The first Fenix Iberoamerican Film Awards, highlighting and celebrating cinema made in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal as well as applauding the professionals involved was inaugurated by Cinema23 this October 30 and held its closing night party in México City’s Jumex Museum, named after the Lopez family’s fruit juice empire, and commissioned by Eugenio Lopez, the dynastic scion whose intention is to leave an edifice to Mexico City that dignifies his family name. This 21st-century prince is the sole patron of the new Museo Jumex, Latin America’s largest contemporary art museum, designed by the British architect David Chipperfield and just across the street from hourglass-shaped Museo Soumaya, opened in 2011 by the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú to display his own collection. Worth a trip to Mexico alone just to view the private Jumex collection of Mexican art, to attend the spectacular closing night party topping off the new annual, independent award ceremony which took place at the iconic 1918 Teatro de la Ciudad was an experience of a lifetime.
After an exclusive dinner for the nominees around 11 PM, the great celebration began. Inspired by Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, one of the most important holidays in Mexico, the party was decorated with elements inspired by this tradition such as “papel picado,” and walls decorated with skulls. The vibrant orange color of hundreds of cempasúchil flowers (Marigolds) adorned the hall where more than a thousand guests, among them many film professional, singers and other important figures from across Iberoamerica, attended the celebration organized by Grupo Modelo the brewery in Mexico now owned by the Belgian-Brazilian company Anheuser-Busch InBev, which holds 63% of the Mexican beer market and exports beer to most countries of the world, whose export brands include my own favorite beers, Corona and Pacífico. I was proud to be invited to attend and to be part of the advisory council of Cinema23, founder of this annual Fenix Awards celebration of the art of cinema along with the comcomitant commercial success of Iberoamerican cinema.
Attending the awards and the post-award party were actors such as Alice Braga, Ana de la Reguera, Ana Claudia Talancón, Alfonso Herrera,
Bárbara Mori, Brandon López, Camila Selser, Cecilia Suárez, Elena
Alterio, Erick Elías, Ilse Salas, Irene Azuela, Johanna Murillo,
José María Yazpik,
José María and Pedro de Tavira, Juan Manuel Bernal, Karen Martínez,
Méndez, Maribel Verdú, Martha Higareda, Maya Zapata and Ximena Ayala; filmmakers
Fernando Eimbcke, Gary Alazraki, Jonás Cuarón, Lorenzo Hagerman,
Natalia Beristáin and Rigoberto Perezcano; musicians Leo Heiblum,
León Larregui and Sergio Acosta from rock band Zoé and Leonor Watling, Jesús
Navarro, vocalist of pop band Reik; socialites as Rafael Micha, Jorge Gorozpe, Memo
Martínez and Max Villegas; fashion designer Oscar Madrazo and jewelry designer Mariana Villarea. They and the other attendees enjoyed a night in which cinema was the most important guest.
In the venue’s lower level, Sonido Apokalitzin‘s beats enhanced the experience with cumbias, salsas and iconic songs from several Iberoamerican countries. Monterrey DJ Toy Selectah also entertained the guests with his musical selection. Upstairs, Sergio and Andres from famous rock band Zoé delighted everyone with their music just before they enjoyed Julian Placencia’s DJ set.
With this event the first edition of the Fenix Iberoamerican Film Awards came to an end. The event brought together hundreds of figures from the Iberoamerican film community who celebrated the well-deserved recognition to their work and dedication. At the same time the event served to strengthen relationships among the diverse industries and will continuously help forge the region’s identity.