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The 8th Morelia International Film Festival will be held from Oct. 16 to 24, 2010, and as in past years, will focus on its sections in competition: Mexican Short Film, Mexican Documentary, Michoacán Section and Mexican Feature Film. This year there will be 46 shorts, 20 documentaries, 13 Michoacán works and 7 features by directors from different states in Mexico: Michoacán, Nuevo León, Jalisco, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Yucatán, Baja California and Mexico City. Since 2008, the winner of the fiction and animated shorts will be considered for an Oscar nomination.

The Mexican Feature Section, exclusively for first- or second-time directors, includes: Acorazado, by Álvaro Curiel de Icaza; A tiro de piedra, by Sebastián Hiriart; De día y de noche, by Alejandro Molina; Marimbas del infierno, by Julio Hernández Cordón; Somos lo que hay, by Jorge Michel Grau; Tierra madre, by Dylan Verrechia; and Vete más lejos Alicia, by Elisa Miller.

The International Jury of the 8th edition of FICM consists of: Jukka-Pekka Laakso, director of the Tampere Film Festival; Pablo Fendrik, well-known Argentine director; Charles Tesson, collaborator for Cahiers du cinéma and a member of the Selection Committee of Critics’ Week; Gideon Koppel, well-known British director; Dennis Lim, collaborador for The New York Times and editor of the film guide for The Village Voice; David Courier, programmer for the Sundance Film Festival; Ángel Garcés, director of the Huesca Film Festival; Scott Foundas, recently named film critic of the year by the Los Angeles Press Club; Gerwin Tamsma, programmer for the International Film Festival Rotterdam; Cristina Prado, director of cultural film promotion at IMCINE; renowned Mexican actor Gustavo Sánchez Parra; and Lucrecia Martel, distinguished Argentine director.

As it does every year, the Festival will screen a selection of films from Critics’ Week of the Cannes International Film Festival 2010: Copacabana, by Marc Fitoussi (France);  The Myth of the American Sleepover, by David Robert Mitchell (U.S.); Sound of Noise, by Ola Simonsson, Johannes Stjärne Nilsson (Sweden); and Armadillo, by Janus Metz (Denmark), which won the Critics’ Week´s Grand Prize, sponsored by Cinépolis.

Thanks to the support of the Filmoteca of the UNAM, the 8th edition will pay tribute to the Alva Brothers — Guillermo, Eduardo and Carlos, distinguished Michoacan cinematographic pioneers, who made their mark in history and in Mexican cinema.

With the support of the French Embassy, a retrospective of the works by French filmmaker Olivier Assayas, including the premiere in Mexico of the epic film Carlos, starring Edgar Ramírez, will be showcased.

Thanks to the Norwegian and Spanish embassies in Mexico, there will be a screening of the film Nord by Rune Denstad Langlo, and a program from Spain of vanguard shorts and other films, including El baile de la Victoria by Fernando Trueba.

This year, the festival will premiere more than 55 of the best Mexican and international films. Among the Mexican premieres are: El Baile de San Juan, by Francisco Athié; Nómadas, by Ricardo Benet; La Otra familia, by Gustavo Loza; and Revolución, a film made up of shorts about the Mexican Revolution by 10 well-known Mexican directors.

The international premieres include: Somewhere, by Sofia Coppola; Copie Conforme, by Abbas Kiarostami; You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, by Woody Allen; and El tío Boonmee que recuerda sus vidas pasadas, by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2010, among many others.

The Tequila Tradicional prize of 100,000 pesos, given by Casa Cuervo, will be awarded to Mexican actor and director Diego Luna, in support of his next film project.

With the backing of the Goethe Institute of Mexico and the Week of German Film, Doris Dörrie’s new work, The Hairdresser, will premiere in Mexico at the festival with the director’s presence. In addition, the classic silent film, People on Sunday (1930), will be shown, accompanied by live music.

The Tribeca Film Institute will announce the Mexican audiovisual creators who will be the recipients of its grant program.

