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Guadalajara 2012

Violeta Parra
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"Violeta Parra" (Andrés Wood)

Its vocation was Hispanic American but its link is to the global world —  this is Guadalajara, a festival that has just brilliantly completed its first quarter century. This year's edition, its twenty-fifth anniversary, bears witness to the vibrancy of one of the leading events of Latin America. Last year's decision by new director Ivan Trujillo to move to the heart of the exhibition centre (Expo) seems to have paid off as witness the vitality of the Hispanic-American film market with the relative joint productions and workshops. The official sections (Mexican and Hispanic-American full-length and documentary films with the addition of  three short-length sections) featured the best of last year's production of these areas, confirming the festival as a leading showcase for a number of works destined to far-off markets. There is no doubt, however, that it is an authentic festival of Mexican cinema as attested by the high public attendance figures for the screening  of Mexican films, and this year all thirteen entries were by a new wave of young cineastes (the winner Mariachi Gringo by Tom Gustafson is an amazing film that will probably be seen in European theatres). In addition, there were a few surprises among the sixteen entries for Latin-American cinema; Violeta se fue a los cielos by Andrés Wood, Pescador by Sebastian Cordero, El páramo by Jaime Osorio Marquez and Transeunte  Eryk Rocha. In addition to all of this, the festival featured the "International Panorama" of independent cinema, intelligently based more on second lines rather than works of the renowned; a selection of gay and lesbian films (the Maguey Prize) and a review of the cinema of Ecuador. There was also a retrospective of the works of Mike Leigh (the core feature of the section dedicated to Great Britain, this year's guest country), and a retrospective of and tribute to Gabriel Retes and Andy Garcia. But beyond the Gala events and premiere previews (like The Iron Lady), the vitality of Guadalajara, lies in the study groups (on melodrama), the concerts (the one by Michael Nyman was spectacular) — the confirmation of a broad-based calling that blends show business with culture. (Andrea Martini)

Guadalajara (Mexico, Guadalajara International Film Festival, March 2-10, 2012). Prize: "Violeta Parra" (Violeta se fue a los cielos" by Andrés Wood (Chile 2011), "for skillfully reconstructing the events surrounding the famous Chilean singer without falling into the rhetoric of the traditional biopic but by charting a rigorous and unadorned human and artistic itinerary highlighting both the melodrama of a woman and the incarnation of the Andean culture". Jury: Andrea Martini, Italy ("Quotidiano Nazionale"), José Romero, Peru ("Revista de Cine Godard!"), Anne Wakefield Hoyt, Mexico (Grupo Radio Centro).
Festival: www.guadalajaracinemafest.com

Reports

The New Equator. Eight films, both fiction and documentary, were shown during the Guadalajara International Film Festival. José Romero Carrillo highlighted the most interesting ones. arrow.
Dirty Hearts or Mind Manipulation. A Japanese film in the heart of Brazil, or a Brazilian film featuring Japanese actors? Dirty Hearts (Corações suicos) is both one and the other but it is also an essay on intolerance, fundamentalism and the ensuing disdain for human values, and life itself. Andrea Martini's review. arrow.

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Guadalajara 2012

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