Have a Baja Moment! Attend the Baja International Film Festival in Los Cabos
Hard on the heels of the inaugural Cabo Comedy Fest, the Baja International Film Festival returns next week for the second consecutive year, bringing international filmmakers and a bit of red carpet glamor to Los Cabos from November 13-16. The second edition of Baja’s answer to Cannes and Sundance will feature four days of screenings, social and charity events, and a fresh line-up of short and full-length films culled from hundreds of worldwide entries.
During last year’s maiden voyage, most of the movies were shown at the Los Cabos Convention Center in San Jose del Cabo, which had recently been built for the G-20 summit of world leaders. This year, Cabo San Lucas takes center stage, hosting screenings and charity events at the Marina-based Pabellón Cultural de la República (also known as the Cultural Pavilion), with additional films shown at the Cinemex theater at Puerto Paraiso.
In addition to the glitz and glamor of last year’s original incarnation – which included celebrity appearances by Edward Norton, Diego Luna, Matt Dillon, Virginia Madsen, Gael García Bernal, and Melissa Leo, as well as large parties and events that ranged from an outdoor screening of the film Hecho en Mexico among thousands of succulents at the Wirikuta Cactus Garden to an outdoor concert featuring Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles at Puerto Los Cabos – the primary goal was to strengthen bonds between the U.S. and Mexican film industries.
This year, North American neighbor Canada has also been included in what is expected to be a more industry focused event. “Reaching out to Canada was natural,” said Alonso Aguilar-Castillo, the new Festival Director for BIFF’s sophomore effort. “The U.S. is key for the festival, but in many ways Mexico and Canada have more in common.”
Also on tap are several new programs designed to help promote Mexico’s domestic film industry, including the Gabriel Figueroa Film Fund (named for the legendary Mexican cinematographer, this program provides money to help support production and post-production of Mexican films), the Works in Progress Mexico initiative (which allows distribution agents early looks at Mexican films), as well as Sales and Distribution workshops.
The two most prestigious competitions this year are for the Los Cabos and Mexico First prizes, with eight films chosen to compete in each category. Los Cabos Competition category entrants include the Canadian films The Dirties by Matthew Johnson and Sarah Prefers to Run by Chloé Robichaud, as well as Who is Dayani Cristal?, a joint Mexico/U.K. production from director Marc Silver. The Mexico First category will showcase films such as Cumbres by director Gabriel Nuncio, Estrecho de Bering by Lourdes Grobet, and Luto by Katina Medina Mora, with the latter two making their world premiers at the Baja International Film Festival.
Special presentations are expected to include a screening of Machete Kills, attended by film and television star and Hotel El Ganzo habitué Charlie Sheen, as well as the international premier of hipster auteur Jim Jarmusch’s film Only Lovers Left Alive. Acclaimed director Peter Greenaway, best known for helming The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, will also be honored. The opening night film is Metegol (Foosball) by Argentinean filmmaker and Academy Award winner Juan José Campanella, who will be in attendance.
Planning to attend the 2nd Annual Baja International Film Festival? Talk to a travel agent at Baja.com.
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