Guadalajara fest winks at 'Eyelids'

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GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- "Parpados Azules" (Blue Eyelids), a dark comedy from Mexico, won best Ibero-American picture at the 22nd annual Guadalajara International Film Festival, while 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" centers on 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.

"Alice" was among three films selected that will be submitted to the Golden Globe Awards for consideration in the foreign-language category. "Eyelids" and Brazil's "Deserto Feliz" also were chosen.

In other prizes, Paulo Caldas won best Ibero-American director for "Deserto Feliz," 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 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 twelve 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 is a clear sign that "Mexican cinema is being resurrected."

Winners list:

Ibero-American picture – Parpados Azules

Mexican picture – Malos Habitos

Ibero-American director – Paulo Caldas (Deserto Feliz)

Mexican director – Enrique Begne (Dos Abrazos)

FIPRESCI prize – A Casa de Alice

Ibero-American first work – Lo que se de Lola (director: Javier Rebollo)

Mexican first work – Partes Usadas (director: Aaron Fernandez)

Screenplay – Carlos Contreras (Parpados Azules)

Actor – Selton Mello (O Cheiro de Ralo)

Actress – Carla Ribas (A Casa de Alice)

Cinematography – Daniel Aranyo (La Distancia)

Audience Award – De Angeles, Flores y Fuentes

Mezcal Prize for Best Picture – Parpados Azules

Ibero-American documentary – Accidente

Mexican documentary – Los Ladrones Viejos

Ibero-American short – Beijo de Sal

Ibero-American animated short – Niebla

Mexican short – Tiene la Tarde Ojos

Television Espanola Prize – La 4ta Compania

FEISAL prize – Nomadak TX

Jalisco Film Academy Prize for best short – Senas Particulares

Work in Progress Prize (Two winners) – El Camino and Personal Belongings
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