Guanajuato International Film Festival 2012 (Guanajuato, Guanajuato) #MexMonday #WeVisitMexico
If you have ever read my scholarly blog, or this one in detail, you will know that I did my undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at the Universidad de Guanajuato, in the capital city of the central-Mexico state of Guanajuato, the namesake Guanajuato. My parents live near by, and we three (my parents and I) went to the same undergraduate university. Guanajuato is a very international and multicultural city, and because of its beauty, it tends to attract lots of foreign visitors, tourists and international students to study English, to check out the gorgeous architecture. Or to visit and take in some of the amazing cultural events that the city of Guanajuato has to offer, like the Guanajuato International Film Festival 2012 (Festival Internacional de Cine Guanajuato 2012)
Since 1998 the Guanajuato International Film Festival (GIFF) has been held during the final week of July in the cities of San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato Capital, Mexico. As a non-profit cultural event that does not charge admission to its viewing audience, GIFF is made possible each year through the generous participation of institutions and partners, who each lend their support to our festival; whose main objective is the strengthening of cinema through the mutual exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas.
We are a festival that prides itself in celebrating, supporting and awarding the next generation of filmmakers. Acting as a platform for launching new careers, GIFF’s national and international competition pits newcomers alongside the industry’s most seasoned veterans, in an atmosphere full of camaraderie and respect, where new and aspiring filmmakers mix with industry professionals in a very open, accessible and competitive environment.
During the past fifteen years GIFF has established itself as the most important platform for young filmmakers in Latin America, each year bringing upcoming talents together with world-renowned experts of the moving image. In 2011 GIFF received 2,738 films from 108 countries in competition, while hosting over 90,000 total audience members who over 10 days enjoyed more than 400 films from 9am until 4am in 20 venues; including such unusual spaces as the subterranean streets and tunnels beneath Guanajuato Capital city as well as in both cities’ graveyards.
GIFF, which is produced by the non-profit Expresión en Corto Foundation A.C., is made possible each year in large part thanks to: the State Government of Guanajuato, the Guanajuato State Secretary of Tourism, the National Council on Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA) the Mexican Institute of Cinematography (IMCINE), the cities of San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato Capital, sponsorship from the private sector, various tax-deductible donations from the public, many partnering institutions and hundreds of volunteers. This combined support allows GIFF to annually offer a variety of screenings, workshops, conferences, tributes and activities at no cost to the visiting public.
I really love the eclectic model that the GIFF follows for its screening.
Over the course of 10 days, more than 400 films are screened from 10am until 4am in 21 venues, which include such unusual locations as: the Jardín Principal (main square) of San Miguel de Allende; the classical open-air staircase of the University of Guanajuato; the subterranean streets and tunnels beneath Guanajuato Capital (where gay, lesbian, erotic and underground films are projected); as well as horror films that are screened in both municipal graveyards (panteónes). There are also screenings in more conventional spaces such as Cines Aldama (SMA), Teatro Angela Peralta (SMA), Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramirez – El Nigromante (SMA), the Teatro Santa Ana (SMA), Galería Kunsthaus Santa Fe (SMA), the Auditorio del Estado (GTO) and the Teatro Principal (GTO).
I also found out that during the 61st edition of the Cannes Film Festival (2008), GIFF announced a partnership with the Cinéfondation Résidence, created by the Cannes Film Festival, to launch a program called the MexiCannes Summer Residence Program.
Serving as an extension to the Cinéfondation Residence, which yearly selects a dozen of the very best young filmmakers in the world (in addition to 2 of the top Mexican filmmakers on special scholarship from GIFF) and offers them a platform designed to propel their careers. The program includes private master’s classes, workshops and meetings with producers, distributors and film financiers during the International Pitching Market, helping them secure financing for their film projects. Since the second session of the yearly Résidence runs until mid-July, just before GIFF begins, this is the first opportunity for many producers to learn about these projects and meet the filmmakers themselves.
If I were a young film-maker, I would totally apply for the MexiCannes Summer Residence Program. You can check the GIFF schedule here. Given the geographical proximity of Guanajuato to where my parents live and where I am staying right now, I might have to go up and check out some films for you, my dear readers.
- Festival Internacional Cervantino 2012 (Guanajuato, Guanajuato) #MexMonday
- El Santuario de Nuestro Señor de Villaseca (The Sanctuary of Our Lord of Villaseca) [Guanajuato, Guanajuato]
- DOXA Documentary Film Festival 2012 (May 4-13th)
- Salt Spring Island Film Festival 2012 (March 2-4th)
- Behind Your Eyes – Canada International Film Festival 2011 (Win tickets)