October 23, 2021


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Guadalajara Film Festival Award-winning title slate

6 min read

Personally the Guadalajara Film Festival (FICG), which takes its traditional theatrical spring dates to autumn, runs October 1-9 this year. After opening in Venice, it opens with Denis Villeneuve’s “Dun” and closes with the North American premiere of the first two episodes of Netflix’s animated series “Maya and the Three” from Jorge Guterres of Mexico (“The Book of Life”).

In light of the ongoing epidemic which is still hampering some travel, the festival expects fewer participants. Talking to Diversity In mid-September, the director of the festival, Estrella Araiza, said there were about 100 confirmed participants at the festival at the time when it was usually around 1,500.

In Mexico, most cinema halls are open at 100% capacity, but movies at festivals will be at 50% capacity. “We want to adhere to strict protocols to keep our guests safe,” Ariza noted.

Some activities, such as masterclasses, can be found online. A novelty this year is the live talk show “How Do She Sec?” Hosted by Mexican comedian Chumel Torres and Michelle Rodriguez. Chumel Endeml hosted a talk show on HBO called “Chumel Con Chumel Terrace” produced by Shine Bumdog. An actress and singer, Rodriguez has a development deal with Endemol Shine Bumdog, the Mexico City-based Endemal Shine North America division.

The festival plans to showcase some new TV series as part of its new episode Zero Sidebar, which features the development of the TV series.

The th edition of this year promises feature films, documentaries, animated features and shorts, especially in features that are almost equally divided between male and female filmmakers. “Our biggest challenge was rejecting some of the films,” said Araiza, who has seen many films on the festival circuit as many filmmakers wait for the peak of last year’s epidemic to release their films. Most of the Mexican films that fought for the premium Mezcal are having their world premieres.

As a treat, FICG’s culinary movie sidebar will feature “Rodrunner’s” acclaimed documentary about the late great chef Anthony Bordine of Morgan Neville.

The closer gender balance line-up has brought out more feminine perspectives. The competition features Violetta Salama, “Alegria” (Spain), A love story that takes us to see an exotic Jewish wedding in Melilla’s Spanish enclave, where a star actor led by Cecilia Suarez (“Full House”) and Leonardo Sarabaglia (“Pain and Glory”).

“Clara Sola” is the debut of Costa Rican Nathalie Alvarez Mason, starring dancer and newcomer Wendy Chinchilla Araya who played the title character Clara. It is a story of sexual awakening and mysticism located on the edge of an awakened Costa Rican forest.

“Medusa,” is a mash-up of the genre with the latest images, horror, musical and some comedy from Brazil’s Anita Rocha da Silveira, where the protagonist and his female team of friends wear masks when they embark on a roller coaster mission to the women they deem obscene. Punished.

Lazy loaded pictures

Courtesy best friend forever

Justin Lerner’s Guatemala-based female-led crime drama “Cadejo Blanco” is an example of notable images from this tiny Central American country, led by Joyro Bustamante’s “La Lorona”.

Other FICG standouts include Uruguayan helmer-writer Manolo Nito’s “The Employer and the Employee”, chosen by Latido Films ahead of the world premiere of its Cannes festival, which is a collection from the Toulouse Latin Film Festival, the Mar del Platas collection and Has done. WIP Latam.

The parallel life of a man living in a rural, socially thrilling life running a family farming business and employing his young man, despite the young man’s lack of license and inexperience, to run the farm’s largest combine harvester, a tragedy that is reflected in the film.

Evan Fund’s “Evening Stone,” an Eli Driver sales pickup, arrives at FICG after its world premiere in Venice, followed by screenings at Horizonots Latinos and Biarritz in San Sebastian. Located on a coast of Argentina, the film combines fantasy and reality as the grieving parents of a lost boy search for the answer to his missing.

Lazy loaded pictures

Evening stone
Credit: Evan Fund, Laura Mara Tablon, Rita Cine, Insomnia Films, Globo Rojo Films, Nephilim Productions

The first feature of Mexico’s Jose Pablo Escamilla is the boutique sales company’s pickup “Mostro” which sheds light on many unresolved cases of missing women in Mexico, as it brings together two teenage factory workers, Alexandra and Lucas, whose lives are ruined when Alexandra disappears one day.

The Ibro-American documentary for FICG’s top award includes the black and white feature debut “Dirty Feathers” by Mexican Carlos Alfonso, which first appeared in Berlin. The lives of some homeless people living in the border towns of El Paso and Juarez are described.

The “La Lelevada e la Trada” of Ophelia Medina travels six miles annually via Guadalajara in the Mexican state of Japan, where an estimated two million pilgrims join.

