by HFPA March 4, 2012

British filmmaker Mike Leigh explained his unique methods of making movies to an audience at the Guadalajara film festival, where he was being honored.

The iconoclastic writer-director, whose movies include High Hopes, Naked, Vera Drake, Life Is Sweet and Happy-Go-Lucky said he has managed to avoid what he calls "the long arm of Hollywood" although, he said: "The biggest battle is for independence."

He is never short of ideas for films. "To me life is an endless cornucopia of films," he said. "I make films about us and the way we live and the pain and the joys of life's journey."

But he added: "I am concerned with the predicament and the mission of independent filmmakers, which is as important an issue in Mexico as in Europe."

The festival, with a focus on Britain, screened a nine-picture Mike Leigh retrospective as part of a wide and varied program of films, exhibits and products from around the world.

The exhibition hall was a popular destination for visitors and between screenings the stalls and booths were thronged with festival-goers.