San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato City will have their streets flooded with art and creation when the Guanajuato International Film Festival opens on Friday, July 19. The opening ceremony will take place in the San Miguel’s Main Garden at 8:00 pm, with a parade, red carpet, and a tribute to renowned Mexican actor José Carlos Ruiz. He will receive the Filmoteca UNAM Medal. This award, made with celluloid silver, is given to film personalities contribute to enrich film with their careers and understanding of film. Subsequently, Jack Zagha’s Almacenados, for which Ruiz won his sixth Ariel, will screen as part of the actor’s tribute gala.
On an international level, GIFF will offer well-deserved tributes to some of the greats of film. In San Miguel de Allende prominent American filmmaker Gus Van Sant, who with films like Good Will Hunting, Milk and Don’t Worry, He Will not Get Far on Foot has proven to be one of the most unique voices of independent cinema in the United States, exploring the dark side of the American Dream through a unique lense, will receive the Silver Cross.
In addition, the great Nicolas Cage will receive a tribute in recognition of his career as one of the most outstanding and original actors of recent decades. Movies like Vampire’s Kiss, Leaving Las Vegas or his latest Mandy, show that as an actor, he is committed to expanding the boundaries of his craft.
This year’s Spotlight Country is the Philippines, a country with which Mexico shares ancestral links, both culturally and historically, and which celebrates 100 years of film. With this motif, GIFF offers a historical journey through Filipino cinema, screening more than 30 films presented by the National Commission for Culture and Arts of the Philippines, the Film Institute of the University of the Philippines, QCinema, NETPAC, ABS-CBN and Archipelagic Shorts. As part of the celebration, GIFF pays tribute to Kidlat Tahimik, one of the patriarchs of Filipino cinema, who with films like Turumba, Lakbayan and Why is Yellow the Middle of the Rainbow has contributed imaginative and combative work that seeks to resolve the most pressing dilemmas of Filipino society.
Committed to the integral development of our society, GIFF presents the Zero Violence Against Women campaign, in collaboration with the Secretary of Health of the State of Guanajuato. Yalitza Aparicio, Academy-Award nominated actress for her work in Alfonso Cuarón’s multi-awarded Roma, will serve as a spokesperson for this program that seeks to raise awareness among Guanajuato’s people about violence against women and how serious the problem is.
GIFF, through its Epicentro section, encourages innovation by exploring different technological formats and new forms of narrative that also allow filmmakers to explore current issues in new and creative ways, with special emphasis on eco-social impact. Epicentro is a platform for the promotion and dissemination of immersive narratives, as well as a space for fostering the industry that has been developed in recent years through incipient research in these new formats of assisted reality.
For the second year in a row, GIFF presents the Critics’ Room. With a series of conferences, workshops, screenings and discussion panels, GIFF intends to stimulate new professional critics and bring the consecrated critics of our country closer to current generations. Critics such as Luis Tovar, Silvestre López Portillo, Sonia Riquer, José Antonio Valdés, Adriana Fernández, Columba Vértiz, Arturo Aguilar, Sergio Huidobro, Marcela Vargas Reynoso, Anaid Ramírez and Julio Durán will be present.
Like every year, GIFF brings a selection of the best of international cinema, with 223 films screened and 120 in competition, from 47 countries, showcasing the pulse of world cinema and promoting dialogue between filmmakers and their audiences, as well as promoting strategic alliances that are crucial to the creativity that shapes the future of cinema.
On July 19-23, San Miguel de Allende will welcome filmgoers with screenings from 11:00 to 23:00 hours at the Ángela Peralta Theater, Bellas Artes, and Cinemex La Luciérnaga. On July 25-28, GIFF moves to Guanajuato City. All screenings are free and open to the general public. You can check the complete program at giff.mx