The Brazilian document includes Eric Rocher’s “Edna” and Karim Ainu’s “Mariner of the Mountains” which always deal with its effects on the past and present and the future. Luiz Bolganesi’s “The Last Forest” focuses on gold mining in the Amazon that has poisoned the waters and brought deadly diseases to indigenous communities, especially the Yanomami tribe.

Most of the animation features and shorts at FICG come from France’s premier animation festival, Annecy, led by Denis’ Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s “Pala” and Brazil’s “Bob Spit – We Don’t Like People” by Caesar Cabral.

Cristobal Leon of Chile and Joaquin Kosina’s top Venice-winning short “The Bonus” are among the 15 animation shorts eager for the award.

Primio Mejkal


“Comedian,” Rodrigo Guardiola, Gabriel Nuncio (Mexico)

“Domingo,” Raul Lopez Ichevaria (Mexico, France, Austria)

“The Gigantes,” Beatriz Sanchis (Mexico, USA)

“Mostro,” Jose Pablo Escamila (Mexico)

“Plaza Cathedral,” Abner Benaim (Panama, Mexico, Colombia)

“Strong Victoria,” Raul Raman (Mexico)


“Komala,” Gian Cassini (Mexico)

“Dirty Feathers,” Carlos Alfonso Coral (Mexico, USA)

“La Levada and La Trida,” Ophelia Medina (Mexico)

“They made our night,” Antonio Hernandez (Mexico)

“Patty’s Journey,” Santiago Pedroche (Mexico)

Features of Iberoamerican Fiction

“Alegria,” Violetta Salama (Spain)

“Cadejo Blanco,” Justin Lerner (Guatemala, USA, Mexico)

“Clara Sola,” Nathalie Alvarez Mason (Costa Rica, Belgium, Sweden, Germany)

“Las Consequences,” Claudia Pinto (Spain, Netherlands, Belgium)

“Blue Heart,” Miguel Coella (Cuba)

“Employers and employees,” Manolo Nito (Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, France)

“Immersion,” Nicholas Postiglion (Chile, Mexico)

“To kill an animal,” Augustina San Martin (Argentina, Brazil, Chile)

“Medusa,” by Anita Rocha da Silvera (Brazil)

“My brothers dream of waking up,” Claudia Huiakimila (Chile)

“Evening Stone,” Evan Fund (Argentina, Chile, Spain)

Iberoamerican Documentary Features

“The Last Forest,” Luiz Bolgnesi (Brazil)

“Bosco,” Alicia Cano Menoni (Uruguay, Italy)

“Songs that flood the river,” German Arango Randon (Colombia)

“The sky is red,” Francina Carbonell (Chile)

“Edna,” Eric Rocha (Brazil)

“Mountain Mariners,” Karim Anuj (Brazil, France, Germany, Algeria)

“Where’s Mickel?” Amaya Marino, Miguel Angel Lamas (Basque Country, Spain)

“Fly so far,” Selina Escher (El Salvador, Sweden)

“Rancho,” Pedro Esperoni (Argentina)

“The Silence of the Mole,” Anas Tarasena (Guatemala)

“Santo Domingo Waltz,” Tatiana Fernandez (Dominican Republic)

Primio Maggie

“Attachment Diary” (“El Apego”), Valentine Javier Dement (Argentina)

“Blood Red Oaks,” Rodrigo Belt (US, Bolivia)

“Ephemera,” Luis Mariano Garcia (Mexico)

“Finland,” Horacio Alcalo (Spain, Mexico)

“The Gigantes,” Beatriz Sanchez (Mexico, USA)

“LA Quinciera,” Pedro Peira (Spain)

“To kill an animal,” Augustina San Martin (Argentina, Brazil, Chile)

“Medusa,” by Anita Rocha da Silvera (Brazil)

“My Novia es la Revolución,” Marcelino Islas Hernández (Mexico)

“O Anthropos me Tis Appantisis,” Stelios Commitsis (Cyprus, Greece, Italy)

“Our body is your battlefield,” Isabel Solas (France)

“Swimmer,” Adam Caldaron (Israel)

“Toby Sonny,” Alexa Bakoni (Hungary)

Animation features

“Bob Spit – We don’t like people,” Cesar Cabral (Brazil)

“Disaster – Martha Jane Canary’s Childhood,” Rami Shadow (France, Denmark)

“Charlotte,” Eric Warin, Tahir Rana (France, Canada, Belgium)

“Escape,” Jonas Poher Rasmussen (Denmark, France, Sweden, Norway)

“My Sunny Mad,” Michael Pavaltova (Czech Republic, France, Slovakia)

“Crossing,” Florence Mayilehe (France, Czech Republic, Germany)

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