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:: Spotlight :: 2011 HOLA Mexico Film Festival

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Don your sombrero, raise your red flag and prepare for an onslaught of Mexican cinema like never before. HOLA Mexico Film Festival (HMFF), touring nationally across Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane from October 21 to December 4, brings you 16 films including documentaries, comedies, grand dramas and a retrospective of three Luis Estrada films, all Australian premieres, which showcase Mexico as a land of contrasts as seen through the eyes of talented Mexican film directors.

HMFF Director and Founder, Samuel Douek explained, “Mexico has always been a country of contrasts, a land where the incredible happens every day. Some of the most gorgeous places in the world are in Mexico, but the country also has many unresolved problems. The Hola Mexico Film Festival is your chance to experience the world of Mexico, from the landscapes and history to the human experience in terms of class, economic status, sexual diversity, age and dreams. The reality of Mexico indeed, can be explained by its recent films. HMFF brings you a true representation of Mexican cinema, uncensored and open about contemporary topical issues. Being independent gives us the freedom to select films which don’t usually find their way to mainstream audiences. All the films are well received in Mexico, but they are films that the authorities would rather not show to the world because of their depiction of Mexico as a place that is losing control. The trilogy of Luis Estrada is an example of such films.”

The HMFF starts with the Australian premiere of Acorazado, directed by Álvaro Curiel; with acting performances by Silverio Palacios and Laura de la Luz. Filmed in Cuba and Mexico, the film tells the odyssey of unemployed Silverio Palacios who leaves Mexico in search of the American Dream. Convinced that it’s nearly impossible to cross the border like everyone else, he impersonates a Cuban refugee and sails to Miami on a handmade raft! To his surprise, instead of reaching Miami, he arrives in Cuba but the island is not ready for the witty and crafty Mexican. Winner of the Morelia Film Festival Audience Award, the film masterfully generates both laughter and reflection.

Among the highlights of HMFF are, El Infierno (Hell) by Luis Estrada, starring: Damian Alcazar and Joaquin Cosio which is a box office hit and epic black comedy about the Mafia world and organised crime in Mexico; Saving Private Perez which took No.1 at the box office in Mexico this year; The Other Family about a seven year old boy in the charge of a gay couple; Marimbas from Hell an expose on heavy metal experienced through the collaboration of Don Alfonso, a marimbas player and Blacko, the pioneer of Heavy Metal Guatemalan underground stage; and Agnus Dei a disturbing documentary about Jesús, who was abused by a Catholic priest when he was 11, during his training as an altar boy.

For the full festival schedule of films screening at this year’s HOLA Mexico Film Festival please visit here

SYDNEY: NOVEMBER 4-13
Cinema: Dendy Cinemas Newtown
Silver Pass (6 sessions): Full $78.00, Concession $60.00
Gold Pass (10 sessions): $130.00 includes Opening Night and Closing Night (plus other 8 films)
SOL’s Opening Night Fiesta: Full $45.00, Concession $40.00 includes Sol Beer and Mexican Food
Closing Night: Full $20.00, Concession: $15.00
Student Group bookings (Minimum 10 students): $10.00 plus 1 complimentary ticket for a teacher. (11 tickets for $100) Bookings to be paid in full 24hrs prior to the screening. Available for any film except Opening and Closing night films.

MELBOURNE: OCTOBER 21-30
Cinema: ACMI CINEMAS
Full: $16.00 / Concession: $13.00
ACMI Members: $12.00
Silver Pass (6 sessions): Full $78.00, Concession $60.00
Gold Pass (10 sessions): $130.00 includes Opening Night and Closing Night (plus other 8 films)
SOL’s Opening Night Fiesta: Full $49.00, Concession $40.00 includes Sol Beer and Mexican Food
Closing Night: Full $20.00, Concession: $15.00
Student Group bookings (Minimum 10 students): $10.00 plus 1 complimentary ticket for a teacher. (11 tickets for $100) Bookings to be paid in full 24hrs prior to the screening. Available for any film except Opening and Closing night films.

ADELAIDE: NOVEMBER 18-24
Cinema: Mercury Cinema
Full: $15.00 / Concession: $12.00
Cinema Members: $12.00
Silver Pass (6 sessions): Full $78.00, Concession $60.00
Gold Pass (10 sessions): $130.00 includes Opening Night and Closing Night (plus other 8 films)
SOL’s Opening Night Fiesta: Full $35.00, Concession $28.00 includes Sol Beer and Mexican Food

PERTH: NOVEMBER 24-30
Cinema: Cinema Paradiso
Full: $17.00 / Concession: $14.50
Cinema Members: $12.00
Silver Pass (6 sessions): Full $78.00, Concession $60.00
Gold Pass (10 sessions): $130.00 includes Opening Night and Closing Night (plus other 8 films)
SOL’s Opening Night Fiesta: Full $40.00, Concession $30.00 (includes Sol Beer, Cuervo Tequila, Mexican Food)
Closing Night: Full $20.00, Concession: $15.00
To buy tickets: 08 9227 1771

BRISBANE: DECEMBER 1-4
Cinema: Tribal Theatre
Full: $17.00 / Concession: $14.50
Silver Pass (6 sessions): Full $78.00, Concession $60.00
Gold Pass (10 sessions): $130.00 includes Opening Night and Closing Night (plus other 8 films)
SOL’s Opening Night Fiesta: Full $40.00, Concession $30.00 (includes Sol Beer, Cuervo Tequila, Mexican Food)
Buy tickets: 07 3211 5880