Film Festival

Festival de Cine Todos Santos poster, Todos Santos, Baja, MexicoBaja on the Big Screen
by Celia Devault & Katy Hurado

The 9th annual Festival de Cine Todos Santos will be taking place this year from Thursday, February 23 through Saturday, March 3, in Todos Santos and La Paz, BCS. Opening at the Teatro Manuel Márquez de León, on the plaza, on the 23rd, and will run until the 27th in Todos Santos, before continuing on to La Paz.

This year, the festival has added two new exciting venues! In La Paz, the Galería Galería (#43 La Paz map) will be screening films on February 28 and 29, after which the beautifully restored Teatro Juárez (#23 La Paz map) will show films from March 1st through March 3rd. Films will then continue to be shown as part of the Academic Program at the Universidad Autónoma de BCS in La Paz where large numbers of avid film students have participated for the past four years in a ground breaking program of documentaries and feature films.

All 25 feature films, documentaries and short films from Mexico, Argentina, Cuba, Chile, Spain, El Salvador and also including a special event from Baja California Sur will be shown in Spanish with English subtitles.

Actor Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico

Actor Daniel Giménez Cacho

This year, the Film Festival welcomes the multi award winning actor Daniel Giménez Cacho as its prestigious guest who has starred in over 50 Mexican and European productions. Born in Spain and living in Mexico he has directed and acted in many films, TV series, soap operas and plays. Receiving the Silver Ariel (Mexico’s equivalent to the Oscars) for “Best Actor” in such films as “Nicotina,” “Aro Tolbukhin in the Mind of a Killer,” “Deep Crimson” and “Crono,” he also was granted the Spanish Premio Touluse Cine España award and the Onda award for the film “No Shame.”

As the narrator of “Y Tu Mamá También,” starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, Giménez Cacho’s talents also include working with many well-known directors including Pedro Almodvar, Arturo Ripstein and Guillermo del Toro. Rounding out the list of his cinematic credits he has also been seen in the Bicentennial Mexican TV series “Cries for Death and Freedom” as well as “Crazy About Love.”

También la Lluvia/Even the Rain, Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico

“También la Lluvia”/“Even the Rain”

Agua y Oro/Water and Gold—In association with Agua Vale más que Oro the festival will be screening “También la Lluvia”/“Even the Rain” (2010). This film deals with a subject very relevant in Baja California Sur…—gold and water. Starring Gael Garcia Bernal and directed by Icíar Bollaín, this movie is a controversial fiction film within a film. The story evolves as incidents take place, 500 years apart, when the Spanish Conquest of the New World, searching for gold, team up with a film crew in Bolivia during the time that the government is selling the water. The privatization of water becomes the focus of heated disputes in this multiple award winning film from Spain.

The film won numerous awards in many categories such as the 2011 Silver Ariel (Mexico), Berlin International Film Festival, CWCA Awards in Spain, European Film Awards, Goya, Palm Springs Film Festival, Premios ACE , including, best picture, best actor, best supporting actor, make-up, screenplay, and Icíar Bollaín for her directing.

“Los Otros Californios”/”The Other Californians” Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico

“Los Otros Californios”/”The Other Californians”

Part of the mission of the Festival de Cine Todos Santos is to place special emphasis on films from Baja Caifornia Sur and its local filmmakers. This year, there will be a special screening of “Los Otros Californios”/”The Other Californians.” This multi-awarded documentary directed by Cesar Talamantes, addresses the history of the people who inhabit the ranches scattered throughout the mountains and deserts as well as the isolation of living in remote areas of BCS. A native of La Paz, Cesar will also be presenting his film and the audience will have an opportunity for dialogue about these aspects of Baja culture that are becoming extinct.

The Festival is also excited to announce its association with Ambulante, a traveling festival of documentaries that will showcase a diverse program. Founded by Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal, the Festival is now a part of a network of 12 states in Mexico that shares the journey of great documentaries and celebrates the visions, dreams and hopes of talented Mexican filmmakers.

Last year, Diego Luna attended the 8th Festival de Cine Todos Santos as a special invited guest. Locals and visitors enjoyed the opportunity to discuss films with him and Director of the Guadalajara Film Festival, Ivan Trujillo, contributing to a great success with a large audience turnout here in Todos Santos.

Excited to participate in the “Youth in Video” Program, Diego Luna also went onstage to greet and encourage the children from the elementary school in Elias Calles who produced and directed their film “Muddy Little Hands.”

This program is a model for the entire nation, it should be emulated and supported because this is how our next generation will open to the world of cinema and find new horizons!”—Diego Luna

Youth in Video film class, Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico

"Youth in Video" film class

The Festival’s award winning “Youth in Video” Program is a visionary project that has produced five documentaries and given a large number of children in our community the opportunity to learn the art of filmmaking. Students receive instruction in animation, documentaries, and filmmaking as well as camera and sound techniques. By taking cameras to their schools, homes and ranches they produce films that reflect their ideas, stories and daily lives here in Baja California Sur.

The summer of 2011 “Youth in Video” Program brought nearly 50 students together with two professional filmmakers from Mexico, DF. Bertha Aguilar and Pierre St. Martin taught animation to the 8 to 12 year old group and documentary to the 12 to 18 year olds. Works from the program include the new 2012 documentary “7 Voices, 7 Questions, 7 Days” as well as others that will be screened at the upcoming festival. “Childrenfest” on Thursday, February 23rd will provide children and their families a full day of film and will honor the young filmmakers at the Teatro Márquez de León. Thanks to the continued support of the community, some of these youngsters are already producing their own films and working in the field of filmmaking!

The Festival de Cine Todos Santos would like to honor the remembrance of Pedro Armendáriz Jr. who passed on December 26, 2011. As this year’s guest of honor, Pedro was to receive a Lifelong Homage award for his extraordinary acting career that spanned for close to 50 years worldwide with numerous credits in film, TV as well as presiding as secretary and president for the “Comité Coordinador de la Academia Mexicana de Artes y Ciencias Cinematográficas.”

For complete film listings and additional information and program schedule, click on “Events” or visit www.todossantoscinefest.com