Hola Mexico Film Festival will close with 11th edition on June 8th with the Los Angeles premiere of MIRREYES VS GODINEZ (MIRREYES CONTRA GODINEZ), a comedic social critique on Mexico’s polarized society, directed by Chava Cartas. The film stars Regina Blandón and Daniel Tovar and is produced by Francisco González Compeán and written by María Hinojos.
MIRREYES VS GODINEZ (MIRREYES CONTRA GODINEZ), features two contrasting economic social groups that are often the brunt of jokes and memes in Mexican society – Mirreyes being the wealthy elite class that does not depend on a job to survive and Godinez being the working class that depend on their jobs to make ends meets providing the audience with tons of comedic relief. The film was a huge success in Mexico becoming the 4th highest grossing film in the country’s box office history.
“We are very excited to close the festival with such a fantastic film that is able to so elegantly use comedy to explore the divisiveness of Mexican society and deliver a critique that in modern-day times Mexico is more relevant than ever,” says Samuel Douek. “We are also delighted to have Sandra Echeverría join us in presenting her latest album, Instinto, alongside a mariachi band which seems like the perfect way to close Hola Mexico Film Festival,” continued Douek.
The Festival announced the programing for its sections: Documental, MX Ahora, and Nocturno.
In this year’s MX Ahora section, which highlights some of the most celebrated films of current Mexican cinema, includes IF I WERE YOU (SI YO FUERA TÚ) from director and writer Alejandro Lubezki and Edgar Nito’s feature debut THE GASOLINE THIEVES (HUACHICOLEROS).
The Nocturno section includes the best genre films of Mexico and this year it will feature the macabre and provocative films of FERAL and LOS INQUILINOS (THE TENANTS).The lineup also includes four films in their Documental section featuring some of the most compelling documentaries of the year including SEA OF SHADOWS executive produced by Academy AwardÒ winner Leonardo DiCaprio.
MIRREYES VS GODINEZ (MIRREYES CONTRA GODINEZ)
Genaro Rodríguez (Daniel Tovar), a young “godín” (a colloquial term that refers to low-level office workers), is a loyal employee of Kuri & Sons. His boss, Don Francisco Kuri, sees him like a son and trusts him completely with the business. However, circumstances change when Don Francisco dies and his real son, Santiago (Pablo Lyle), a spoiled “mirrey” (a term that refers to a young person from a wealthy family), decides to take over the company even if he has no skills to so. Afraid that Santiago and his fellow “mirreyes” will bankrupt the company he’s worked so hard to build, Genaro bands with the company’s other “godínez” to fight to keep their jobs. While being so intensely focused in their dispute, both groups lose sight of their real enemy, someone who is planning to destroy the company from within. This comedy by Chava Cartas explores class and power dynamics in Mexican society from a humorous and light-hearted point of view. DIR Chava Cartas. SCR Maria Hinojos. CAST Daniel Tovar, Regina Blandón.
Boasting a knockout performance by one of Mexico’s most prolific young actors, Luis Gerardo Méndez (Club de Cuervos), this powerful drama follows a retired boxer from Tijuana, Miguel “Bayoneta” Galíndez, living in the city of Tirku, Finland for mysterious reasons. Blending in, he spends his days working as a trainer in a boxing gym and finds solace in alcohol at night. He is merely a shadow of the athlete he once was in his glory days. Desperate for redemption, Bayoneta must prove himself in the only place where he feels at home: the boxing ring. In his quest for a new chance, the fighter will be forced to confront his past mistakes and the reasons that took him away from boxing and his family. The film was shot on location in the Scandinavian country where it’s set. DIR Kyzza Terrazas. SCR Rodrigo Marquez-Tizano, Kyzza Terrazas. CAST Luis Gerardo Méndez, Brontis Jodorowsky, Laura Birn, Ville Virtanen, Miriam Balderas.
BUY ME A GUN (COMPRAME UN REVOLVER)
Set in an unspecified near-future version of Mexico, the new film by talented director Julio Hernández Cordón reinterprets the literary classic “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” as a dystopia where women are disappearing, and brutal cartels have complete control of the country. In this dark world, a young girl named Huck (Matilde Hernandez), who wears a mask to hide her gender, helps her father, a tormented addict, take care of an abandoned baseball field where local narcos gather to play. To survive and defeat the local capo, Huck bands together with a group of lost boys that have learned to camouflage themselves in the windy desert. In their fight there may be hope for a better future. DIR Julio Hernández Cordón. SCR Julio Hernández Cordón. CAST Ángel Rafael Yanez, Wallace Pereyda, Ángel Leonel Corral.
