MADRID – “Disrupted,” “7 Boxes” and “Sadourni’s Butterflies” will screen at the 3rd FICG in LA, an annual Los Angeles showcase of winners and standouts at Mexico’s Guadalajara Festival, plus a clutch of other fest highlights, that opens Nov. 1 with Francisco Franco’s “Last Call.”
Ambulante, the itinerant docu fest launched in 2005 by Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna and Pablo Cruz, will receive a prize at Friday week’s opening gala in recognition of its outstanding contribution to promoting documentaries.
All proceeds from FICG in LA ticket sales will be donated to benefit tropical flood victims in Mexico.
Directed and produced by Hebe Tabachnik, world cinema programmer at the Los Angeles and Palm Springs Festivals, FICG in LA unspools Nov. 1-3 at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theater.
The showcase also plays off strong links between L.A and Guadalajara, capital of the state of Jalisco. Of the nearly five million Mexicans and Mexican-Americans living in metropolitan Los Angeles and Long Beach, nearly half originate from Jalisco.
Producer Robert Fiesco’s directorial debut, and a portrait of actress Lilia Ortega and her son, Fernando Garcia, a ‘70s child actor and transvestite assuming his gender identity, “Disrupted” won Guadalajara’s press, special jury and Maguey LGBT awards, plus San Sebastian’s Sebastian Latino Prize. Fiesco produced Berlinale Teddy winner “Rabioso sol, rabioso cielo.” In a new FICG in LA-Ambulante link-up, Ambulante will present “Disrupted” at the event.
Sold by Shoreline Ent., picked up for the U.S. by Breaking Glass Pictures and helmed by Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schembori, “7 Boxes” played 75 festivals through early October. FICG in LA marks its L.A. premiere.
Another fest fave – it has screened at the Palm Springs, Miami, Seattle, Telluride and Chicago fests in the U.S. alone – Argentine Dario Nardi’s “Butterflies” is a neo-German expressionist, near dialogue-free homage to silent film, turning on a love-prone dwarf and produced by Donald K. Ranvaud (“Central Station,” “City of God”).
Chronicling a dysfunctional theater troupe’s staging of Albert Camus’ “Caligula,” their behavior discrediting the play’s central theme, “Last Call,” Franco’s follow-up to 2007’s “Burn the Bridges” won Guadalajara’s audience and actress award for its ensemble cast.
FICG in LA also features the West Coast premiere of “I’m Better Than You,” from Chile’s Che Sandoval, about a feckless husband’s epic bender through the Santiago night, plus the U.S. bows of Miguel Nunez’s black comedy “Sun Stroke,” “Port Father,” from Costa Rican scribe-helmer Gustavo Fallas, which won best first fiction feature last month at Montreal, and “El Santos vs. la Tetona Mendoza,” a raunchy comic-book-based zombie action-comedy from Mexico’s Anima label whose voice cast includes not only top Mexican thesps Daniel Gimenez Cacho and Damian Bichir but even Guillermo del Toro.
“Santos” is part of a considerable animation spread at FICG in LA, which also includes a presentation by Guadalajara Festival director Ivan Trujillo of seven Rigo Mora Award-winning toon shorts.
Also featuring Jose Luis Valle’s notable debut “Workers,” which won best Mexican film at Guadalajara, and Rodrigo Reyes’ U.S.-Mexico border docu, “Purgatory, a Journey Into the Heart of the Border,” FICG in LA closes with a gala screening of “Sugar Kisses,” a coming of age movie with a social underbelly from screenwriter (“Y tu mama tambien”) and director (“Rudi y Cursi”) Carlos Cuaron.
Actor Fernando Lujan (“Third Call,” “No One Writes to the Colonel”), CNN en Espanol anchor Juan Carlos Arciniegas, cinematographer Gabriel Beristain (“There Be Dragons”), and composer Emilio Kauderer (“The Secret in Their Eyes”) receive career achievement awards at FICG in LA’s opening gala.
“FICG in LA is a gateway to Latin American cinema in Hollywood and also for Latino filmmakers to forge a relationship with the Guadalajara International Film Festival and claim it as their home,” said Trujillo at the L.ASpresentation of the event..
“It is an honor and a great responsibility to direct FICG in LA and to join the mission of the Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG) – which is close to its 30th anniversary – whose main purpose is to promote Mexican and Latin American cinema, expand the audience for these films, contribute to the careers of new filmmakers, and to serve as liaison between Latin American cinema and the international film industry,” added Tabachnik, guest programmer since 2011 for FICG’s Maguey Award section, which focuses on films about sexual diversity.