Wes Anderson’s ‘Asteroid City’ Opens Mexico’s 38th Guadalajara Film Festival 

Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City,” fresh from its triumphant world premiere at the Cannes fest, opens the 38th Guadalajara Film Festival (FICG) which touts new sections this year, including a branded series showcase and midnight screenings of Italian fright maestro Dario Argento’s horror films.

Eva Longoria’s feature directorial debut, “Flamin’ Hot,” which had its West Coast premiere at the LA Latino Film Festival (LALIFF) May 31, marks its Mexican debut at the fest.

The Series Showcase includes Patricia Martinez’s fact-based “La Narcosatánica,” which will stream on the rebranded Max, and Maite Alberdi’s “Libre de reir,” a Gato Grande production that centers on inmates in a Mexican prison who enroll in a stand-up comedy workshop. Alberdi’s Sundance-winning docu “The Eternal Memory” also vies for a prize in the festival’s documentary sidebar.

According to festival director Estrella Araiza, the festival has recovered its funding and will screen a total of 170 films in this edition. “Documentaries are very strong and prolific this year but the fiction films are just as good and varied,” she said.

FICG’s fast-expanding animation section is highlighted by the screening of the acclaimed “Black is Beltza II: Ainho,” Fermin Muguruza’s deep dive into Basque culture and the independence movements of ‘80s Spain. Rising Mexican animation talent Rita Basulto screens her short “Humo” in the festival’s Premio Rigo Mora sidebar which awards the winner with 200,000 Mexican pesos ($11,000+) and a statuette. The winner is eligible for consideration in the Academy Awards’ animated short film category.

The festival pays homage to its late founder and chairman of the board of Trustees, Raul Padilla, with various events, including the exhibit “Peninsula, Views of a Mexican traveler through Italy,” a retrospective of films that he supported, an exhibition of portraits and “Letters to Raúl,” an open space to share memories. The Premio Maguey “M” award will also be dedicated to him.

Lorena Padilla’s soulful “Martinez,” which shot in Jalisco, competes in both the Made in Jalisco as well as the main Premio Mezcal sections. Sold by Paris-based Luxbox, “Martinez” first screened at the festival’s pix-in-post showcase, Guadalajara Construye. 

The Premio Mezcal also takes in Sofia Auza’s debut feature “Adolfo,” a Berlin Generation 14plus winner, and David Zonana’s well-reviewed military academy drama-thriller “Heroic.”

Aside from “Flamin’ Hot,” other films marked by galas are Berlin winner “20,000 Species of Bees” by Spain’s Estibaliz Urresola, “Strays” by Josh Greenbaum and “When you Finish Saving the World” by Jesse Eisenberg.

Italy is the Country of Honor for the third time, with helmer-scribe Paolo Genovese (“Perfect Strangers”) serving as a juror and delivering a Master Class along with Roberto Perpignani whose stellar editing credits include Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Last Tango in Paris” and Orson Welles’ “The Trial.”

This edition sees the return of Italian Screens, a showcase of the best of Italian cinema abroad.

FICG 2023 runs June 3 – 9.

 38th FICG OFFICIAL SELECTION

 PREMIO MEZCAL 

 FICTION

“Adolfo,” Sofía Auza (México, U.S.)

“Amor y matemáticas,” Claudia Sainte-Luce (México)

“Heroico,” David Zonana (México, Sweden)

“Martínez,” Lorena Padilla (México)

“Mujeres del alba,” Jimena Montemayor Loyo (México)

“Rabia,” Jorge Michel Grau (México)

DOCUMENTARY

“Ch’ul be, senda sagrada,” Humberto Gómez Pérez (México)

“La frontera invisible,” Mariana Flores Villalba (México)

“Kenya,” Gisela Delgadillo (México)

“Toshkua,” Ludovic Bonleux (México, U.S., France)

“Una jauría llamada Ernesto,” Everardo González (México)

IBERO-AMERICAN FICTION 

 “20,000 especies de abejas,” Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren (Spain)

“Almamula,” Juan Sebastián Torales (Argentina, France, Italy)

“Las buenas compañías,” Silvia Munt (Spain, France)

“Diógenes,” Leonardo Barbuy La Torre (Peru, France, Colombia)

“Great Yarmouth – Provisional Figures,” Marco Martins (Portugal, UK, France)

“Las hijas,” Kattia G. Zúñiga (Panama, Chile)

“La pecera,” Glorimar Marrero-Sánchez (U.S., Puerto Rico, Spain)

“La piel pulpo,” Ana Cristina Barragán (Ecuador, México, Greece, Germany, France, Italy)

“Tengo sueños eléctricos,” Valentina Maurel (Belgium, France, Costa Rica)

IBERO-AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY 

“Ara La Llum Cau Vertical,” Efthymia Zymvragaki (Spain, Germany, Italy, Netherlands)

“Los Bilbao,” Pedro Speroni (Argentina)

“El castillo,” Martín Benchimol (Argentina, France)

“Fauna,” Pau Faus (Spain)

“Isla Alien,” Cristóbal Valenzuela Berrios (Italy, Chile)

“Llamadas desde Moscú,” Luis Alejandro Yero (Cuba, Germany, Norway)

“La memoria infinita,” Maite Alberdi (Chile)

“Notas para una película,” Ignacio Agüero (Chile, France)

“O auto das ánimas,” Pablo Lago Dantas (Spain)

“Samuel y la luz,” Vinícius Girnys (France, Brazil)

PREMIO MAGUEY

“20,000 especies de abejas,” Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren (Spain)

“Almamula,” Juan Sebastián Torales (Argentina, France, Italy)

“Las buenas compañías,” Silvia Munt (Spain, France)

“El castillo,” Martín Benchimol (Argentina, France)

“Cross Dreamers,” Soledad Velasco (Argentina)

“Desperté con un sueño,” Pablo Solarz (Argentina, Uruguay)

“In Bed,” Nitzan Gilady (Israel)

“Kenya,” Gisela Delgadillo (México)

“Kokomo City,” D. Smith (U.S.)

“Little Richard: I Am Everything,” Lisa Cortés (U.S.)

“Liuben,” Venci D. Kostov (Bulgaria, Spain)

“Llamadas desde Moscú,” Luis Alejandro Yero (Cuba, Germany, Norway)

“Medusa Deluxe,” Thomas Hardiman (U.K.)

“Mutt,” Vuk Lungulov-Klotz (U.S.)

“Passages,” Ira Sachs (France)

“Till the End of the Night,” Christoph Hochhäusler (Germany) 

ANIMATION FEATURES

 “Art College 1994,” Liu Jian (China)

“Black is Beltza II: Ainhoa,” Fermín Muguruza (Spain, Argentina)

“Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman,” Pierre Földes (France, Canada, Netherlands, Luxembourg)

“Chicken for Linda,” Chiara Malta, Sébastien Laudenbach (France, Italy)

“Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be,” Amandine Fredon, Benjamin Massoubre (France, Luxembourg)

“No Dogs or Italians Allowed,” Alain Ughetto (France, Switzerland, Italy, Bélgium, Portugal)

“Un reino para todos nosotros,” Miguel Ángel Uriegas (México)

SERIES SHOWCASE

“La Narcosatánica,” Patricia Martinez (Mexico)

“Libre de reír,” Maite Alberdi (México); two episodes

“El show,” Diego Enrique Osorno (México)

“La vida de nosotras,” Bárbara Barrera Morales (Chile)

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