Guadalajara According to Kenya

in 18th Guadalajara International Film Festival

by Angel Comas Puente

Kenya Márquez is the new Guadalajara Film Festival director. In fact it’s her second year as a director but she thinks that last year doesn’t count since she had to take charge in a hurry, in a three months time.

In the present edition –the 18th- the Festival has changed. It has a new look because of Kenya’s and El Patronato’s (the organizers) philosophy.

Once a short films producer and director (activities that she wants to resume) and also a journalist, Kenya has given her personal touch to a festival that, after some erratic years, seems to have found a more modern path. Here is a sum up of her point of views:

– One of our most important target is to fight for an ideological coherence. We do not want to waste efforts going in too many ways.

– Our ambition is to become a showcase for Mexican and Iberoamerican cinema in the world. We do not want to become a big festival like Cannes, San Sebastian or Berlin. We want to become a small, human festival, with the best films. We have planned to reach our target in three or four years.

– The Iberoamerican section in one of our most loved ambitions. Here in Mexico itis very difficult to see Iberoamerican films because of Hollywood monopoly. There are Mexicans that even think that Iberoamerican films do not exist any more. I’m glad because we have increased their audience. Theatres are full and people are amazed to discover them. We know that it’s a very difficult task –there are some other important festivals in America, but we are sure to succeed.

– Personally, I’m a fan of documentaries and it’s one of the reason of our documentary section. We think of its future because documentaries are increasing everywhere as another form of cinema.

– Creating the Market is another challenge. We hope that in three or four years we can see positive results. We want that the film industry know that they can find in Guadalajara films that the can not find elsewhere.

– Finances and support: Institutions (Instituto mexicano del cine, City Hall, etc), private sponsors and tickets (10% of the budget) and above all the Guadalajara University, about US$ 1.000.000. We want to keep intact the spirit that the University gave to the Festival from the beginning. There are six people working all year round and about 60 during the festival, most of them volunteers.

Kenya does not know if she will be the director in the next years. It depends on a lot of things – she says smiling. I think personally that she will not be a transition director.