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Guadalajara’s lineup cuts back on locals

Only six local pics chosen out of 28 entries

MEXICO CITY — The Guadalajara Film Fest announced its lineup on Monday with a slate strong on Latin American film, but revealing lack of depth in Mexican production.

Only six Mexican pics were chosen out of 28 entries for feature competition, down from nine last year, even though Mexico shot 25% more films in 2004 than in 2003.

Competition at fest, which bows on March 11, includes 30 features in three categories, 13 documentaries and 53 shorts in two categories. More than 100 films will unspool outside the competition.

Nearly all the Mexican pics in competish are first works; the exception is “La ultima noche,” by Alejandro Gamboa, who made 2002’s “El tigre de Santa Julia” and helms “Las Juanas,” one of Mexico’s most popular telenovelas.

Guadalajara organizers declined to speculate on the dearth of Mexican film, saying only that the anonymous selection committee was “very demanding.”

But for cinephiles, fest’s real attraction is the Ibero-American competition, which carries a $50,000 prize and includes 17 films with a host of international prizes under their belts, headlined by “Los muertos,” by Lisandro Alonso, which won the Fipresci prize in Venice and is among eight Argentine films in competition.

Another entry is Uruguayan pic “Whisky,” by Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll, which has garnered laurels from juries at Cannes, Havana, Tokyo and the Goya awards.

Fest, in its 20th year, bows a documentary feature competish and has 13 entries in the category.

There will be retrospectives of helmers John Waters and Jorge Fons, as well as three films from the official selection at Sundance.

Also planned is the fest’s third annual Ibero-American marketplace, which includes a pitch market with 20 Latin American film projects up for grabs.

Fest will close on March 18 with “The Assassination of Richard Nixon,” produced by Guadalajara native and fest patron Jorge Vergara.

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