EIGHT OUT OF TEN (OCHO DE CADA DIEZ)
Sergio Umansky’s fierce and psychologically complex drama explores the aftermath of a tragedy that evidences the rampant impunity and insecurity problem across Mexico. Chameleonic actor Noé Hernández shines as Aurelio, a man whose son was violently murdered in broad daylight. Searching for whoever was responsible, Aurelio meets Citlali (Daniela Schmidt) in a Mexico City hotel. She has also been unjustly separated from her child and wants to fight back. This shared struggle for justice forges a dangerous alliance between them. Soon, their desire for answers transforms into thirst for revenge. DIR Sergio Umansky Brener. SCR Sergio Umansky Brener. CAST Raúl Briones, Edward Coward, Noé Hernández, Adrian Ladron, Orlando Moguel, Daniel Schmidt, Mayra Serbulo.
IF I WERE YOU (SI YO FUERA TÚ)
A new take on the body swap sub-genre, this hilarious comedy tells the story of Claudia (Sophie Alexander) and Antonio (Juan Manuel Bernal), a couple which has been married for 15 years. With time their relationship has turned lackluster and meaningful communication is nonexistent. One night, following a heated argument, the rare planetary alignment of Venus, Earth, and Mars causes a shocking transformation. Antonio’s consciousness if now in Claudia’s body and vice versa, which will give them an opportunity to empathize with the other person’s daily life and reconnect with each other. DIR Alejandro Lubezki. SCR. Alejandro Lubezki, Amaranta Arguelles, Miguel Necoechea, Beto Cohen. CAST Juan Manuel Bernal, Sophie Alexander-Katz, Sebastián Zurita, Rosa María Bianchi, Isela Vega, Anabel Ferreira.
Going against her traditional Jewish family, Ariela (Naian González Norvind), a young woman from Mexico City, is secretly dating a non-Jew named Iván (Christian Vazquez). As the relationship deepens emotionally, Ariela realizes that her happiness doesn’t fit within the expectations of her community and their religious parameters. However, renouncing to her cultural identity would also mean leaving behind everyone in her life. Anchored by superb performances, this intimate and moving portrait of a forbidden love affair is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking. DIR Isaac Cherem. SCR Naian Gonzalez Norvind, Isaac Cherem. CAST Naian Gonzalez Norvind, Ricardo Fastlicht, Christian Vasquez, Margarita Sanz, Adriana Llabres.
MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING (LA BODA DE MI MEJOR AMIGO)
This reimagining of the classic 90s romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz follows the same formula but with a Mexican twist. Actress Ana Serradilla plays Julia, a renowned food critic afraid of settling down. Despite her aversion for commitment, Julia and her best friend Manuel (Carlos Ferro) had promised to marry each other if they were both single by age 35. To her surprise, the time has come, and Manuel is marrying another woman. With only four days before the ceremony and certain that she is the only woman for him, Julia plans to stop the wedding at any cost. DIR Celso García. SCR Gabriel Ripstein. CAST Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Ana Serradilla, Natasha Dupeyrón, Carlos Ferro.
Gael García Bernal stars in the latest film from visionary director Alonso Ruizpalacios (“Güeros”) as Juan, a directionless man still living with his parents in Mexico City’s Satelite suburb and who has been planning an improbable heist to loot Mexico’s sacred National Museum of Anthropology. His best friend and accomplice, Benjamin (Leonardo Ortizgris), isn’t so sure that the outrageous scheme can work, but still plays along out of loyalty. In the aftermath of their criminal act, the two friends embark on a journey not just to pursue financial gain, but also for personal introspection through their failures and the singular characters they meet on the road. Inspired by true events, Ruizpalacios’ tragicomedy brilliantly dissects the value of irreplaceable art, the nature of patriotism, and the frustration of underachievers with great ambitions. DIR Alonso Ruizpalacios. SCR Manuel Alcalá, Alonso Ruizpalacios. CAST Gael García Bernal, Leonardo Ortizgris Simon Russell Beale, Ilse Salas.
