP)

Sun, September 11
5:00pm  MEXICAN SHORTS PROGRAM (80 min.) Join us for a program showcasing the best of recent Mexican short films. The short subject works selected represent the continuing Mexican cinema tradition of expert craftsmanship, breathtaking visuals and thought-provoking themes.

Hugo Ortiz Messner’s “La Tuna” (“The Prickly Pear,” 11 min): A quirky tale of an archeologist and his maid.

Leon Rechy’s “Angustia” (“Angst,” 8 min): After participating in an execution by lethal injection, a doctor is so overcome by guilt that he decides to find a way out.

Ernesto Martinez Bucio’s “Cenizas” (“Ashes,” 15 min): A girl tries to understand her mother’s last wishes.

J. Xavier Velasco’s “Juan & La Borrega” (10 min): Juan’s drab, routine life changes in an instant.

Maider Oleaga’s “Sitios Prestados Al Aire” (“Vacant Spaces,” 10 min): Two women handle their husband’s absence across the border in different ways.

Victor Rene Ramirez Madrigal & Jorge Arturo Tonero Aceves’s “Monarca” (“Monarch,” 7 min): A boy meets a magical old man while fishing.

Leon Fernandez’s “Mutatio” (8 min): Powerful and eerie animated short.

Samuel Kishi Leopo’s “Mari Pepa” (19 min): At the start of summer, Alex is trying to start a band and woo girls, but family responsibilities also beckon.
Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian • Sun, September 11 • 5:00pm

CASTLE OF PURITY (Diana Bracho In Person!)
Sun, September 11 • 7:30pm
Actress Diana Bracho joins us for a screening of her 1973 film CASTLE OF PURITY. This evening’s program pays tribute to Mexican film, television, and theatre actress Diana Bracho. Author Leonardo Garcia Tsao will give a 10-minute presentation on his new book ‘Diana Bracho,’ followed by a clip reel with highlights from Bracho’s career and the feature presentation of 1973’s.

1973, Azteca Films, 110 min, Mexico, Dir: Arturo Ripstein
Gabriel Lima (Claudio Brook) is so determined to protect his loved ones from the evils of the world that he keeps them locked up at home. There wife Beatriz (Rita Macedo) and the couple’s children (Arturo Beristain, Gladys Bermejo and Diana Bracho in her first major role) help run the family business – making rat poison. As they near adulthood, the kids begin to challenge their father’s version of life beyond the “castle” walls, and Gabriel’s behavior becomes increasingly unstable. Inspired by a true story, this Mexican cinema classic brims with the obsession and absurdity of Luis Buñuel’s best films. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Co-presented by Festival International de Cine en Guadalajara, University de Guadalajara Los Angeles, University of Guadalajara Foundation/USA, Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles.

For more informations and to see trailers go to AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE at the EGYPTIAN THEATRE, 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028


About Author

Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

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