Magazine article Variety

Mexican Stronghold for Talent

Magazine article Variety

Mexican Stronghold for Talent

Article excerpt

When the Morelia Inti. Film Festival, Mexico's premiere showcase for local talent, kicks off Oct. 18 with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Birdman" it will be the second time in two years the fest hosts the same opener as in Venice, after Guillermo del Toro's "Gravity."

But the festival's creative director isn't worried about following Venice's lead - he's happy the festival is a big draw for Mexican filmmakers, both emerging talents and established Hollywood helmers.

Inarritu, like del Toro last year, will come down for the gala screening, a point of pride for Morelia's creative director Daniela Michel.

"I think it's critical that we've become the most important meeting point for Mexican filmmakers," Michel says.

Last year, Morelia opened the main feature competition to more seasoned directors, introducing separate prizes for feature and new work, making it possible to have, in one section, heavy-hitters, such as Nicolas Pereda and Julian Hernandez, and promising sophomores, like Bernardo Arellano and Rigoberto Perezcano.

It also began drawing on the talents of former Guadalajara industry organizer Andrea Stavenhagen to put together a strong set of panels covering everything from the frustrating exhibition system in Mexico to the evolving dynamic of mainstream vs. auteur Mexican cinema.

For this 12th edition, the festival will host a conference with MPAA chief Chris Dodd, among many of the panels and events scheduled. …

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