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Posts Tagged ‘international film festivals’

Today the Oaxaca Lending Library played host to Oaxaca FilmFest4 founder and artistic director, Ramiz Adeeb Azar.  He and 4 members of the festival staff came to the library to “pitch” the festival, which opens September 21 and runs through the 28th.  (Note:  it has moved from November to September).  It wasn’t a hard sell, as many of us have been following it since it began in 2010.  And, I’ve got to say, it’s come a long way in a short amount of time.  According to Ramiz, it has…

  • Grown to be one of the Largest International Film Festivals in Latin America
  • Discovered over a dozen films that have gone onto commercial success
  • Created a highly competitive Script Writing Competition.
  • Created “Pitch It”; a unique platform that allows screenwriters to sell their scripts to industry executives around the globe
  • Conducted the longest University Rally ever (10 days throughout the entire state!)
  • Rolled out Academia; a five-day training program designed to enhance Festival Attendees’ self-distribution skills
  •  Developed Academia Exchange; a unique exchange between filmmakers and students

  • Gained membership of the Mexican Film Festival Association (La Red Mexicana de Festivales Cinematográficos) and in 2013 was the host of their national conference
  • Gained recognition as an official IMDB Film Festival

The festival has already set up shop in Plaza San Jerónimo (on Macedonio Alcalá) where staff and volunteers are hard at work and, like last year, the site will serve as the festival’s Hospitality and Information Center.

If you love film, but have never been to a film festival, I highly encourage you to give it a try.  Prior to relocating to Oaxaca, for 7 years, one of the highlights of my calendar year was volunteering at the Mill Valley Film Festival.  Besides being a lot of fun (never forget, on my hands and knees mopping up spilled red wine at the feet of Katherine Ross and Sam Elliot), I had the opportunity to see some truly wonderful films — especially shorts and documentaries that are rarely shown in the big chain multiplexes.  The MVFF was one of the things I missed most (along with crusty sourdough bread and being able to flush toilet paper down the toilet) when I moved down here.

However, along came the Oaxaca FilmFest and, though it didn’t satisfy my craving for sourdough bread or cause new plumbing to be installed in Oaxaca, it does come with a well-considered, eclectic, and always creative selection of films (feature-length and shorts) from all over the world.

Last year, El último hielero (The Last Ice Merchant) a touching documentary from Equador was a favorite of mine, as was The Cart, a humorous short from Russia.  And, if the two short films Ramiz showed today —  the animated, Sleight of Hand and the very moving, Part of the Change — were any indication, the selectors did a terrific job again this year.  So, if you are in Oaxaca, get thee to the Oaxaca FilmFest4 information center at Plaza San Jerónimo and pick up your festival schedule or download it from the festival website.

FYI:  All screenings are public and free (except Cinemex and Foundation Nights) and every film is projected in its original language, with Spanish, English, or dual subtitles.

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