CANADA SHOWCASE: HISTORIC CINEMA
Back to God’s Country
Teatro Juárez – 10:00 hrs
Face to face with the splendor of Canadian cinema
With its rustic Canadian landscapes and the dynamism of its main actress and screenwriter, Nell Shipman, Back to God’s Country became the most successful silent Canadian film. Adapted from the story of Wapi the Walrus by James Oliver Curwood, made in 1919, directed by David Hartford, a filmmaker known for The Deadline and Nomads of the North, and produced by Ernest Shipman, the most important Canadian film producer in the 1910s and 1920’s, Back to God’s Country is the best option with which to commemorate Canada’s 150 years as a Confederate State.
The film, which combines some of the most frequent features of silent melodrama with Shipman’s innovative approach, became a classic for showing the first nude scenes in Canadian cinema as well as magnificent shots of nature. Another reason not to miss this screening is that Dante Amadeo Ochoa will musicalize it live.
After her father is killed, Dolores, a young woman who lives in the wild, decides to run away, so she marries Peter, a government official. The newlyweds leave by sea to the Arctic, where the Captain of the ship causes an accident that kills Peter and leaves Dolores, who discovers that the killer is closer than was thought, alone and defenseless in the middle of the ocean.
MEXICANNES: PROGRAM 1
Out of My Hand / A short guide to re-entry
Cinemex – 18:00 hrs
Find your place in today’s world
As part of the MexiCannes Summer Residence program, an extension of the Cinéfondation Residence, the Cannes and Guanajuato festivals celebrate 10 years of collaborating with a dozen of the best young international filmmakers, offering them a platform to boost their careers, as well as Workshops and Master Classes with world-renowned figures in the film industry such as Spike Lee, Peter Greenaway, Park Chan-Wook, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Darren Aronofsky, Danny Boyle, and this year Fatih Akin, Brigitte Broch and Peter Weir.
Within the framework of this program, GIFF selects each year a sample of films from Cinéfondation scholarship holders promoting the work of emerging talent that work to reach the recognition of film lovers all over the world. This year’s show includes nine productions, two of which compete in international fiction selections, including Gabriel Herrera’s How to reach God through proper exercising, and the short documentary, The Rabbit Hunt by Patrick Bresnan; In addition to seven films divided into two programs.
Todays must see screening is a double feature comprised of Out of My Hand by Takeshi Fukunaga and A Short Guide to Re-entry by Anwar Boulifa. Fukunaga’s film, a New York-based Japanese filmmaker, a pupil of Berlinale Talents and the IFP First Feature Lab, premiered at the Berlinale and won awards at the Los Angeles and San Diego Asian Film Festivals. The film follows a rubber worker in Liberia who risks everything to start a life as a taxi driver in New York City. British filmmaker of Moroccan origin Anwar Boulifa, director of the short film In All the Bars, Majnun and Templates, awarded the Bill Douglas Prizes and the Audience Award at the Glasgow Short Film Festival, as well as selected for talent labs at The EIFF and TIFF festivals in 2016; he brings us a well-constructed, authentic and strong short film that focuses on Khalid, a young prisoner released from prison seeking a job and a place in society, but finding his way is more difficult than he initially imagine.
OFICIAL SELECTION DOCUMENTARY: PROGRAM 5
Boli Bana / The Rabbit Hunt / La vaca
Teatro Cervantes – 17:00 hrs
The Permanent Evolve of Documentary
The strength recently acquired by the documentary genre, something that I have reiterated throughout this section, has made them become increasingly attractive due to their challenging nature while tackling very different real problems in very different ways that are distant from the Traditional canon of a format that evolves similarly to literary essay. The previous reasons have multiplied the number of documentaries that are produced in the world, which leads me to affirm that an entire festival of these could well be carried out without missing the quality or the fun that fiction seeks to portray. This is also because artists have understood very well that the boundaries drawn between fiction and reality are not so easily set and that even in research, in recounting facts and memory, imagination plays a fundamental role. The scope of this type of cinema amazes me to such an extent that the documentary selection occupies a very important space in this section, in which today I recommend a program conformed by a feature film and two shorts in competition.
Boli Bana, which premiered at RIFF, is a film directed by Simon Gillard, director of the documentaries Anima and Yaar, which have travelled to more than 50 international festivals, winning prizes at Dei Popoli, FIFF and Marseille. It tells the story of Ama, a young man who travels with his companions and a huge herd through the mountain of Boli Bana, where a witch arrives to celebrate a ritual that marks the beginning of the adolescence of the young woman Assista, showing us a nomadic and mystic world through the eyes of the Fulani children in Burkina Faso. Patrick Bresnan, a filmmaker named one of the 25 new faces of independent cinema and director of The Send-Off, a documentary that premiered at Sundance and won at AFI and SXSW, brings us his most recent film The Rabbit Hunt, awarded at Florida, San Francisco and SXSW. This film transports us to Pahokee, a small town in Florida where, since the beginning of the 20th century, a rite of initiation has been practiced for children who reach adolescence, and that is to catch the rabbits who flee from the burned cane fields. La Vaca, from Colombian filmmaker Juan Jimenez, shows us, without decorations or background music to lighten the event, the birth of a cow. Using close-ups to let the audience participate in the first contact between the calf and the cow who teaches him about the world. It will not be long before the cow has to leave the calf to be taken to the slaughter, where we witness her sacrifice, in a cycle that, like samsara, seems infinite.
OFICIAL SELECTION MEXICO: PROGRAM 4
Teatro Cervantes – 15:00 hrs
Suffering the existence of an unjust world
Today the Guanajuato International Film Festival presents its last screening of the competition section, one of the most important film events in Mexico and Latin America that has always distinguished itself as a platform for new filmmakers seeking to advance in the increasingly competitive film industry. Always emphasizing the importance of national production, the Mexico section includes the highest number of works. Today’s recommended program includes four national short films that you shouldn’t miss under any circumstances, since it showcases the work of five promising young directors.
Ilana Coleman, graduated from CalArts and director of De Tierra, which received an honorable mention at the São Paulo Latin American Film Festival, Teoría del color, De agua and La mujer y el pescado, today brings us the devastating history of Verónica, a worried mother who travels to a village in the Mexican jungle to find her daughter, discovering in her path a world full of people without hope who are also looking for their relatives. The director of Güeros, Alonso Ruizpalacios, a film that gave him worldwide recognition by winning five Arieles, in addition to awards at the Berlinale, AFI and Tribeca, brings us his film Verde, screened at Clermont-Ferrand and TIFF, as well as a winner at the San Diego Latino Film Festival, which tells the story of Ariel, a security transfers guard who just discovered that he will be a father for the first time. As he decides what to do with his life, he discovers a miraculous failure in the system that gives him the chance to steal millions.
Porta Furba, by Diego Escobar and Marusia Estrada, is an interesting short film about the lives of marginal characters from the periphery of Rome who seek to make sense of their existence in a difficult reality. Finally we will have the screening of Yordi Capó’s most recent work. He won with the Best Short Mexico Award in GIFF 2010 with Firmes and GIFF’s National Screenwriting Competition with Head Trip Latte. He was also a finalist at California’s Cinequest. Nosotros y Ellos introduces us to the life of Garcia, a riot police officer who, like his companions, is tired, thirsty, wounded and hungry. A human being who makes a living by hitting and getting hit, living in a fierce world filled with injustice and suffering.