Mexican Cinema Expands in LA



With this week's announcement of the expansion of the Ambulante Film Festival in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, there are now three annual film series focused on Mexican cinema in Los Angeles, which boasts the largest Mexican population in the country.

The first Mexican film festival to set foot to the region in 2009 was the Hola Mexico Film Festival spearheaded by Samuel Douek. The festival originally started in Australia and expanded to the U.S. few years later. It has become a local favorite showing a combination of arthouse fare and some the most popular films at the Mexican box office, as well as attracting some celebrities.

Celebrating its third edition at the Egyptian Theater November 1-3, FICG in LA, is the Guadalajara International Film Festival in Los Angeles. The festival, directed and produced by programmer Hebe Tabachnik, will feature eleven Mexican and Latin American feature films as well as short films, all selections from the past edition of the Guadalajara Film Festival. For this edition, the series will open with the U.S. premiere of Tercera llamada / Last Call by Francisco Franco, and it will close with Carlos Cuarón Besos de azúcar / Sugar Kisses. Other highlights include Paraguayan film 7 cajas / 7 Boxes by Juan Carlos Maneglia & Tana Schémbori, the Mexican documentary Purgatorio by Rodrigo Reyes, and the Mexican animated film El Santos vs La Tetona Mendoza / Santos vs The Busty Mendoza by Andrés Couturier and Alejandro Lozano.

Actor Fernando Lujan, CNN en Español anchor Juan Carlos Arciniegas, cinematographer Gabriel Beristain, composer Emilio Kauderer, and Ambulante will receive career achievement awards at FICG in LA’s opening gala.

As it was previously reported, Ambulante, the traveling Mexican documentary film festival created in 2005 by Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, and Pablo Cruz, will arrive in Los Angeles, California in the fall of 2014. Leading Ambulante California will be Christine Davila, independent film programmer and curator for various film festivals and film series, including her role as Programming Associate for The Sundance Film Festival since 2008. The Ambulante California Film Festival tour, presented by the Ford Foundation, will feature a 15-feature film program and will  run from September 21 to October 4, 2014. Each day it will screen at a different venue, from universities, highs schools, museums, community centers, to outdoor venues and makeshift spaces.