The Guanajuato International Film Festival revealed yesterday all the details for its upcoming seventeenth edition, which is going to be celebrated from Friday, July 25 to Sunday, August 3. This is one of Mexico's top festivals and this year's lineup turned out to be both exciting and surprising, especially thanks to the fact that GIFF is paying homage to B movie king Roger Corman.
Producer of Death Race 2000, Piranha, Forbidden World, and hundreds others; director of such films as Attack of the Crab Monsters, The Little Shop of Horros, and The Pit and the Pendulum; and mentor of several consolidated directors, including Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, and Jonathan Demme; Roger Corman is quite simply a living film legend.
At age 88, Corman is coming to a Mexican festival for the first time. Guanajuato confirmed a masterclass by him (on Saturday, August 2), and a retrospective conformed of both Corman directed and produced movies (plus a doc on his career). This is the complete Roger Corman program at GIFF:
Attack of the Crab Monsters (dir. Roger Corman, 1957)
A Bucket of Blood (dir. Roger Corman, 1959)
House of Usher (dir. Roger Corman, 1960)
The Pit and the Pendulum (dir. Roger Corman, 1961)
The Intruder (dir. Roger Corman, 1962)
The Premature Burial (dir. Roger Corman, 1962)
X: The Man with the X-ray Eyes (dir. Roger Corman, 1963)
The Masque of the Red Death (dir. Roger Corman, 1964)
The Tomb of Ligeia (dir. Roger Corman, 1964)
The Wild Angels (dir. Roger Corman, 1966)
The Trip (dir. Roger Corman, 1967)
The Big Bird Cage (dir. Jack Hill, 1972)
Death Race 2000 (dir. Paul Bartel, 1975)
Piranha (dir. Joe Dante, 1978)
Rock 'n' Roll High School (dir. Allan Arkush, 1979)
Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (dir. Alex Stapleton, 2011)
It's a real B movie banquet, indeed, and I just can't wait to see how the genre film festivals in Mexico (Macabro, Feratum and Morbido) respond to this smash.
GIFF is also honoring director/photographer Anton Corbijn and Mexican actress/singer Angélica María. Corbijn's latest, A Most Wanted Man (starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman), will be the opening film in Guanajuato Capital; and on Friday, August 1, Corbijn will offer a masterclass at the Auditorio del Estado. Another public conference involves French filmmaker Michel Gondry, though he won't be in Guanajuato and rather his masterclass is going to be "virtual."
Poland is the spotlight country, with the acclaimed drama Ida as one of the highlights. In 2014, Poland celebrates 25 years of their democratic regime, and also the 15th and 10th anniversary of their entry to NATO and the European Union, respectively. Around forty Polish filmmakers and producers will be in Guanajuato for the celebration, including Ida's Pawel Pawlikowski. Classic films from this country are part of the festival as well, such as Andrzej Wajda's Ashes and Diamonds, Roman Polanki's Knife in the Water, and Krzysztof Kieslowski's Blind Chance.
In total, 162 films conform GIFF's 2014 lineup. Special screenings include Henry Bedwell's 3D remake of Carlos Enrique Taboada's Más Negro Que La Noche (Darker Than Night), Florian Habicht's documentary on British band Pulp (with guitarist Mark Webber presenting it in person), and - in a very bizarre move - Sharknado 2: The Second One. No kidding. The sequel to the SyFy Channel sensation Sharknado is premiering in Mexico at the Guanajuato Film Festival.
The Official Selection includes debut feature length films, documentaries, Mexican efforts, and many shorts.
INTERNATIONAL DEBUT FEATURE
52 Tuesdays (dir. Sophie Hyde, Australia)
Ækte Vare (dir. Fenar Ahmad, Denmark)
Han Gong-ju (dir. Su-jin Lee, South Korea)
Macondo (dir. Sudabeh Mortezai, Austria)
Party Girl (dir. Marie Amachoukeli-Barsacq, Claire Burger, Samuel Theis, France)
Little Accidents (dir. Sara Colangelo, US)
Fishing Without Nets (dir. Cutter Hodierne, US-Kenya-Somalia)
Violet (dir. Bas Devos, Netherlands-Belgium)
MEXICAN DEBUT FEATURE
Edén (dir. Elise DuRant)
The Hours With You (dir. Catalina Aguilar Mastretta)
Los Ángeles (dir. John Harper)
Open Cage (dir. Max Zunino)
The Hamsters (dir. Gilberto González Penilla)
They Are All Dead (dir. Beatriz Sanchis)
Bugarach (dir. Sergi Cameron, Ventura Durall, Salvador Sunyer, Spain-Germany-France)
The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (dir. Brian Knappenberger, US)
Our Vinyl Weights a Ton: This Is Stones Throw Records (dir. Jeff Broadway, US-UK)
Pulp (dir. Florian Habicht, UK)
The Return to Homs (dir. Talal Derki, Syria-Germany)
The Legend of Shorty (dir. Angus MacQueen, UK-US-Mexico)
Virunga (dir. Orlando von Einsiedel, UK-Congo)