The First Nations Forum, which represents FICM’s commitment to indigenous filmmakers in Mexico and around the world, will be held for the fourth consecutive year, thanks to the support this year of Kansas City Southern Rail.

With the assistance of HSBC, the Films Without Borders section will offer a selection of documentaries, including Los Cinco puntos cardinales, by Fridolin Schönwiese; Big Birding Day, by David Wilson; and Threshold Songs, by Natalia Almada, among others.

Thanks to the suggestion in 2008 by French director Bertrand Tavernier, the festival will present the program Imaginary Mexico again this year. The films Viva Zapata, by Elia Kazan and Érase una vez la Revolución, by Sergio Leone, will be shown.

This year, the festival will give special recognition to Enrique Ortiga, who was an excellent promoter of Mexican film during the 1990s.

Together with the Filmoteca of the UNAM, there will be a screening of the trilogy by Mexican director Fernando de Fuentes of the Mexican Revolution: El compadre Mendoza, Vámonos con Pancho Villa and El prisionero 13.

The Swedish Embassy and the Cátedra Ingmar Bergman UNAM en Cine y Teatro have collaborated with FICM to present the documentaries Images from the Playground and …but Film Is My Mistress by director Stig Björkman.

A program of shorts by Latin American directors who graduated from the prestigious London Film School, headed by English director Mike Leigh, will also be presented.

With the collaboration of the Cineteca Nacional, the program “Monsiváis Favorites” will be shown. There will also be a special program to celebrate the 35 years of the CCC film school. Within the program Women in Film in Mexico, dedicated to women pioneers in film, La Negra Angustias, by Matilde Landeta, in celebration of the centennial of the Mexican Revolution,  and El bígamo, by Ida Lupino will be screened.

Festival venues will be located at the Cinépolis Centro Morelia and Cinépolis Las Américas complexes. In addition, there will be free screenings at the Casa Natal de Morelos, the Aula Mater de la Universidad Michoacana San Nicolás de Hidalgo, la Plaza Benito Juárez; and conferences at the Auditorio José Rubén Romero. For the sixth consecutive year, the Teatro Emperador Caltzontzin in Pátzcuaro will have parallel daily showings of films as an extention of the festival.

Terry Gilliam, the British director who made such classics as Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Time Bandits, The Adventures of Barón Munchausen and Brazil, is the guest of honor.

The film Biutiful, by director Alejandro González Iñárritu, will be screened at the Inauguration Ceremony, on Oct. 16, at the Teatro Morelos in the Centro de Convenciones de Morelia. In addition to González Iñárritu, the protogonist Javier Bardem, who won an Oscar for the film, and Argentine actress Maricel Álvarez, will be present. Also attending the ceremony, will be the team of talented Mexican professionals who collaborated in the film: Rodrigo Prieto, Brigitte Broch, Lynn Fanchstein, Martín Hernández, and José Antonio García.

Peruvian director Javier Fuentes-León will present his film Contracorriente, which received an award at the last Sundance Festival; Nicolás Philibert, acclaimed French director, will return to Morelia for the premiere of his documentary Nénette; English director Zeina Durra will attend a special presentation of The Imperialists Are Still Alive!; Serge Bromberg, well-known French director and producer, will present his extraordinary Retour de Flamme; and Lucy Walker  returns to Morelia to screen her documentary Waste Land, which was shown this year in  festivals at Sundance, Berlín and Cannes.

The 8th Morelia International Film Festival will offer the festival’s best films from Oct. 28 to Nov. 4 in the Cinépolis complexes in Mexico City; from Oct. 29 to 31 in the Cineteca Nacional; from Nov. 5 to 7 at Cinematógrafo del Chopo; and from Nov. 12 to 14 in the MUAC.

To celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the Filmoteca of the UNAM, there will be a special showing of Maclovia by Emilio Fernandéz on Oct. 15 at the Teatro Emperador Caltzontzín in the city of Pátzuaro.

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