'Promises' to kick off fifth Mexico City fest

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MEXICO CITY -- David Cronenberg's crime drama "Eastern Promises" will open the fifth edition of the Mexico City International Contemporary Film Festival, organizers said Thursday.

Known for its diverse international lineup, the festival is leaning heavily on European fare this year. Some 270 films from 47 nations will unspool during the two-week film fest, which runs Feb. 19–March 2.

The FICCO, as the event is called, will have 20 features and 15 documentaries in competition. Only one U.S. production, Chris Fuller's drama "Loren Cass," will compete in the official fiction section.

Two Mexican films will make their debuts here, Enrique Rivero's drama "Parque Via" and Yulene Olaizola's documentary "Intimidades de Shakespeare."

Other festival highlights include retrospectives of Danish filmmaker Carl Dreyer and U.S. helmer Frederick Wiseman. Among this year's guests are writer-director Harmony Korine, two-time Academy Award-winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla and James Benning, who will present his latest documentary, "Casting a Glance."

The FICCO also will feature gala screenings of such Oscar-nominated films as "There Will be Blood," "No Country for Old Men" and "I'm Not There."

Festival sponsor Cinemex said last year's event drew 78,000 admissions and it expects a bigger turnout this time around as it expands its presence in Mexico City and other Mexican cities.

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