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L.A. Today: Guadalajara FF Comes to L.A.

L.A. Today: Guadalajara FF Comes to L.A.

Los Angeles gets better and better!  The weekend began with a screening that the local arthouse-state-of-the-art-theater Downtown Independent held of Rock The Boat: The L.A. River Expedition, an enlightening look at what L.A. could be if it took back the river as a public place for kayaking, sunbathing, drinking coffee at its cafes and its possible contribution to water conservation efforts in California.  Saturday began with a swim at the gym up the block and then a visit to the art galleries on Washington and So. La Cienega where former filmmaker Seth Carmichael announced his gallery‘s move to the just emerging art scene at La Brea and Washington and Andrea Bowers gave a great show at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects linking today’s Occupy movement with that of the Wobblies (International Workers Party) in the 1890s and ended with Cuban salsa at Los Globos in Echo Park where we danced the night away with local Latinos.  On Sunday 100,000 bicycle riders rode the streets of L.A. during the 5th CiLAvia, an event which originated in Chile.  In the city’s biggest block party, we had the chance to eat the best tacos in town at King Taco at Soto and Cesar Chavez Blvd. in ELA, a hard choice between it and Chinatown or the local Thai and Korean places along the way and food trucks of all ethnicities at the various hubs.  A Great Event!

Next weekend FREE SCREENINGS of Latino films and workshops will be offered by the Muestra de Cine GuadaLAjara (The Guadalajara International Film Festival and The University of Guadalajara Foundation, USA) at AMC Universal City Walk.  RSVP NOW to get a seat because tickets are going fast!.  The Red Carpet Opening Ceremony at the Globe Theater, 100 Universal City Plaza kicks off the event this Friday October 12 and is honoring Alfonso Arau and Jorge Camara, one of Hollywood’s most respected international journalists and VP of Hollywood Foreign Press Association with a special tribute to Lupe Ontiveros, award-winning actress, producer, activist and visionary.

With the absence this year of LALIFF which is spreading its wings in the L.A. Unified School District, teaching filmmaking to kids and is spreading out screenings throughout the year, the appearance of FICG here in L.A. is filling a gap.   I am spotting a new trend with festivals organizing with universities.  In Havana it is with EICTV. The new organization, Film Festival Academy, which just debuted with the New York Film Festival, has festivals and academic studies combining forces.  FICG has always has the University component as has Miami IFF and San Diego Latino Film Festival.  As recognition of the next generation of future filmmakers becomes more wide spread, this element will strenghten the festivals stature in their communities.

Guadalajara FF (FICG) and the University are also offering Latino TV as a link to the Hispanic community of Los Angeles on Channel 31.2 (UDG TV/ L.A. California and TV Abierta, Universidad de Guadalajara (  Monday to Sunday it offers more than 19 hours of continuous programming of original programming for children, youth, family in news, sports and opinioun. and as Ivan Trujillo, the director of FICG announced, there will also be a Festival of Books in Spanish called LeaLA May 17-19, 2013 at L.A. Convention Center.

The University of Guadalajara Foundation in the United States of America (UDG Foundation-USA) is made up of academic and social leaders and is privately supported by individuals, foundations and corporations to bloster high quality academic and cultural activities of the UDG, Los Angeles to help Mexican and other Latinos living in this region improve their quality of life and enhance their cultural identity.  

FICG itself will hold its 28th edition March 1 – 9, 2013 in Guadalajara.  As Mexico’s most important film festival, it hosts the Berlinale Talent Campus, a Doculab and Writing with Light workshops, Cannes Market’s Producers Network and last year represented 45 countries in 504 screenings on 32 screens where it screened 281 films of which 97 were Mexican for the public of more than 142,000 and for 3,504 registered industry participants, 875 journalists, 1,106 companies registered at the industry offices. Competition of Iberamerican and Mexican features, docs and shorts, LGBT competition for the Premio Maguey, Works in Progress: Guadalajara Construye 7 and so many other events, and yet is an intimate gathering where everyone can talk to everyone.  See you there!!

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