Guadalajara goes for tango music


CORRECTED 9:40 a.m. PT Feb. 29

MEXICO CITY -- "El Cafe de los Maestros," a documentary about Argentina's glory days of tango music, will open the 23rd edition of the Guadalajara International Film Festival, organizers said Thursday.

The film fest, one of Latin America's top events, runs March 7-14.

In the Ibero-American fiction section, 14 features will vie for Guadalajara's top prize, including Brazil's controversial police drama, "Elite Squad," which recently won the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival.

As for the Mexican fiction category, a dozen pictures will be in the running. Among some of the awaited titles are Rodrigo Pla's "Desierto Adentro" and Fernando Eimbcke's "Lake Tahoe," winner of the FIPRESCI Prize and Alfred Bauer Award in Berlin.

A career achievement award will go to Bertha Navarro, who has produced various pictures with Guillermo del Toro, including the Academy Award-winning "Pan's Labyrinth." She is also working with Alfonso Cuaron on an upcoming project.

The guest country of honor is Argentina as Mexico looks to strengthen co-production ties with the South American nation.

Special guests slated to visit Guadalajara this year are director John Sayles and actor Danny Glover with "Honeydripper," Canadian actress/director Sarah Polley with "Away from Her," and Argentine composer Gustavo Santaolalla, who has won two Academy Awards for "Brokeback Mountain" and "Babel."

Additionally, Guadalajara has a film market that draws hundreds of regional distributors, including representatives of major Hollywood studios. The sixth edition of the market will feature 576 titles.

Festival director Jorge Sanchez told reporters at a Thursday news conference that he expects a huge turnout this year in terms of spectators.

"Last year, we had about 70,000 in admissions," he said. "This year, we've added more screens, and we expect to double that."