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San Miguel is Guanajuato’s largest movie theater

By Antonio De Jesús Aguado

One of the most important film festivals of Latin America will take place in San Miguel. Everybody is invited to the movies, where homage will be paid to Mexican actress and singer Angelica María, known as “The Sweetheart of Mexico,” as well as director Anton Ascorbic, along with premieres such as Eden, filmed in San Miguel by Elise Durant. Let´s go to the movies, let´s go ….

The GIFF Factory will be unique in the Americas

In 2013 during the 16th Guantanamo International Film Festival, the construction of the Fábrica GIFF (GIFF factory) was announced. It would be the most important producer of short and feature films in Mexico. This year, Sara Hoch, director of GIFF, told Atención that the executive project for the construction of this building is completed and has been handed over to Governor Miguel Marquez, who must now decide whether to start construction this year or in January of next year. “This space for development, filming and cinematographic activity will give the state and San Miguel de Allende an important position in the world because there is no other location like it in the Americas,” said Hoch. The construction of GIFF, including its equipment, will cost 230 million pesos.

The GIFF factory will be located on the road to Querétaro, at kilometer1. It will be constructed to allow  for a full year of film activities in the state, concluding in July and August with the festival. Currently, the GIFF is working with Torino Film Lab (the most important cinematographic company in the world). This company takes film projects from the idea to the screen.

Sara Hoch said that the Torino Film Lab launched a world-wide call for cinematographic projects, and 12 were selected. Two from Mexico were among them, and now those projects will be developed during the year in Guanajuato. “We have our eyes on those projects because we want to do the premieres of those movies. We are investing in movies that will be presented at our festival,” said Hoch.

San Miguel

The festival will be inaugurated in San Miguel on Friday, July 25, at 7pm at the former cinema Los Aldama, where there will be a red carpet reception paying homage to Angelica María, “La Novia de México.” This actress, born of a Mexican mother and an American father in New Orleans in 1944, played a boy in the movie Pecado (Sin) at the age of six. So far, she has participated in more than 60 movies and 30 soap operas, besides plays and TV shows. Some of her movies are La sombra de los hijos, La verdadera vocación de Magdalena, Cinco de chocolate y uno de fresa, Ya sé quién eres te he estado observando, Alguien nos quiere matar, Corazón salvaje, Matar a un extraño and, most recently, Luna Escondida, filmed in Guanajuato.

Before the opening at 6:45pm, Angélica María will move through the main streets of the city in a traditional cart pulled by gaily adorned horses. While the inaugural ceremony is being held at the cinema, the movie Five of Chocolate and One of Strawberry will be projected for the audience at 9pm in the Jardín. In that movie, Esperanza (Angélica María) is a young novice living in a convent full of old nuns. She is tranquil and reserved, but after eating some exotic mushrooms, innocent Esperanza becomes modern, psychedelic Brenda. Along with five young men, she attacks an ice cream parlor and kidnaps a banker. Now, she is wanted by the authorities. At the end of the movie, the actress will appear on the stage to greet the audience.

On the same day at 1pm at the Teatro Ángela Peralta, Angélica María will give a lecture.

On Saturday, July 26, at 5:30pm at the cinema Los Aldama, the second red carpet event will take place with the premiere of Eden, a movie filmed in San Miguel and directed by Elise Durant.

“Often times death, especially in dreams, represents new beginnings. Everything has to come to an end.” That is how the movie begins, narrating the story of a young woman who tries to unravel the puzzle of the past, spent with her open-minded father until society cruelly expelled them. She returns to the Mexican locations of her childhood observations and fears. Memories and identity slowly converge. This is a sensitive, personal drama. Twenty-five years later, Alma returns to the place in Mexico where she lived as a child with her father. In Alma’s eyes, this was an exceptional, magical time, which ended abruptly when she was forced to flee the country hurriedly. But why? That question will be answered as the drama unrolls in the film.

Mario Moreno was a Mexican comedic actor, popular for portraying the poor man Cantinflas. The actor lived in San Miguel and had some properties here. After the centennial of Cantinflas’s birthday, the GIFF will pay homage to the actor with a locos parade through the main streets of the city. It will start at 7:45pm and will end at 8pm outside the cinema Los Aldama, where the movie Around the World in Eighty Days will be shown. Entrance to this movie is by invitation only.

Poland is the special guest country, and according to the director of the festival, “It is a marvelous country with films of quality and much history.” The Polish movie Ida will be

shown in the cinema los Aldama on Sunday, July 27, at 8:30pm. This movie tells the story of a young woman who discovers that she is Jewish although she was baptized to protect her from the Holocaust. She travels to her home village with her only living relative, a communist aunt removed from power. Their journey is a search for identity, love and forgiveness.


On Thursday, July 31, the festival will open in Guanajuato with an international homage to Anton Corbijn at 8:30pm at the Juárez theater. There, the movie A Most Wanted Man will be presented. It is based on a novel of the same title and narrates the story of a half-Chechen, half-Russian man who is brutally tortured and turns up in Hamburg’s Islamic community to lay claim to his father´s ill-gotten fortune. It is a tale of intrigue, love, rivalry and politics in which tension is a constant from beginning to end.

On Friday, August 1, Anton Corbijn, the movie’s director, will give a lecture at the Auditorio del Estado. Corbijn is a Dutch photographer and director of movies such as Control (2007), The American (2010), A Most Wanted Man (2014) and the upcoming Life (2015), as well as countless music videos for artists such as Depeche Mode, U2, Metallica, Nirvana, Arcade Fire, Bryan Adams, Johnny Cash and Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others.

On Saturday, August 2, at 12pm in the Auditoro del Estado, legendary director and producer Roger Corman from the United States will offer a master class describing his career. Corman has produced more than 400 movies, among them The Intruder (1962), The Wild Angels (1966), The Trip (1967), A Bucket of Blood (1959), House of Usher (1960), Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957), The Masque of the Red Death (1964) and The Pit and the Pendulum (1961).


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