THE GASOLINE THIEVES (HUACHICOLERO)
Lalo (Eduardo Banda), a teenager from a small town, has a crush on girl at school and decides the only way to win her heart is buying her an expensive smartphone. At the same time, his mother is in need of financial support to cover medical bills. In order to help and achieve his romantic goals, Lalo gets involved with the local huachicoleros (gasoline thieves), who enlist him to illegally siphon the fuel and resell it on the black market. What first appeared like a solution to his troubles proves to be a deadly bargain. His choices could land Lalo in the hands of the authorities or in a much worse situation. This stunning debut feature touching on a relevant issue positions filmmaker Edgar Nito as one of the most exciting new voices in Mexican cinema. DIR Edgar Nito. SCR Alfredo Mendoza, Edgar Nito. CAST Leonardo Alonso, Eduardo Banda, Fernando Becerril, Pedro Joaquín, Pascacio López.
Told through videotape diaries and interviews, this terrifying vision centers on Juan Felipe de Jesús (Héctor Illanes), a priest and psychoanalyst in the Oaxacan mountains who in 1986 documented the process of reintegrating three feral children back into civilized society. However, when a mysteriously tragic fire halts the priest’s good intentions, many unanswered questions are left behind about what really happened in the inhospitable terrain. Only the locals know the dark truth. DIR Andrés Kaiser. SCR Andrés Kaiser. CAST José Ángel García, Julio Sandoval, Hector Illanes, José Concepción Macías.
THE TENANTS (INQUILINOS)
Running away from a devastating incident that haunts them, Luzma (Danny Perea) and Demián (Erick Elias), a young couple, move to an old apartment in Guadalajara to start over and save their relationship. Their desire for normalcy and tranquility are thwarted when they discover that a supernatural force inhabits their new home. Confronted with a series of paranormal phenomena involving their worst fears, the couple drifts further apart as the malevolent presence threatens to destroy them. DIR Chava Cartas. SCR Juan Carlos Garzón, Angélica Gudiño. CAST Luis Arrieta, Fernando Ciangherotti, Erick Elias, Dagoberto Gama, Alberto Guerra, Noé Hernández.
Filmmaker Jose Pablo Estrada Torrescano fulfills his promise of making a documentary about his charismatic and demanding grandmother, Mamacita, in this loving and revelatory portrait of a self-made woman, her pride, and her many secrets. A savvy businesswoman who built an empire of beauty products and clinics, Mamacita is as warm as she is sternly direct. At 95, the strong-willed matriarch reminisces about her achievements and cries about her disappointments inside an extravagant home that hides many stories within its walls. Through the film, her grandson captures Mamacita in all her complexity and rediscovers their unbreakable bond. DIR José Pablo Estrada Torrescano.
ONE TAXI DRIVE (UN VIAJE EN TAXI)
Unable to find emotional stability, Erick, a gay man living in Mexico City, must grapple with a harrowing incident that changed his life forever. A decade ago, on the night of his birthday, the then 17-year-old was sexually assaulted. Erick tried to move on with his life without going to the police, seeing a doctor, or finding any support groups, but it’s clear that the unresolved trauma is preventing him from having meaningful relationships with family and romantic interests. This observational and inspirational documentary captures the journey of this survivor as he faces his innermost fears in order to strive for happiness and a life worth living in spite of the terrible adversity he’s encountered. DIR C.K Mak.
SEA OF SHADOWS (MAR DE SOMBRAS)
Executive produced by Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio, this hard-hitting documentary follows environmental activists, the Mexican navy, and undercover investigators who are trying to save the vaquita, the world’s smallest whale, from extinction. The whale’s habitat is being destroyed at an alarming pace by Mexican cartels and the Chinese mafia, who harvest the swim bladder of the totoaba fish, also known as the “cocaine of the sea” for its high value. Featuring famed Mexican journalist Carlos Loret de Mola, the film bravely shines light on this illegal multi-million-dollar business. DIR Richard Ladkani, Sean Bogle, Mathew Podolsky.
RITA, THE DOCUMENTARY
Celebrating the life of rock star and activist Rita Guerrero, this intimate and music-fueled documentary by Arturo Díaz Santana captures the energy and artistry of her brilliant performance career as well as her family life in her later years when she directed the Vierreinal Choir of the Cluster of Sor Juana in Mexico City. As the lead singer of famous band La Santa Sabina, Guerrero became a central figure in Mexico’s 90s rock scene and a fierce advocate for social justice who supported the Zapatista movement. Blending footage from her role as an entertainer that the audience came to love with personal moments highlighting her off-stage personality as well as interviews with those who were touched by her magic, the film honors her legacy but also serves as a portrait of a woman who was a fighter till the end. Both adoring fans as well as younger generations who will discover her for the first time will enjoy this moving cinematic tribute. DIR Antonio Díaz Santana