GIFF returns to San Miguel!
By Daniel Kandell
This July 19 to 23 the Guanajuato International Film Festival returns to the city where it was born, San Miguel de Allende! The film festival, now in its 16th year, is actually Mexico’s largest and has consolidated itself as the most important platform for young filmmakers in Latin America.
For those new to San Miguel, GIFF is a non-profit event that does not charge admission to the audience. That means that all of the screenings, conferences and tributes are absolutely free, which is very rare! GIFF screens films daily in the Teatro Angela Peralta, Teatro Santa Ana and will once again host red carpet galas in Cines Los Aldama. GIFF also features open-air screenings in the Jardin, as well as midnight horror screenings (aka “Movies with Mummy”) in the Panteón (graveyard) of Salida Celaya, as well as sexual diversity screenings (aka “Midnight Madness”) in the contemporary art space Kunsthaus Santa Fe.
This year GIFF received 3,307 films in competition from 111 countries, and it will host more than 90,000 total audience members who during 10 days will enjoy nearly 400 films from 10am until 4am in 21 venues, in both San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato Capital, where, in another rarity, the festival moves on to its second city from July 24 to 28.
In addition to being Mexico’s largest film festival, in terms of films and audiences received and number of venues, GIFF also hosts Mexico’s largest international competition as well as an abundance of workshops, conferences and tributes to both national and international filmmakers and artists.
GIFF has distinguished itself for bringing emerging talents together with world-renowned experts of the moving image, who in the past have included Tim Burton, Oliver Stone, Spike Lee, Peter Greenaway, Deepa Mehta, Kenneth Anger, Shyam Benegal, Gaspar Noé, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Spike Jonze, Lucrecia Martel, Eliseo Subiela, Bong Joon-ho, Larry Clark, Paul Schrader, Julie Taymor and Park Chan-wook, among others.
“Women In Film and Television of Mexico” was born in GIFF and each year they jointly celebrate cinema’s most accomplished women who have invigorated life into the medium and have exported the Mexican feminine image beyond our borders. This year WIF and GIFF will pay tribute in San Miguel to Mexican directors Mafer Suárez and María Novaro.
María Novaro became internationally known with her second feature, Danzón, which premiered with great success at the Cannes Film Festival in 1991. She is screenwriter and director of all her films, from her debut feature Lola, the highly acclaimed Danzon, The Garden of Eden, and Leave No Trace to her latest film The Good Herbs.
Mexican director Mafer Suárez made her theatrical directorial debut with the play Santos & Santos, by Chicano playwright Octavio Solis. From 2008 to 2010, she directed three seasons of the hit television series Mujeres Asesinas. In 2009 she directed the historical series Gritos de Muerte y Libertad. In 2010 she directed another series, the historical El Encanto del Águila.
Each year GIFF pays homage to the men and women who have given their lives to film, a tribute which demonstrates our immense respect, admiration and gratitude for their work. After a long career that includes more than 65 films, which include, En el país de no pasa nada, 5 días sin Nora and El Coronel no tiene quien le escriba the actor Fernando Luján will receive a national tribute in the city of San Miguel de Allende.
The Guanajuato International Film Festival runs from July 19 to 23 in San Miguel de Allende and July 24 to 28 in Guanajuato capital. A complete schedule can be found in upcoming issues of Atención as well as on the festival’s website after July 8: www.giff.mx