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The Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) has announced that Estrella Araiza, until now the festival’s head of industry and markets and director of the Guadalajara IntL. Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been promoted to the position of general director of the prominent Mexican festival.

She replaces Ivan Trujillo, appointed director of TV UNAM.

Araiza has long been a well-respected and liked figure in Mexican cinema, and has involved herself in various areas of the film business, focusing primarily on sales, acquisitions and distribution. In 2012, after a successful run as an acquisitions-sales executive at Guadalajara sales company Latinofusion, she and her partner Arturo Perez Navarro co-founded Vendo Cine, an international sales and distribution agency.

The promotion comes during a period of exciting growth – partly due to Araiza’s own efforts – evidenced by the addition of two new sections, a FICG TV Pitchbox organized by Filmarket Hub, and an animation competition intended to rival the best in Latin America.

“We are confident that with Estrella’s extensive experience and capabilities the FICG will continue with the mission of consolidating, supporting and empowering Mexican cinema at international levels,” an the Guadalajara Festival stated Saturday night.

Departing director Iván Trujillo Bolio has overseen the festival’s resilient stay near the top of the list of important and influential Latin American festivals and markets since assuming the role of general director in 2011.

In spite of the increased competition from festivals in Mexico launched last or this decade, FICG has maintained its prominence with support from the University of Guadalajara, the Mexican Film Institute (Imcine), the National Council for Culture and the Arts (Conaculta), the State Government of Jalisco, and the cities of Guadalajara and Zapopan.

Its mid-March date means it is also used by international sales agents to trawl recent production in the long run-up to the Cannes Festival.

“We extend our sincere congratulations to Iván Trujillo Bolio for his appointment as director of TV UNAM,” the statement added. “We wish him the best of luck and are convinced that he will do an excellent job.”

This year’s FICG will run from March 8-15.

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FICG