MEXICO: GUEST COUNTRY
This is without a doubt one of the glorious times for Mexican cinema. Film production is at its highest since the years of what is known as the Golden Age of Mexican cinema (1936 – 1959) producing around 120 films per year in all different genres and gathering awards in the most prestigious film festivals around the world. Even though Mexican audiences have not yet fully embraced their cinema (the attendance for Mexican films is not even near that of Hollywood productions), there have been exceptions and some Mexican films have broken box office records.
The support from the Mexican government through Mexico’s Film Institute (IMCINE) to produce and promote films is outstanding in comparison to most film institutes in the region. Mexican cinema is largely produced with financial support from the State (around 80% of feature-length films have received some sort of support), so the responsibility of the State to promote the films they help to produce is important.
The selection of Mexican cinema at the festival this year is substantial and is representative of what Mexican cinema is today and what it has been in the last decades.
The highly acclaimed film Gueros (winning top prizes at the Berlin and San Sebastián film festivals, as well as the prize for Best Film at the Mexican Academy Awards) will be the Opening Film. The Mexico-Dominican Republic co-production, Sand Dollars, will be the Closing Film. There are five Mexican films in competition and six in the Panorama section. Monica del Carmen, the lead star of Leap Year (Año Bisiesto) will be in attendance to present a special screening of this film, for which she won the Mexican Academy Award for Best Actress in 2011. We are also presenting two films that two of the greatest film artists of the past century—Canadian-born cinematographer Alex Phillips and Spanish-born director Luis Buñuel—made together in Mexico.
As part of the Indigenous Film from BC & Beyond program, we will showcase short films from Indigenous filmmakers from Mexico alongside films from First Nations filmmakers from Canada.
To top off the Mexico Guest Country programming, we are happy to present a retrospective of three of the films of director Juan Antonio de la Riva, best known for films that represent the life and customs of the people living in the Sierra Mountains in the state of Durango in northern Mexico. In addition to an extensive film career as a director, Juan Antonio has also served as president of the Mexican Film Academy of Motion Pictures and is an expert in the history of Mexican cinema.
The Vancouver Latin American Film Festival is pleased to welcome Mexico as the Guest Country for 2015!
Opening Night Film
Güeros (Mexico) – dir. Alonso Ruizpalacios
Closing Night Film
Sand Dollars (Dólares de arena) (Dominican Republic-Mexico) – dir. Laura Amelia Guzmán & Israel Cárdenas
New Directors Competition
I Stay with You (Me quedo contigo) (Mexico) – dir. Artemio
Natural Philosophy of Love (Filosofía natural del amor) (Mexico) – dir. Sebastián Hiriart
Shorts in Competition
Ulterior – dir. Sabrina Muhate
Trembling (Trémulo) – dir. Roberto Fiesco
Take the gun and finish off (Tome la pistola y comience a despachar) – dir. Eduardo Sabugal
Panorama of Latin American Cinema
González: The False Prophet (González: Falsos profetas) (Mexico) – dir. Christian Díaz
The Hamsters (Los Hámsters) (Mexico) – dir. Gil González
Mexico Guest Country: Special Presentations
Retrospective: Juan Antonio de la Riva (Mexico)
Luis Buñuel and Alex Phillips in Mexico
Perfect Obedience (Obediencia perfecta) (Mexico) – dir. Luis Urquiza
Leap Year (Año bisiesto) (Mexico) – dir. Michael Rowe
Indigenous Film from Mexico
Ca Dxi rididi (Time Goes By)
The following five shorts were completed during the first, second and third editions of the Campamento Audiovisual Itinerante in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Greetings from a Magical Village
Tawä’äktäjk (For walking)