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Guillermo del Toro Champions Guadalajara’s New Competitive Animation Section

The Guadalajara Int’l Film Festival (FICG), Mexico’s largest film festival, is further expanding its lineup with the addition of a new competitive animation section in its 34th edition, running March 8 -15. Oscar-winning Guadalajara native Guillermo del Toro has put his heft behind the new section and will also announce the first winner of his Del Toro-Jenkins film scholarship at the fest. FICG aptly opens Friday with an animated feature, Carlos Gutierrez’s “Day of the Dead” (“Día de Muertos”).

Actor Peter Fonda (“Easy Rider”) and British helmer Hugh Hudson (“Chariots of Fire”) are receiving Mayahuel International lifetime achievement awards at this edition. Festival will also screen “Easy Rider,” which Fonda co-wrote, co-produced and starred in, to mark its 50th year anniversary.

The festival kicks off with a new female general director at the helm, Estrella Araiza, who has been the festival’s head of industry & markets and has been instrumental in introducing another new feature to the fest, the FICG TV Pitchbox, organized by Filmarket Hub. The pitching event, focused on Latin American scripted series in development, takes place on March 13. Key regional – and increasingly global – players HBO Latin America, Fox, Fabula, Endemol Shine Boomdog, Dynamo, Telefonica Media and Turner are attending the pitching event where eight selected projects will also vie for $500,000 pesos ($24,000) worth of post-production services from facility Cinecolor. “Television is somewhat becoming a new kind of cinema,” said Araiza as she noted the growing production of high-end series worldwide, including Latin America.

FICG also showcases a slew of notable films from this edition’s country guest of honor, Chile. These are led by 2018 Foreign Oscar winner “A Fantastic Woman” by Sebastian Leilo and recent Berlinale Teddy Award winner “Lemebel” by Joanna Reposi Garibaldi.  Lelio’s “Gloria Bell,” his English-language version of his acclaimed drama, “Gloria,” will have a gala premiere at the fest. “

A Fantastic Woman” producer Juan de Dios Larrain of Fabula will also receive a lifetime achievement Mayahuel Ibero-American award during the fest along with Spanish producer Esther Garcia of Pedro and Agustin Almodovar’s shingle, El Deseo.

Sidebars include Culinary Cinema, now on its third official year, which will feature five food-themed docus, each of which will inspire a culinary event in a restaurant.

Plans are to make the Made in Jalisco sidebar, which showcases films and docus by Jalisco-based filmmakers or shot in Jalisco, more competitive by next year, said Araiza. This year’s lineup incudes Kenya Marquez’s “Asfixia,” Cesar Arechiga’s “45 Dias en Jarbar” and “Chivas: la pelicula” by Rubén R. Bañuelos and Iván López Barba.

Production designer Eugenio Caballero, the only Mexican of his craft who has won an Oscar (for “Pan’s Labyrinth”) and was again nominated for his meticulous work on Alfonso Cuaron’s Oscar-winning “Roma,” will be holding a much-anticipated master class at the fest on Saturday, March 9.

A good portion of this year’s 295-film lineup is taken up by its Ibero-American Competition section, led by such acclaimed films as Spain’s Goya-winning lesbian romantic drama “Carmen y Lola;” Gabriel Mascaro’s third feature “Divino Amor;” which debuted at Sundance and Berlin; Guatemalan Jayro Bustamante’s follow-up to his breakout film, “Ixacanul,” “Tremors,” another Berlin hit with reviewers, and Bolivian Gory Patiño’s “Muralla.”

Here are the Ibero-American films in competition:

IBERO-AMERICAN FICTION

“Carmen y Lola,” Arantxa Echevarría (Spain).

“Divino Amor,” Gabriel Mascaro (Brazil, Uruguay, Denmark, Norway, Chile).

“El Gran Circo Místico,” Carlos Diegues (Brazil, Portugal, France).

“Infección,” Flavio Pedota (Venezuela, México).

“La Mala Noche,” Gabriela Calvache (Ecuador, México).

“Miriam Miente,” Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada (Dominican Repuublic, Spain).

“Muralla,” Gory Patiño (Bolivia).

“Nido de Mantis,” Arturo Sotto (Cuba, México, Dominican Repuublic).

“Perro Bomba,” Juan Cáceres (Chile).

“Petra,” Jaime Rosales (Spain).

“Rojo,” by Benjamín Naishtat (Argentina).

“The Sharks,” Lucía Garibaldi (Uruguay, Argentina, Spain).

“Sueño Florianópolis,” de Ana Katz (Argentina, Brazil, France).

“Temblores,” Jayro Bustamante (Guatemala, France, Luxembourg).

“Tristeza e Alegria na Vida das Girafas,” Tiago Guedes (Portugal).

“L’uomo che comprò la luna,” Paolo Zucca (Argentina, Italy, Albania).

“ Yo Necesito Amor,” Pepe Valle (México).

IBERO-AMERICAN DOCUMENTARIES

“Apuntes Para Una Película de Atracos,” León Siminiani (Spain).

“La Asfixia,” Ana Bustamante (Guatemala).

“Caballerango,” Juan Pablo González (México).

“Cinema Morocco,” Ricardo Calil (Brazil).

Chèche Lavi,” Samuel Ellison (Mexico,U.S.).

“Contrapelota,” Diego Crespo (Argentina).

“Cuando Cierro Los Ojos,” Sergio Blanco and Michelle Ibaven (Mexico).

“El Cuarto Reino,” Alex Lora Cercos and Adán Aliaga (Spain).

“Disparos,” Elpida Nikou and Rodrigo Hernández Tejero (México).

“Familia de Medianoche,” Luke Lorentzen (México,U.S.).

“Flow,” Nicolás Molina (Chile).

“Havana, From On High,” Pedro Ruiz (Venezuela, Canada).

“Ni distintos, ni diferentes: Campeones,”  Álvaro Longoria (Spain).

“El Pueblo Soy Yo. Venezuela en Populismo,” Carlos Oteyza (Mexico).

“Primas,” Laura Bari (Argentina, Canada).

“Los Reyes,” Bettina Perut and Iván Osnovikoff (Chile, Germany).

“Vida a Bordo,” Emiliano Mazza De Luca (Uruguay).

“Zaniki,” Gabriel Velázquez (Spain).

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