Fest Traveler: Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival 2013

Now in his third term at the helm of the Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival, Ivan Trujillo has placed his own stamp on the festival, first moving the main venue to the extra-large convention space Expo Guadalajara to give the market some growing room and then making some tweaks for its 28th edition, which runs March 1-9.

Trujillo says the move to the Expo has not been without its complications, but it has established a place specifically for the market to grow even more into the future.

The fest runner describes Guadalajara as “a gathering spot as much for Mexican film as for Ibero-American film. The festival has gotten stronger in the last few years in that we’ve given continuity to past efforts that worked very well and in that we have this new space here in the Expo Guadalajara.”

Noting the work of former director Jorge Sanchez, who helped the market gain hefty international stature, Trujillo says the market had arrived at a point where it had grown beyond cozy to cramped in its old digs in the Fiesta Americana hotel.

“It simply no longer fit,” he says.

Looking at the broader scope of the festival, Trujillo says Guadalajara, like a number of festivals in Latin America, has always focused itself as a promotor of Latin American or, more broadly, Ibero-American cinema.

“Unfortunately, we still fail to consume our own films,” he says. “There’s always a great film from Argentina or Bolivia or Colombia every year, and we present it in Guadalajara and then it might go to Cannes or it might have been in Berlin … these diamonds in the rough garner attention, and yet we continue to be in this crisis with (the lack of) filmgoers.”

He sees the challenge for the local industry as cultivating audiences after the festival is over through television, VOD and other digital distribution models.

This year, both the fiction and documentary sections will be screened in DCP at the Expo’s two 2k digital-projection screening halls

In addition, the festival has added another venue free for registered festivalgoers — the Sala Lola Alvarez Bravo — located a stone’s throw from longstanding venueCineforo, which will be largely if not totally free for attendees.

This year the festival has streamlined the competition, slimming down from last year’s 29 fiction and 28 docu features to 18 fiction and 18 docs. Mexican films will now compete against other Ibero-American offerings in either the fiction or non-fiction competition sections.

“We aren’t abandoning a competition of Mexican films, far from it,” says Trujillo, adding that this will make for a stronger field of competition and that the best Mexican film will still win special honors with the Mezcal Award.

Both the best Mexican and non-Mexican film will be forwarded — as in past years — for consideration to the Golden Globes.

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