The Baja International Film Festival Announces Board/Awards Categories: Actor Edward Norton Joins the Board
The first annual Baja International Film Festival will be held in Los Cabos, and the festival’s organizers made news earlier this week when they announced the membership list for their advisory board, as well as the categories for this year’s awards and prizes. The inaugural event will be held November 14-17, with screenings at the new convention center and other select area locations.
An influential name on the advisory board is noted actor Edward Norton. The star of Fight Club and American History X has agreed to act as a special advisor for the film festival, joining an esteemed group of movie industry insiders, as well as business figures in Los Cabos and representatives from Mexico’s culture and tourism sectors.
Baja’s inaugural film festival has many prominent backers, including Academy Award nominated actor Edward Norton.
Norton rose to prominence with a star making turn the 1996 thriller Primal Fear, for which he won a Golden Globe and received the first of his two Academy Award nominations. Norton is considered one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, with credits that include Fight Club, Frida, Red Dragon, Rounders, 25th Hour, The Illusionist, The Incredible Hulk, and, most recently, The Bourne Legacy. He was also an uncredited writer on Frida, a biopic of Mexican artist and icon Frida Kahlo, and made his directorial debut in 2000 with Keeping the Faith, a romantic comedy co-starring Ben Stiller and Jenna Elfman.
Other actors and filmmakers on the advisory board include Carlos Reygadas, Kuno Becker, and brothers Mark and Adam Kassen. Reygadas originally hails from Mexico City, and has forged a reputation as one of modern cinema’s most talented writer-directors, most notably for his film Silent Light, which competed for the coveted Palme d’Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. Actor Kuno Becker has worked in both Mexican and U.S. movies, and is most recognizable for his work in telenovelas and the football movie Goal! Filmmakers Mark and Adam Kassen premiered their latest film, Puncture, at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
Speaking of brothers and film festivals, Baja’s version is helmed by artistic directors and co-founders Scott and Sean Cross, who also founded the Vail Film Festival and the Colorado Film Institute. The third artistic director will be Jorge Sanchez Sosa, director of the Guadalajara Film Festival from 2006 to 2010. Apart from Reygadas, Becker, and Sanchez Sosa, Mexican advisory board members will include Rodolfo Lopez Negrete, Director General of the Mexico Tourism Board; Isaac Masri, promoter of the arts; Alfonso de Maria y Campos Castello, Director General of the National Institute of History and Anthropology; Ruben Reachi, Secretary of Tourism for Baja California Sur; and Jacobo Turquie, Municipal Secretary of Los Cabos Tourism.
In addition to the announcement of the advisory board, festival organizers also released the award categories earlier this week, as well as the cash prizes for winners:
Best International Feature, $10,000
Best Mexican Feature, $10,000
Best International Documentary, $5,000
Best Mexican Documentary, $5,000
Best International Short Film , $2,500
Best Mexican Short Film, $2,500
The slate of films is still being determined, but it is expected that the festival will screen in the neighborhood of 70 movies, 30 of which will be features. For more information on scheduling and special events, visit www.bajainternationalfilmfestival.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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All photos courtesy of Baja International Film Festival.
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