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HFPA at The Guadalajara Film Festival

The 29th edition of the Guadalajara Film Festival concluded last week with Mexican director’s Nicolas Echeverria’s Echo of the Mountain and Argentine Matias Lucchesi’s Natural Sciences respectively winning the Mezcal Prize and best picture, screenplay and actress in the festival’s Latin-American Competition.

The Brazilian A Wolf at the Door, by Fernando Coimbra took best director, Marcelo Gomes and Cao Guimaraes’ Man of the Crowd won the special jury prize and cinematography (for Ivo Lopes Araujo), and Daniel Ribeiro’s The Way He Looks took the audience award. The festival held in Mexico’ second city the last week of March is one of the most prestigious showcases for Latin American cinema and in particular for the vibrant film of Mexico but also of the increasing crosscurrents that tie Latin movies to its Northern neighbor, as exemplified this year by the Best First Film prize won by American John Damian Harper’s Oaxaca-set emigration drama Los Angeles 80% spoken in the Zapotec language. Another festival highlight this year was tribute retrospective of Irish director Jim Sheridan’s films.
A delegation from the HFPA was there and Jorge Camara filed this report.

In a surprising and totally unexpected move, Irish director, Jim Sheridan, the international honored guest of the Guadalajara International Film Festival, made a point of praising the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for their support to the film industry, commenting that although unfairly criticized, he has found the group very helpful to filmmakers.

This happened at the 29th edition of the festival, during a question and answer session, covering Sheridan’s career that took place at the Auditorium of the University of Puerto Vallarta, as an extension of the festival in this resort city.

Sheridan has been nominated twice for a Golden Globe: in 1997 as Best Director for The Boxer, and in 2003 for Best Screenplay for In America. And of course he directed Daniel Day Lewis in My Left Foot, the performance that won him the first of his 3 Golden Globes for Best Actor in a Drama.

Maurice Roycroft, who conducted the interview with Sheridan in Puerto Vallarta, and who also presented in the festival nine award winning shorts from Ireland, has also been nominated twice for the Golden Globe, in the Best Song category: in 1994 for (You Made Me the) Thief of your Heart, (as Maurice Seezer) with Bono and Gavin Friday for the motion Picture In the Name of the Father, and in 1994 for Time Enough for Tears for In America.

Under the direction of Ivan Trujillo Bolio, and the sponsorship of the University of Guadalajara, the Guadalajara International Festival, the oldest and largest in Latin America that takes place in Mexico’s second biggest city, presented in several sections of the festival more than 200 screenings, galas, interviews, Q&As, and pertinent events. Every year two Mexican films are selected by the jury to represent Mexico at the Golden Globe Awards in the Foreign Film category.

The participation of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in the Guadalajara International Film Festival, started several years ago, when the festival decided to invite the current president of the HFPA as a member of their jury. Although this practice has been discontinued, many members have been attending as guests of the festival representing the international press, among them Rui Henriques Coimbra of Portugal, Patricia Danaher of Ireland, Erkki Kanto of Finland, Paz Mata of Spain, Juliette Michaud of France, Yoko Narita of Japan, Janet Nepales and Ruben Nepales of the Phillipines, Hans J. Spurkel of Germany, Kirpi Uimonen Ballesteros of Finland, Alessandra Venezia of Italy, and this year, Silvia Bizio of Italy and Andre Guimond of Canada.

Jorge Camara

2014 GUADALAJARA FESTIVAL AWARDS: Complete List

MEZCAL PRIZE, BEST MEXICAN PICTURE
Echo of the Mountain, (Nicolas Echeverria)

BEST IBERO-AMERICAN PICTURE
Natural Sciences, (Mattias Lucchesi, Argentina)

DIRECTOR
Fernando Coimbra, (A Wolf at the Door, Brazil)

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, IBERO-AMERICAN FICTION FEATURE
The Man of the Crowd, (Marcelo Gomes, Cao Guimaraes, Brazil)

AUDIENCE AWARD, BEST IBERO-AMERICAN FICTION FEATURE
The Way He Looks, (Daniel Ribeiro, Brazil)

BEST FIRST FILM
Los Angeles, (Damian John Harper, Mexico, Germany)

ACTOR
Gustavo Sanchez Parra, (La tirisia, Mexico)

ACTRESS
Paula Hertzog, Paola Barrientos (Natural Sciences, Argentina, France)

SCREENPLAY
Matias Lucchesi, Gonzalo Salaya (Natural Sciences)

BEST IBERO-AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY
La ultima estacion, (Catalina Vergara, Cristian Solo, Chile)

DOCUMENTARY JURY SPECIAL PRIZE
Echo of the Mountain

UNOFFICIAL AWARDS

COSTUMN DESIGN
Gabriela Fernandez (Cantinflas, Mexico)

WARRIOR PRIZE. DOCUMENTARY
Echo of the Mountain

PRESS WARRIOR PRIZE, FICTION FEATURE
Open Cage, (Maz Zunino, Mexico)

FEISAL PRIZE
Natural Sciences, Matias Lucchesi (Argentina, France)

FIPRESCI
The Hours With You, (Catalina Aguilar Mastretta, Mexico)

FUTURE AUDIENCES
Rodencia and the Princess, (David Bisbano Argentina, Peru)