Morelia Film Fest: 'Birdman' Heading South for Latin American Premiere

Alison Rosa

The Michael Keaton starrer has been generating Oscar buzz since its world debut in Venice

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's dark comedy Birdman will bow in Latin America as the opener at the Morelia International Film Festival.

This marks the second time in five years that Mexican-born Inarritu has landed an opening-night slot at Morelia, one of Mexico's top film festivals. In 2010, Morelia kicked off with Biutiful, starring Javier Bardem.

Birdman has emerged as an Oscar contender following its world premiere in Venice and its North American debut at Telluride.

The 12th edition of Morelia will honor Academy Award-winner Juliette Binoche (The English Patient), who will be presenting Clouds of Sils Maria. Other guests this year include Inarritu, Pawel Pawlikowski (Ida), Amos Gitai (Free Zone) and Damian Szifron (Wild Tales).

Pierre Rissient also will be in Morelia for a special screening of Pierre Rissient: Man of Cinema, a documentary about an important Hollywood industry player who remains relatively unknown outside the film business.

The festival will unspool 40 world and Mexico premieres, including Palme d'Or winner Winter Sleep and a lineup featuring Cannes Critics' Week entries. The Mexico competition section includes the latest works from up-and-comers Rigoberto Perezcano (Carmin Tropical), Alonso Ruizpalacios (Gueros), Bernardo Arellano (El Cominezo del Tiempo) and co-directors Laura Amelia Guzman and Israel Cardenas (Sand Dollars).

Morelia runs from Nov. 17-26.