When Mariachi Gringo made its world premiere at the Miami International Film Festival earlier this year, it did more than introduce Miami audiences to another lineup of exciting cinema from around the world. It may have also helped to forge a new partnership between MIFF and the Guadalajara Film Festival (FICG).
The festivals announced this week that they'd work together to give industry guests at their events double access to movies and events. Taking place concurrently in 2013 (MIFF runs March 1-10, FICG runs March 1-9), both festivals are collaborating to facilitate travel between Miami and Guadalajara, and will also grant access to special programs at each fest designed to foster and promote Hispanic films.
Both festivals have a reputation for being the most important in the world of Ibero-American (including Latin America, Spain and Portugal) films. And last year's Mariachi Gringo debut brought the fests even closer. The film, a co-production of film studios based in New York City and Guadalajara, won FICG's top prize for best Mexican feature the same year it opened Miami's annual film fest.
The partnership includes giving industry buyers access to MIFF's Encuentros program, which helps film distributors, financiers, and sales agents connect with Spanish, Latin American, and U.S. Hispanic filmmakers. FICG's Guadalajara Construye program, a similar initiative that presents completed Latin American features to industry guests, will receive similar treatment.
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If successful, the partnership could result in more film buyers in attendance at both festivals, increasing the exposure and potential payoff for filmmakers whose movies will screen in March. For MIFF, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2013, it's just one more reason to celebrate.