'Eyelids' tops at Guadalajara fest

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"Parpados Azules" (Blue Eyelids), a dark comedy from Mexico, won best Ibero-American picture at the 22nd annual Guadalajara International Film Festival. The drama "Malos Habitos" (Bad Habits) got the nod in the Mexican features category.

"Eyelids," a Foprocine/Estudios Churubusco/New Art Digital co-production, also garnered a best screenplay award Friday at Mexico's top film fest. First-time filmmaker Ernesto Contreras directed the story written by his brother Carlos Contreras. "Eyelids" revolves around two pathetic strangers who fall in love. Producer Luis Albores said the film has no distributor yet.

"Habits," also a feature debut, tells the story of a family brought together by eating disorders. Simon Bross, who has helmed numerous award-winning commercials, co-wrote and directed the picture. Gussi Artecinema is handling distribution in Mexico. Altavista Films, Santo Domingo Films and GB y Asociados co-produced the film.

Chico Teixeira's "A Casa de Alice" (Alice's House), a drama from Brazil, also came up big in Guadalajara, wining the International Federation of Film Critics' prize and best actress for Carla Ribas. It was among three films selected that will be submitted to the Golden Globes for consideration in the foreign-language category, along with "Parpados" and Brazil's "Deserto Feliz."

In other prizes, Paulo Caldas won best Ibero-American director for "Deserto," and Enrique Begne took best Mexican filmmaker for "Dos Abrazos"; first-work prizes went to Javier Rebollo for "Lo que se de Lola" in the Ibero-American category and to Aaron Fernandez for "Partes Usadas" (Used Parts) in the Mexican features section; "De Angeles, Flores y Fuentes," a comedy directed by three filmmakers from Guadalajara, picked up the Audience Award; and Brazil's "Accident" and Mexico's "Ladrones Viejos" (Old Thieves) garnered prizes in the documentary competition.

During the nine-day gathering, buyers from numerous countries, including representatives from several Hollywood studios, descended on the festival's market. While no acquisition deals were announced, there was a great deal of interest in "Eyelids" and "Habits."

Eight of the 12 Mexican features in competition were first works, and many observers were commenting that the local film industry is becoming more productive and showing more diversity these days.

Festival director Jorge Sanchez said it is a clear sign that "Mexican cinema is being resurrected."

A complete list of winners can be found at www.hollywoodreporter.com.
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