Sunday, March 14, 2010

Guadalajara Film Festival (aka FICG) Celebrates 25 Years

This year's Guadalajara Film Festival (FICG - Festival International de Cine Guadalajara) has so many events, sections and sidebars that one barely knows where to begin. Established in 1986 it now has an attendence of about 66,000 with industry attendence at about 3,000 all of whom are interested in interacting with one another and with filmmakers in an extremely friendly upbeat environment.  Its festival has a competition for Mexican and Iberoamerican fiction, docs and shorts, French  features with a focus on Agnes Varda, animation, alternative, childrens, and of course gala sections.  It has a film market, numerous panels and has incorporated several key international initiatives.

About my ever active Women Directors' TallyOf 160 new features at the festival, 27 are by women, equalling 16%.   Those women are the ones who are currently playing the most important festivals: Paz Fabrega, Natalia Smirnoff, Florence Jaugey, Maria Novaro, Renate Costa, Urszula Antoniak, Elizabeth Chi Vasarhelyi, the ones not yet listed in IMDb: Luciana Burlamaqui nor is her film On the Edge of Light and Shadow a doc about two now ex con rappers over 7 years in Carandiru, the worst prison in Brazilnow closed down, Rosana Matecki and Story of a Day, Regina Alvarez, Ana Rosa, Ina Gomez Concheiro; new comersPettina Perut, Maya Da-Rin, Adriana Camacho Torres, Andrea Borbolla, Viviana Garcia Besne, Daniela Ludlow, Lilian Liberman, Julia Solomonoff, Elisabet Cabeza, Ana Perez y Marta ArribasDiana Fabianova, and veterans: Jessica Hausner, Claire Denis, Barbara Kopple, Isabel Coixet.
1. Guadalajara's 8th Film Market (with the requisite film library) hosts the European Film Promotion umbrella representing all participating European films as well as EFP's huge membership of 30 European institutions. A catalogue of recent European films screening in Guadalajara, is online on EFP's website. Representatives from each international sales company are all here personally.

One of the 11 films supported by EFP is Autlook's documentary EPISODE III - ENJOY POVERTY by director Renzo Martens from The Netherlands and Belgium, an investigation of the emotional and economic value of Africa's most lucrative export: filmed poverty. Deep in the interiors of the Congo, Dutch artist Renzo Martens single-handedly undertakes an epic journey and launches an emancipatory program that helps the poor become aware of what is their primary capital resource: Poverty.  Autlook deserves first place here for its slate of political documentaries, including Gonzalo Arijon's doc which so impressed me in its premier at Mar Del Plata, Eyes Wide Open, a view of Latin America's democracies today.  I invite the reader to my December blog on the subject of Latin America. 

Others include:
Charivari Films (France)
77 Doronship by Pablo Aguero, France, Argentina 2009

Coach14 (France)
Police, Adjective (Politist, Adjectiv) by Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania 2009

Films Boutique (Germany)
She, A Chinese by Xiaolu Guo, UK, China 2009

Jinga Pictures (UK)
Only When I Dance by Beadie Finzi, UK, France, The Netherlands

m-appeal (Germany)
Lost Times (Utolsó Idök) by Àron Mátyássy, Hungary 2009
New York Memories by Rosa von Praunheim, Germany 2010

Media Luna (Germany)
Dirty Mind by Pieter van Hees, Belgium 2009

Oberon Cinematografica (Spain)
Masks (Màscares) by Elisabeth Cabeza & Esteve Riambau, Spain 2009

UMedia (France)
Cuchillo de Palo (108) by Renate Costa, Spain 2010

Wide Management (France)
Two In The Wave (Les deux de la Vague) by Emmanuel Laurent , France 2010

3. Talent Campus from the Berlinale.  The second edition of the Talent Campus Guadalajara for up-and-coming filmmakers and professionals from Central America and the Caribbean is hotsting a brand new hands-on training programme for film critics, the Talent Press.  The Goethe Institut is also a backer.

4. Iberoamerican Co-Production Market.  In an effort to contribute to the development of the Mexican and Ibero-American film industry producers of 25 projects in development are set up in one-on-one meetings with potential co-producers, buyers and international sales agents and  international financing funds including the Fonds Sud, the French fund devoted to support the production of films from developing countries.,

5. Producers Network from Cannes.  For the fourth year, Cannes and Guadaljara have cooperated in creating thematic roundtables to discuss issues relevant to the seasoned producers invited to attend.

6. Iberoamercan Crossing Borders.  To encourage films to circulate beyond their own countries, producers pitch and show their films to the industry professionals who will either represent the films internationally, distribute them in their territories or plan for future projects from the producers, directors or other talents.

7. Honoring France and an homage to Agnes Varda

8. Honoring Mexican actress Maria Rojo and actor Joaquin Pardave

9. Honoring Matt Dillon who is giving a masters class

10. Latinofusión Distribution Award to the Best Iberoamerican Fiction Feature Film and the Best Mexican Fiction Feature Film grants US$20,000 each as an advance for the international representation rights to the films. This award is in addition to the Latinofusión Award granted to the producers of the winning film in Guadalajara Construye which add up to a total of US$60,000.

11. Cinema en Construya (works in progress) for films, which once filmed find difficulties during their post-production stage and later on—while trying to guarantee theatrical release— is made of a maximum of 6 productions from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean region (including Colombia).  Accredited professionals —producers, distributors, sales agents, service companies, funds and festivals— watch them with an eye toward supporting the completion of projects and their subsequent exhibition.  Documnentaries are included.

Where do we begin?

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