Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Elvis’ Opens Guadalajara Festival

Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” described by Variety as “a fizzy, delirious, impishly energized, compulsively watchable 2-hour-and-39-minute fever dream,” is set to open the 37th Guadalajara Int’l Film Festival (FICG) on June 10.

The biopic starring Austin Butler as Elvis opposite Tom Hanks as his controversial manager, received a rousing 12-minute standing ovation at Cannes, the longest at this year’s edition.

The Festival closes June 18 with Mexico’s own musical icons, Los Tigres del Norte, in the documentary “Los Tigres del Norte: Historias que contar,” by Carlos Pérez Osorio (“Las Cronicas del Taco”), with its band members descending on Guadalajara to present it.

The documentary debuts on Prime Video the day before but it’s all about bringing back the in-person theatrical experience, said festival director Estrella Araiza.

FICG has managed to push through the pandemic and the current government’s indifference to culture and subsequent budget cuts. Nevertheless, it sees an uptick in attendance this year, but not quite at pre-pandemic levels yet. “We’ve had to space out our guests as some hotels are still not operating at full capacity,” noted Araiza. The festival’s industry section will still be a hybrid given that some travel restrictions are still in place. Master Classes will be available online after the festival wraps. As always, feature films, documentaries, animation features and shorts will be vying for prizes.

While “Elvis” celebrates its Latin American premiere at FICG along with 46 other titles, the festival is hosting 20 world premieres, 12 international and 28 Mexican. Among the titles staging their world premieres are Gustavo Moheno’s “Lecciones para canallas,” Rubén Rojo Aura’s “Coraje” and J. Daniel Zúñiga’s docu “Cuando cae la noche.”

Underscoring its commitment to environmental causes, the festival has turned its social-environmental showcase (Cine SocioAmbiental) into a competitive one, starting this year, with a selection of five films vying for the prize, including the evocative “How to Kill a Cloud” by Tuija Halttunen.

Another novelty this year is the inaugural Unreal Engine Real-Time Short Film Challenge, Américas, Spain and Portugal where cash prizes of $10,000 will be given to each of the 10 winners by sponsor Epic Games. These were selected out of more than 300 shorts submitted.

The festival’s LGBTQ sidebar, the Premio Maguey, celebrates its 11th edition with 13 features from 18 countries. It will be extending the Premio Maguey Career Achievement award to Mexican drag queen and celebrity impersonator Ricky Lips and the Premio Maguey Queer Icon recognition to singer Natalia Jiménez.

With Poland as the country guest of honor this year, FICG will be paying tribute to Polish director, screenwriter and producer Małgorzata Szumowska, whose most recent film is “Infinite Storm,” starring Naomi Watts. Szumowska is a member of the European Film Academy and among her many recognitions has received Berlinale’s Silver Bear for best director, the Polish Film Award and the European Film Award for her past films.

Chile continues its strong festival circuit presence worldwide with three films in competition, including Sundance-debuted “The Cow that Sang a Song into the Future” by Francisca Alegría and doc “Alis” by Clare Weiskopf and Nicolas Van Hemelryck, a Chile, Colombia and Romania co-production and winner of the Best Film Award at Berlinale Generation 14Plus.

In the Industry section, four Chilean projects will participate in the Guadalajara Construye section and two short films will be part of the Co-production Meeting. In addition, a delegation of more than 10 Chilean producers, supported in large part by the Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage, will attend.

The 37th FICG runs June 10-18.




“Celeste Soledad,” Alex Argüelles (México)

“Coraje,” Rubén Rojo Aura (México, Spain)

“Goya,” Pablo Orta Zamora (México)

“Guardado, hermano,” Jorge Iván Sanders-Ortega (México)

“El reino de Dios,” Claudia Sainte-Luce (México)


“Cuando cae la noche,” J. Daniel Zúñiga (México)

“Lejos de casa,” Carlos Hernández Vázquez (México)

“Mamá,” Xun Sero (México)

“Plegaria,” Roberto Olivares (México)


“Camila saldrá esta noche,” Inés María Barrionuevo (Argentina)

“Carajita,” Silvina Schnicer, Ulises Porra (Dominican Republic, Argentina)

“Celeste Soledad,” Alex Argüelles (México)

“The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future,” Francisca Alegría (Chile, France, U.S., Germany)

“EAMI,” Paz Encina (Paraguay, Argentina, México, U.S., France, Germany, Netherlands)

“Fogaréu,” Flavia Neves (Brazil, France)

“One Year, One Night,” by Isaki Lacuesta (Spain, France)

“Raquel 1:1,” Mariana Bastos (Brazil)

“La Roya,” Juan Sebastián Mesa (Colombia, France)

“Tiempos futuros,” V. Checa (Peru, México, Ecuador, Spain, Germany)

“Utama,” Alejandro Loayza Grisi (Bolivia, Uruguay, France)


“Alis,” Clare Weiskopf, Nicolas Van Hemelryck (Colombia, Romania, Chile)

“Canto cósmico. Niño,” Elche de Leire Apellaniz López, Marc Sempere-Moya (Spain)

“Las Delicias,” Eduardo Crespo (Argentina)

“La espera,” Ingrid Valencic, María Celeste Contratti (Argentina)

“Otra semilla,” Matías Italo Scarvaci (Argentina)

“Para su tranquilidad haga su propio museo,” Pilar Moreno, Ana Endara (Panama)

“La picada,” Felipe Zúñiga (Costa Rica, Chile)

“La playa de los enchaquirados,” Iván Mora Manzano (Ecuador)

“Los saldos,” Raúl Capdevila Murillo (Spain)

“El vent que ens mou,” Pere Puigbert (Spain)


“Black Mambas,” Lena Karbe (Germany, France)

“Forest for the Trees,” Rita Leistner (Canada)

“Holgut de Liesbeth,” Ceulaer (Belgium)

“How to Kill a Cloud,” Tuija Halttunen (Finland, Denmark)

“The Territory,” Alex Pritz (Brazil, Denmark, U.S.)

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