Acquisitions and Granting Manager Angelica Dongallo recounts the sights and sounds of Mexico’s prestigious film festival…
Guadalajara: home of mariachis, tequila country, and the Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara (FICG). I arrived in the “valley of stones” during the wee hours of the day of opening night activities, and contemplated the next few days’ prospects as we drove through the speckled-lit streets of the sleeping city.
My mission in attending FICG was primarily three-fold: to promote GFI’s Granting Program via a panel on film funding for the Talent Campus, to participate in the Ibero American Co-production Meetings and determine some leads for our next round of granting and, of course, to see a live mariachi band. Thankfully, and with a great deal of credit to the Industry-section organizers and some (though not much) to my attempted-Spanish, I accomplished all these and more in the short time I spent at the Festival.
The following days were bright, busy and a whirlwind of productivity and enjoyment. The funding panel was successful and met with positive response from the roomful of established and up-and-coming filmmakers present, many from the Talent Campus. I presented alongside Luke Moody of The BritDoc Foundation, Vincenzo Bugno of the World Cinema Fund and Ivar Køhn of SØRFOND-Norwegian South Film Fund. There was a wonderful blend of disciplines and information, in both English and Spanish, during the panel: emphasis of both narrative and documentary films, varied funding structures, host-countries, experiences, etc.
My meetings with the co-production participants were just as captivating. The film projects—ranging from narratives about the relationship between a father and son of Mexico’s Huichol culture, to the experiences of breakdancers in Colombia’s port city of Buenaventura—were all unique, genuine and compelling.
I was also graced by the presence of some of GFI’s longtime friends (where, but a film festival, can you finally meet face-to-face with the people with whom you’ve been exchanging emails with for years?!) and caught a screening and press conference with Leticia Jorge (co-director) and Nestor Guzzini (lead actor) of GFI honorable mention TANTA AGUA, which won the Mejor Opera Prima award for Best First Feature!
Exciting times in Guadalajara. Check out the photo collage below or view the entire photo album here!