I have always missed the mood and glory of the seventies’ and eighties’ film festivals that has faded in face of weak economies; I also regret the replacement of personal, face-to-face relationships, with the world of on-line interaction.
Old and traditional festival parties are what I miss most; where you had a long evening to find new friends, chat while having a good, real dinner, and drinking fine wine in a crystal glass. You were not given a coupon for a drink and you didn’t have to jostle for position with others in order to have bite to survive the night. Old festivals not only offered you good food and wine in a nice atmosphere, but did not kill the conversations with loud music—they allowed guests, filmmakers, stars, critics and reporters to mix and have joyful night.
When Maya Hooshivar (our Event Editor), Robin Menken (our film critic) and I left L.A. to go to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to attend the very-first annual Baja International Film Festival, I never thought that the good-old parties would be expecting me there.
My first experience in Cabo was the beautiful, sunny weather, the extremely blue ocean, and the breath-taking view from our room in Hotel Hola Grand Faro, where most of the media guests were located. However, our first awe-inspiring moment came when we all went to the open-air screening and after-party for Hecho En Mexico (Made In Mexico) at the amazing Wirikuta Cactus Garden—the largest cactus garden in the world, with lighting that provided a mystic feel. Here, in a huge open space, guests were able to walk around and hang out with interesting people who travelled from around the planet to attend the festival. It was on this starry night that we met Carlos Rossini, an Argentinian that has been working in Mexico for a production company. Carlos told us about the importance of the Baja Film Festival’s seminars and workshops, and the festival is going to have a great impact on increasing the number of co-productions and attracting more attention to the Mexican film industry.
The screening of Hecho En Mexico was a great success, as this film is a real fiesta from the first moment to the last. After the screening, I could see the network forming between people who were excited by what they had witnessed so far.
I must mention that, without the help of Jasmin Espada—President of Espada PR—our jobs would have been much more difficult. To do justice to the Baja International Film Festival, I will continue my notes and attempt to cover all of the magnificent aspects of this impactful event, so stay tuned!
Next in Cabo Notes: Conferences, seminars and closing night.