The fourth edition of the Los Cabos International Film Festival kicks off tonight with the Mexican premiere of Demolition, which is part of a tribute to filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée.
The festival is held in Cabo San Lucas, located at the southern tip of Baja California in Mexico. Known as a tourist destination, the region enjoys a tropical desert climate, and if it sounds like I'm regurgitating a page from Wikipedia, that's because I am. I've never been to the area before, but if all goes well, I should be on the ground there by the time this preview is published.
What delights are in store for festival-goers? The official description says the fest "hosts a forum for dialogue and collaboration between Mexican cinema and its North American cultural commercial partners." In other words, a spotlight is turned toward films from Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. I break down some of the anticipated highlights below.
The program begins in earnest tomorrow, with a lovely choice of 45 films scheduled through Sunday, selected not only from North America and Mexico but also from around the world. The lineup includes 4 World Premieres, 11 Latin American Premieres, and 19 Mexican Premieres.
Confirmed international guests include Valle, Jared Leto (who will present an award to the director), Liam Neeson, Alex Ross Perry (attending a retrospective of his work), cinematographer Sean Price Williams, and Ewan McGregor.
The competition jury will be Tom Luddy (Telluride Film Festival), Lucia Puenzo (writer and director) and Scott Foundas (film critic who recently joined Amazon Studios as an executive).
Talent from Mexico is well represented: Eugenio Derbez, José María Yazpik, Manolo Caro, Tenoch Huerta, José Carlos Ruíz, Sebastián Aguirre, Sophie Alexander-Katz, José María Torre, Sofía Espinosa, Ianis Guerrero, Rosa María Bianchi, Jaime Garza, Adriana Paz, and others.
A new section has been added -- Tastes, which focuses on culinary pleasures -- and three outdoor screenings will also be held.
There's a lot to take in, and I am only one person, but I will endeavor to file a report or two to reflect the favor and the films of this still-new and developing festival.
Click through the gallery to see the gala presentations.