LOS ANGELES – The ninth edition of Guadalajara International Film Festival has opened in Los Angeles with the film “The Wall of Mexico,” directed by Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak as this year’s event focuses on the increasing presence of Mexico in Hollywood.
Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG) director Estrella Araiza told EFE that this year the festival aims to put the spotlight on and pay tribute to Mexican presence in the Mecca of cinema.
“(Mexico’s) contribution was very important in the Golden Age (of Hollywood). Even now, Mexico has a huge influence on Hollywood, both in terms of subject-matter and directors, actors and artists,” Araiza said.
The festival will screen Gregory Nava’s “The North” (1984) – a film about Hispanic immigration that is currently being shown – in a version restored by the Hollywood Academy – in 200 theaters across the country to mark the National Hispanic Heritage Month in the US.
Nava – a director born in San Diego, California, who received an Oscar nomination for the best original screenplay for the movie, is set to be honored during the festival along with actor Poncho Arriaga.
The festival will also posthumously honor actor Peter Fonda, who, in Araiza’s words “had a very close relationship with the Latino community.”
This year’s FICG also shines the spotlight on Paco Arango – a Mexican director based in Spain – who will present his film “Los Rodriguez y Mas Alla” (2019), which tells the story of a family whose lives change when they discover that their late grandfather was from another planet and left them a cosmic door for entering other worlds.
“This year, we have tried to show the versatility of directors and productions. People can find Mexico’s co-productions with Singapore, the US, Guatemala or Spain, which reflects a great cohesion,” Araiza said.
The festival that continues until Sept. 23 has a line-up of 15 feature-length films and a special section for short films to be screened in four Los Angeles theaters.
“The Wall of Mexico” tells the story of a youth who ends up getting involved in a lawsuit because the Mexican-American family he works for decides to build a wall to stop their white neighbors from stealing water flowing through the property.