Around 100,000 visitors will descend upon Guadalajara like Viking hordes from March 1 to 9, eager to catch screenings of hundreds of movies, documentaries and short films at one of Latin America’s most important cinematic events, Guadalajara’s 28th International Film Festival (FICG28).
Adding some cool Scandinavian flavor to complement the Mexican heat will be this year’s special guests: the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
A showcase for Mexican and Ibero-American cinema, the FICG is organized by the University of Guadalajara (UdeG), the National Council for Culture and the Arts (Conaculta) and the Mexican Institute of Cinematography (Imcine). It serves as a venue for creative exchange between filmmakers, critics, academics and audiences, as well as a forum for industry insiders to negotiate distribution deals.
“The festival is not only an opportunity to enjoy the international film industry and host its best productions, all the people involved in it and the amazing event it is, but also an occasion to highlight the fact that in Guadalajara we have the ability to hold Ibero-America’s main cinematographic event,” said FICG President Raul Padilla Lopez at a press conference ahead of the event.
Aside from all the latest productions from Mexico and Latin American, plus some choice offerings from the United States, Canada and Spain, there will be screenings of 57 films from the invited Nordic countries, including 13 movies by acclaimed Swedish director Jan Troell.
Arguably the most notable of the Nordic movies on show is the Oscar-nominated “Kon-Tiki,” which will be screened at the opening ceremony on Friday, March 1. Named after the Inca sun god, “Kon-Tiki” tells the true story of Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl, who in 1947 built a balsa-wood raft and sailed for 101 days from Peru to Polynesia in a bid to prove that pre-Columbian civilizations from South America could have crossed the Pacific Ocean and settled in the Polynesian islands.
The festival will showcase both classic and contemporary Nordic cinema, with “Margaret Day,” a silent film made by Swedish director Victor Sjostrom in 1913, to be shown with a live score by Deborah Silberer, a German pianist based in Mexico City.
Concerts and Other Events
During the festival, 70 talented young script writers, actors, producers, editors, directors and cinematographers from Mexico, Central American and the Caribbean will take part in the Talent Campus Guadalajara, which runs from March 1 to 5. The participants will be invited to work on short and full-length film projects and attend debates and classes given by industry experts.
The fourth meeting of Documentary Filmmakers from Latin America and the Caribbean will also take place during the festival, with a series of lectures and roundtables planned.
To complement its cinematic offerings, the FICG28 has also lined up some live music, with a March 2 concert by Mexican pop-rock singer Carla Morrison at the Auditorio Telmex among the aural highlights.
The Miami Connection
First established in 1986 as a modest, university-backed showcase for Mexican cinema, the FICG has gradually morphed into one of the region’s top film industry events. Last year it announced a partnership with the Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) which will provide industry guests with access to movies and events in both locations.
The MIFF takes place at the same time as the FICG, from March 1 to 10, and the organizers of both events are facilitating travel between the two cities and granting access to special programs at each festival.
The partnership means industry buyers have access to the MIFF’s “Encuentros” program and the FICG’s “Construye” program, which promote Hispanic cinema and help connect distributors, financiers and sales agents with Hispanic filmmakers. The partnership should increase the number of buyers at each festival, boosting the participating directors’ exposure and chances of sealing a deal.
One movie that helped unite the two festivals last year was “Mariachi Gringo,” a joint production from studios in Guadalajara and New York. The film received its world premier at the opening of the MIFF and also won the FICG’s top prize for best Mexican feature.
The FICG28 takes place predominantly in the Expo Guadalajara convention center (Avenida Mariano Otero 1499), but there will also be screenings at the Cinepolis cinema in Guadalajara’s Centro Magno Mall (Avenida Vallarta 2425), the Cineforo (Avenida Juarez and Enrique Diaz de Leon), the Museo de Artes (Juarez 975), the Foro Larva (Ocampo 120), the Teatro Diana (16 de Septiembre 710), the Auditorio Telmex (Obreros de Cananea 747) and the new Jalisco State Public Library (Manuel Gomez Morin 1695).
For more information visit www.ficg.mx/28/index.php/en/
Duncan Tucker is a British journalist based in Guadalajara, Mexico. He covers a wide mix of news, politics, business, the war on drugs, culture and sport. Aside from Global Delivery Report, he writes regularly for the Guadalajara Reporter, the Huffington Post and Soccer365.com. Much of his work can be found on Mexico-themed blog “The Tequila Files.” Follow Duncan on Twitter @DuncanTucker.