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Let’s Go to The Movies Together

By Jesús Aguado

The Guanajuato International Film Festival is free, and it is for everyone. It takes place in public spaces where locals and visitors of all ages and social strata gather with a common purpose: to enjoy films and concerts and lectures. We invite you to enjoy, laugh, and experience a catharsis. It is free.

This year the image of the festival, portraying a woman wearing a swimsuit, is from the movie A Summer with Monika from Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. This is the festival’s homage to the director, and he will receive further tribute through a lecture on his life on Friday, July 20, at Bellas Artes at 5pm. The same day at 8pm, the short film Mamacita will be premiered at the Jardín Principal.

This year, GIFF will also present Virtual Reality, a space where those who attend will be able to get into a sphere that will take them on a three-minute journey and let them be the actors in the movie. This structure will be situated at Bellas Artes and will be open from 10am–6pm.

In its 21st anniversary, on Saturday, July 21, at 8:45pm, the Festival will pay tribute to Lebanese director, screenwriter, and producer Ghassan Salhab, popular for films like La clef, Après la mort, and Beyrouth Fantome. Contrary to previous homages, this will not feature popular Mexican music but Arab rhythms and even dancers. Mojigangas will be there as well as the giant stars from the Alborada. The parade will end at the Jardín, and after Salhab receives recognition, one of his movies will be projected.

The same day at 11:30am, the Red Carpet for children will take place at the Ángela Peralta Theater. At noon, the movie Luis and the Aliens will be screened. According to the synopsis, Luis lives in an orphanage and always has been trying to prove that there is life in other planets. One day, a UFO crashes on earth, carrying three passengers that will become friends with Luis, and together they will have amazing adventures.

Check the program in our Qué Pasa supplement.

In an interview with Atención, Sara Hoch, director of the Festival, mentioned that GIFF has worldwide prestige, and every year it arrives renewed with different ideas and technologies. “We are not quiet; we always surprise our audiences. We take the risk and get to the edge. We always put in doubt whatever we know about films and give ourselves the opportunity to grow more.”

Although after 21 years the Festival gets financial resources from the state, local, and federal government, Hoch voiced that she is proud of what the festival has achieved after all this time because when they began there were close to 130 festivals in the country; now there are just 70, and just three of them are international (Guadalajara, Morelia, and Guanajuato). She also mentioned that most of the resource material comes from the IP, and that is why the Festival is able to offer all the events free. “We do not charge. We are an inclusive festival, for everyone.”

Last year, people from the Festival, as well as Sarah Hoch, were pointed out as preeminent, not just by the local and state press, but also by the national media. Related to that, Hoch mentioned that some journalists attacked her because they were not invited to certain events “but they were not invited because they they wanted food and lodging. We invite diversified and specialized press in tourism, gastronomy, and film among many others. There is a balance that fulfills the expectations of the state, sponsors, and our festival.” She finally invited everybody to enjoy the event.


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