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Mexico is on the Move!

Guadalajara Wraps and a New Fest Begins

Ficg (pronounced FeeSeeg and standing for the Festival International de Cine in Guadalajara), displayed a new vibrancy. Besides some great films, great attendance and great organization, several Latin American countries are entering the international film business for the first time (Peru and Ecuador) with subsidies from their government pointing to an optimism for film production as an economic factor in their country's growth. I blogged about the Dominican Republic but not about the new Law 226 in Mexico which encourages businesses to invest up to 20 million pesos (U.S.$2 million) or 10% of the taxes they owed the previous year (whichever is higher) into Mexican film production, or Brazilian access to subsidies.

In addition, Guadalajara is becoming known as the Silicon Valley of Mexico as its economy is based especially on information technology with a large number of international firms having facilities there. It is also considered to be the home of Mariachi music. The city is named after the Spanish city of Guadalajara with the name originating from the Arabic word meaning "Valley of Stones". It is the highest ranking major Mexican city and has the second strongest economic potential of any major North American city. Only Chicago scores more highly for sheer economic potential (Per a 2007 report in fDi magazine, an English-language news and foreign direct investment publication owned by The Financial Times Ltd and edited in London). The same research calls Guadalajara the "city of the future" due to its youthful population, low unemployment and large number of recent foreign investment deals. It was also ranked the third most business friendly city in North America.

A new digital film studio is going up. The University is an important center of culture and learning.

And sadly, violence over drugs is not far away. This past Friday, Narco gangs appropriated 25 vehicles in 16 separate incidents – 11 of them in the Guadalajara metropolitan zone where they set fire to them in retaliation for action taken against them in a military action to capture two Mexican drug cartel members. At the Centro Magno festival venue, festival transport staff stopped filmgoers leaving a screening of Andres Wood's Violeta Went to Heaven as they sought to return to the festival's central Expo Center venue, acknowledging concerns for safety. A truck was set on fire not far (but not too close either: at Calzada Lázaro Cárdenas and Mezquite, at la Colonia de El Fresno) from the Expo where the festival was still being held, but there was no disruption of the festival.

Our friend, Hebe Tabachnik, Iberoamerican programmer for the Palm Springs Film Festival is on the jury and writes from there:

Dear friends, in spite of the disruptive and unfortunately deadly incidents in Guadalajara today, all the attendees to the Ficg Guadalajara are Ok. We are sorry this beautiful city and specially its amazing people have to experience this kind of criminal acts. The festival is going ahead with its schedule events, as it should be. Celebrating the arts and show no fear is the best way to manifest against the non sense violence. Viva Guadalajara. Viva Mexico!!!!

The activities of the industry, with meetings about Iberoamerican coproductions with its well presented professional projects, the film market itself with films available to watch up to 2 weeks after the closing, the Cannes Marche Producers Network, Works in Progress, Berlinale's Talent Campus and Doculab, and of course, the festival itself with galas every night, a Focus on U.K. and Mike Leigh, Homages, Mexican and Iberoamerican Competition, Sounds of Cinema, Children's Cinema, Lgbt prizes, Open Air Screenings - all defy easy decision making on how best to spend one's time there.

The prize winners:

PalmarÉS FICG27

Premio Maguey

Mención Especial

“Todo el mundo tiene alguien menos yo” (México) Dir. Raúl Fuentes

Premio Maguey

Mía“ (Argentina) Dir. Javier van de Couter

Premio del Público Milenio

Espacio Interior“ (México) Dir. Kai Parlange

Premio Mezcal

“Un mundo secreto“ (México) Dir. Gabriel Mariño

Premio Cinecolor

“Un mundo secreto“ (México) Dir. Gabriel Mariño

Mejor Cortometraje de Animación - Premio Rigo Mora

“Un ojo” (México) Dir. Lorenza Manrique

Mejor Cortometraje Iberoamericano

“Minuto 200” (Colombia) Dir. Frank Benítez

Mejor Cortometraje Mexicano

“Lucy vs. los límites de la voz” (México) Dir. Mónica Herrera

Largometraje Iberoamericano Documental

Mención Especial

“El salvavidas“ (Chile) Dir. Maite Alberdi

Mejor Documental Iberoamericano

“ ¡Vivan las antípodas! “(Argentina - Chile - Alemania - Holanda) Dir. Víctor Kossakovsky

Largometraje Mexicano Documental

Mención Especial

“Carrière, 250 metros” Dir. Juan Carlos Rulfo y Natalia Gil

Mención Especial

“El paciente interno” Dir. Alejandro Solar

Mejor Documental Mexicano

Cuates de AustraliaEverardo González

Largometraje de Ficción Iberoamericana

Mejor Guion

Jaime Osorio por “El páramo” (Colombia)

Mejor Fotografía

Mauro Pinheiro Jr. por “Sudoeste” (Brasil)

Mejor Actriz

Francisca Gavilán por “Violeta se fue a los cielos” (Chile)

Mejor Actor

Andrés Crespo por “Pescador” (Ecuador)

Premio Especial del Jurado

Los pasos dobles” (España - Suiza) Dir. Isaki Lacuesta

Mejor Opera Prima

Transeunte” (Brasil) Dir. Eryk Rocha

Mejor Director

Sebastián Cordero por “Pescador” (Ecuador)

Mejor Película Iberoamericana

"Abrir puertas y ventanas" (Argentina) "Dir. Milagros Mumenthaler

Largometraje de Ficción Mexicana

Mención Especial

Música Original de "Días de gracia"

Mejor Guion

Miguel Bonilla por “Diente por diente”

Mejor Fotografía

Jerónimo Rodríguez por “Todo el mundo tiene a alguien menos yo”

Mejor Actriz

Martha Higareda por “Mariachi Gringo

Mejor Actor

Kuno Becker por “Espacio Interior

Mejor Opera Prima

"El fantástico mundo de Juan Orol" Dir. Sebastián del Amo

Mejor Director

Everardo Gout por “Días de gracia”.

Mejor Película

Mariachi Gringo” Dir. Tom Gustafson

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Premio de los Niños

“El secreto del medallón de jade” (México) Dir. Rodolfo Guzmán y Leopoldo Aguilar

Premio Feisal

Mención Especial

“No hay lugar lejano” (México) Dir. Michelle Ibaven

Mención Especial

“Oro Colombiano: 400 años de música del alma” (Colombia) Dir. Sanjay Agarwal e Iván Higa

Premio Feisal

“75 habitantes, 20 casas, 300 vacas” (Argentina) Dir. Fernando Domínguez

Premio Fipresci

Violeta se fue a los cielos” (Chile) Dir. Andrés Wood

Guerrero de la Prensa

Mejor largometraje de ficción “Días de gracia” (México) Dir. Everardo Gout Mejor largometraje documental “El paciente interno” (México) Dir. Alejandro Solar

Academia Jalisciense de Cinematografía

Mejor cortometraje jalisciense “La noria” Dir. Karla Castañeda Mejor largometraje jalisciense “Fecha de caducidad” Dir. Kenya Márquez

No sooner does this festival and market wrap when a new Mexican festival, the Riviera Maya Film Festival, begins March 20 - 25 which will play in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Cozumel and Holbox. The industry component Rivieralab, a coproduction event will take place in Quintana Roo March 22-25 and will host 158 projects from Latin America and Europe. 10 projects will be showcased to financiers, fund representatives, producers and sales agents, 3 will receive 200,000 pesos or approximately Us$15,500. 8 international works in progress at post-production stage from a pool of 40 will be selected to receive support.

See full article on SydneysBuzz