Nearly 90 buyers attended event

GUADALAJARA — Mexico’s top kudofest, the 18th Guadalajara Showcase of Mexican Film, wrapped March 27 with its most costly prize ceremony ever.

Mercedes Moncada’s “La Pasion de Maria Elena” (The Passion of Maria Elena), about corruption and identity, and Marcela Arteaga’s “Recuerdos” (Memories), the stormy tale of a Jewish emigre to Mexico during the last century, split the $10,000 award for Mexican feature, the first time cash has been offered for this gong.

Julian Hernandez picked up director kudos and $10,000 for “Mil nubes de paz cercan el cielo” (One Thousand Clouds Circle the Sky), a gay coming-of-age tale.

Meanwhile, Argentinean Pablo Trapero won $10,000 and Iberoamerican director honor for his original heist pic “El Bonaerense” (The Man From Buenos Aires).

Prizes of $5,000 were handed to Jorge Fons’ “La Cumbre” (The Summit) and Daniel Henriquez’s “Los Tripulantes” (The Crew) for Mexican and Iberoamerican short respectively.

It is the second year the Showcase, which bowed March 21, has offered money along with its principal awards.

Meanwhile, the fest’s big innovation, a film market, appeared to have gone down well with industryites. Nearly 90 buyers, mainly from TV stations and small distribs, attended from across Latin America, Europe and the U.S. to check out more than 100 Spanish and Portuguese-lingo films, mainly features.

Sales figures from the market are expected later in April but this year’s Showcase was noticeably more businesslike in its atmosphere compared to previous years, where there was no commercial momentum to accompany the cocktails.

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