Mexico film festival canceled

Seventh edition was scheduled for February

MEXICO CITY -- The Mexico City International Contemporary Film Festival, once one of Mexico's top movie gatherings, has been canceled.

Festival sponsor Cinemex will make the announcement Friday. In the meantime, the festival's PR agency has confirmed that the seventh edition, slated to kick off on Feb. 24, is a no-go.

It remains unclear if Mexican exhibitor Cinemex, acquired by Entretenimiento GM de Mexico in 2008, will permanently call it quits on the annual event.

Known for its sophisticated international programming, the so-called FICCO lost its luster after co-founder Paula Astorga and several members of her team resigned in 2008.

Former organizers exited because they no longer shared Cinemex's vision. Raquel Cajiga, with a background in tourism and media, replaced Astorga as festival director, but last year's edition went off with little fanfare.

In its earlier years, the FICCO showed tremendous promise as one of Mexico's leading film fests. Other top-tier cinema events here include the Guadalajara and Morelia international film festivals.