5th Los Cabos International Film Festival
Mexico, November 9 - November 13 2016
“Come see what the neighbors are doing” is the enticing slogan in the trailer for the 2016 Los Cabos International Film Festival. This was the Fest’s successful fifth edition, November 9 th to 13 th, in the Baja tourist town of Cabo San Lucas, with screenings and activities also in the neighboring San José del Cabo. The Los Cabos International Film Festival with its grand hotels and nearby ocean beaches has become a necessary destination to see some of the most vibrant expressions of Mexican cinema, but also for American and Canadian independent cinema.
This intimate, very enjoyable festival exhibited 46 films over five days, and had two competitive, juried sections. México Primero featured six national films, and the Los Cabos Competition was comprised of nine Canadian, Mexican and American films. Other sections were World Highlights, movies from around the globe, and American Specials, features from 2016 made in the USA, both by veterans and young filmmakers. Finally, there was the Green section: films with an environmentalist approach.
The Festival offered a couple of well-deserved tributes, to Hollywood political filmmaker Oliver Stone and to Mexican cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto. The closing ceremony included a Lifetime tribute in appreciation of the acting career of the Italian diva Monica Bellucci.
The winning film in the Los Cabos Competition section was American Honey from Andrea Arnold. It received an award of two hundred thousand pesos, just shy of ten thousand US dollars, and also “The Whale,” a small sculpture created by jewelry designer Daniel Espinosa.
The jury prize in the México Primero section went to X500 from Juan Andrés Arango. Tamara and the Ladybug (Tamara y la Catarina) directed by Lucía Carrera, received the FIPRESCI award for best Mexican Film and also the Trailer Art Kingdom Award, with a twelve-thousand- dollar value prize to make a professional trailer.
Finally, the documentary Beauties of the Night (Bellas de noche) from María José Cuevas predictably received the Public Cinemex award for Best Mexican film along with two hundred thousand pesos. So, excluding the official jury of México Primero, the jury of the rest of the sections and the audience in Los Cabos was delighted by films directed by women. And rightfully so. (Ernesto Diezmartínez, edited by Gerald M. Peary).