Foreign Film in LA: The Little Movies That Could

by HFPA May 12, 2014

Casese Quien Pueda star Martha Higareda and festival director Samuel Douek.

Gild Baum Lappe/HFPA

Films Festivals in Los Angeles happen all year round, no surprise perhaps in the city that invented the movie business. Although the global festival circuit is dominated by Cannes, Venice or Toronto, and while Sundance is still the preferred forum for “indies” – in any given week there are venues right here in Los Angeles that delight film lovers with screenings of films from around the globe.

It’s almost as if every country had to have a Hollywood embassy in the form of a festival that showcases its best productions, right here in the reigning capital of film. Most of the Festivals are maintained by donations and supported by voluntary contributions; some are sponsored by the film agencies of the sponsoring governments. All have one thing in common: they allow us to learn about other cultures, appreciate different points of view and discover the occasional gem. These films may sound different but they speak the universal language of film!

Last week the LA Jewish Film festival presented documentaries, nostalgic recollections of the Holocaust experience, memoirs of the “old country," homages to Jewish heroes and some low budget great comedies like Cupcakes. It had barely concluded before the start of the Hola Mexico Film Festival which marked its 6th edition celebrating the best of Mexico’s film. The week-long celebration includes Mexican music and typical regional cuisine. This is the brainchild of Samuel Douek, who has been able to open doors, convince sponsors, and bring celebrities to every presentation starting with the opening night screening and fiesta where new talent from Mexico mingled with an old hand like Mexican director Alfonso Cuáron who this year made his country proud with the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for his Gravity. The Festival opened with Casese quien Pueda (‘Get married If You Can”) directed by Marco Polo Constandise who introduced to the film with his actresses, Martha and Miriam Higareda, and is just the last showcase to confirm the vitality of today’s Mexican cinema.

Gilda Baum-Lappe

Tras recibir elogios y aplausos de una sala llena en su totalidad, Martha Higareda -escritora y actriz de Casese quien Pueda celebro la apertura del “Hola Mexico Film Festival” con el Director de este festival, Samuel Douek, quien continua elevando la calidad de este evento ya en su sexto an~o consecutivo. Douek ha logrado incrementar el interés del publico por ver cine y documentales mexicanos realizando una fuerte promoción a este acontecimiento al que invita a directores, actores, y otras personalidades de la industria del espectáculo.