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[eltdf_dropcaps type=”normal” color=”” background_color=””]T[/eltdf_dropcaps]he Guanajuato International Film Festival began its second stage successfully with the activities surrounding the 48-Hour Collegiate Rally, Identity and Belonging, Epicenter, the Official Selection and Conferences, to end the night in an inaugural gala which included many important faces of the seventh art, such as public officials and assistants to witness two emotional tributes and the world premiere of 7:19.
The transition from afternoon to night set the stage for personalities of the national and international cinematic industries to walk the Red Carpet. Among yelling, applause and photography flashes, as well as the City of Guanajuato, Historical and Cultural Heritage City as a background, the guests entered the Juparez Theater that dressed up in impressive gala. An integral space of expression and encounter, GIFF was more than anything a link between different countries, cultures and generations of filmmakers.
The inaugural ceremony was emceed by Sofía Alexander and Juan Pablo Campa, who offered the mic to all the people who were on stage to each say a few words. Edgar Castro Cerrillo, The Municipal President of Guanajuato, emphasized that its people is Guanajuato’s greatest heritagerecalcó; His Excellency Mr. Akira Yamada, Embassador of Japan in Mexico, directing some moving words in Spanish, closing his speech with José Alfredo Jiménez’s famous saying: here we bet our lives and respect what is earned; Francisco Olivera Rocha, Guanajuato’s Secretary of Tourism declared that, for him, Japan is not a guest, but at home; Finally Sarah Hoch, Executive Director of GIFF, thanked the Japanese Embassy for making the festival possible, adding that’s made possible by the people of Guanajuato.
Then came the night’s tributes. Amat Escalante, one of the most important contemporary directors in Mexico, was in charge of presenting Naomi Kawase’s profile video: a moving portrait with scenes from some of her most important films, which moved the audience with her poetic and contemplative style, which was followed by her receiving the Silver Cross, the highest honor bestowed by the Guanajuato International Film Festival. This was followed by one of the most eagerly awaited events of the night: the national tribute to Demián Bichir. Cecilia Suárez and José Ángel Bichir presented his profile video which summed up in 8 minutes, if that’s even possible, his laudable career as one of the most beloved actors in Mexico. Moved, Bichir, along with everyone else in the theater, took the stage to receive the Silver Cross, which he dedicated to the young people who want to make cinema, his family who has been his greatest support, and finally, all the victims of corruption and impunity, especially the parents of the 43 who are still fighting.
After the tributes that excited everyone present, director Jorge Michel Grau, producer Mayra Espinosa Castro and actors Héctor Bonilla and Demián Bichir took the stage to present the world premiere of 7: 19.