'Biutiful' to open Morelia Film Festival

Terry Gilliam retrospective, 'Somewhere' also on tap

MEXICO CITY -- The 8th edition of the Morelia International Film Festival will kick off with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's latest drama "Biutiful," marking the Mexico premiere of the Javier Bardem vehicle.
"Biutiful," Mexico's foreign-language Oscar submission, made its worldwide debut in Cannes earlier this year, where Bardem won best actor for his role as an underworld businessman.
Festival director Daniela Michel told reporters at a Wednesday news conference that Gonzalez Inarritu, Bardem and Argentine actress Maricel Alvarez will attend the film fest, which runs from Oct. 16-24. "Biutiful" will screen out of competition.
Also programmed for this year's event is a retrospective spanning the career of Terry Gilliam, which includes all 12 of his feature films. Gilliam will be on hand as a special guest.
More than 80 Mexican films will screen in competition, with seven fiction works from first- and second-time directors. The feature films in the official selection comprise Jorge Michel Grau's cannibal drama "We Are What We Are," Alejandro Molina's sci-fi flick "By Day and By Night," Julian Hernandez Cordon's dramedy "Marimbas from Hell," Cannes winner Elisa Miller's freshman feature "Vete Mas Lejos Alicia," Alvaro Curiel de Icaza's immigration dramedy "Acorazado," Dylan Verrechia's lesbian-themed drama "Mother Earth" and Sebastian Hiriart's road movie "A Stone Throw Away."
Among the international titles bowing in Mexico are Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere," the Golden Lion winner at the recent edition of the Venice film fest; the Woody Allen comedy "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger; the Palme d'Or victor "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall his Past Lives," from Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul; and Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarastomi's "Certified Copy."
Additionally, this year's Cannes Critics Week titles will unspool at the festival, including the Grand Prix winner "Armadillo."
Opening a month ahead of Mexico's centennial celebration of the Mexican Revolution, Morelia will commemorate the historic event with special screenings of classics such as Elia Kazan's "Viva Zapata" and Fernando de Fuentes' "Let's Go with Pancho Villa." Also in the lineup, yet offering a more contemporary take on the Mexican Revolution, is the collective work of shorts entitled "Revolution," which showcases segments from some of the nation's most buzzed-about helmers, including indie auteurs Carlos Reygadas ("Silent Light"), Fernando Eimbcke ("Lake Tahoe") and Rodrigo Pla ("The Desert Within").
Morelia stands out as one of Mexico's top-tier film fests, namely for its quality programming and intimate setting.