42 Mexican shorts, 17 Mexican docs in competition

Tommy Lee Jones will present his directorial debut “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” as the opener to the Morelia Intl. Film Fest on Saturday while helmer Renee Chabria’s “Sueno,” presented by pic’s star John Leguizamo, will close the event.

“Three Burials” won Jones the actor nod at Cannes as well as script honors for Mexican scribe Guillermo Arriaga. He will join Jones at the opening.

Morelia runs until Oct.16, with 42 Mexican shorts and 17 Mexican docs in competition. Fest, sponsored by nation’s largest exhib Cinepolis — based in Morelia — is in its third year and has quickly become one of the most important local fests behind Guadalajara.

Nine films will preem, including Rio Negro Prods.’ “Rosario tijeras,” which recently became one of the top grossers in Colombia, and hot young Mexican director Amat Escalante’s “Sangre,” which picked up the international critics prize at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard. More than 30 international pics, mostly from the Cannes selection, will make their Mexican preems at the fest.

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