BAFTA spotlight brings in Cuaron, friends


LONDON -- Writer-director-producer Alfonso Cuaron, whose resume includes "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" and last year's "Children of Men," is one of the big names lined up by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for its New Mexican Cinema shindig, which begins Friday.

Cuaron said in an interview that his responsibility during the event will be to ensure that he helps pave the way for future generations of filmmakers from his homeland of Mexico.

"I don't want to sound like an old fart," Cuaron said, "But we feel we have already established solid ground for Mexican filmmakers, and we really want to pave the way to facilitate the next moviemakers that follow."

Cuaron is lined up alongside fellow filmmakers, biz partners and friends Guillermo del Toro ("Pan's Labyrinth") and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ("Babel") to boost the BAFTA celebrations of all things Mexican.

The British institution plans to showcase upcoming Mexican Film talent and honor the territory's contribution to the global film industry.

Cuaron said that every few years a single territory often has an impact on the world cinema stage. "It's happening in South Korea, and a few years ago we were all talking about Iran," Cuaron said. "There are certain nations that throw up a group of filmmakers that become relevant in the world."

The celebration, taking place at BAFTA's Piccadilly headquarters, runs through July 30.