5 Must See Movies at the Hola Mexico Film Festival

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Twitter: @CineSnob

The sixth annual Hola México Film Festival in Los Angeles is ready once again to prove there is a lot of talent south of the border. This year’s festival will take place from May 9-18 and features narratives and documentaries from a variety of filmmakers. Take a ride with actor Gael Garcia Bernal atop a moving train in the docudrama ¿Quién es Dayani Cristal? or see how well actor Kuno Becker does as a first-time director/writer with the thriller Pánico 5 Bravo.

Festival coordinator Samuel Douek says the Hola México Film Festival will show its Los Angeles audience what Mexican cinema is all about and can help weaken stereotypes. “I think cinema is what Mexico does best,” said Douek. “We come to L.A. with our best weapons to fight Mexico’s bad image by showcasing amazing filmmaking abilities. We want to put our best face out there!”

Below are five films from México and two exciting events you should add to your calendar ASAP!

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El Cuarto Desnudo (The Naked Room)
Director: Nuria Ibañez
Country: México

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Filmmaker Nuria Ibañez explores the lives of children in this dramatic documentary set in a children’s hospital in Mexico City. Shot in cinema vérité style, El Cuarto Desnudo focuses the camera on the it’s young subjects, their parents and doctors for a profound and moving view on human nature and social reality.

1:00pm at the Regal Cinemas LA Live on May 11

Director: Amat Escalante
Country: México

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Chosen as México’s official entry for the Academy Awards in 2013 and winner of the Best Director Award for Amat Escalante at the Cannes Film Festival, Heli examines the relationship between a 17-year-old police cadet and a much younger girl, both who get involved in a drug raid with corrupt police officers.

6:00pm at the Regal Cinemas LA Live on May 11

Pánico 5 Bravo
Director : Kuno Becker
Country: México

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Actor Kuno Becker (Goal! franchise) makes his directorial and screenwriting debut with Pánico 5 Bravo, a thriller starring Becker as one of four paramedics on duty in Arizona who illegally cross the border to México when they receive a call that someone is in need of help.

7:00pm at the Regal Cinemas LA Live on May 12

¿Quién es Dayani Cristal? (Who is Dayani Cristal?)
Director: Marc Silver
Country: México

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In ¿Quién es Dayani Cristal?, a documentary featuring actor Gael García Bernal, director Marc Silver journeys with migrants in Arizona to learn the identity of an unidentified immigrant found in the desert who has the name “Dayani Cristal” tattooed on his chest.

7:30pm at the Regal Cinemas LA Live on May 13

La Jaula del Oro
Director: Diego Quemada-Díez
Country: México

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Reminiscent of the powerful 2009 film Sin Nombre, director Diego Quemada-Díez’s immigrant story, which won a special award at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, is a harrowing experience that should not be missed. Quemada-Díez, who worked as a camera operator on film such as 21 Grams and The Constant Gardener, has let a little Alejandro González Iñárritu and Fernando Meirelles rub off on him, which is never a bad thing.

7:00pm at the Regal Cinemas LA Live on May 15

SPECIAL EVENT: Dia De Las Madres (May 10)

Bring your lovely mothers out to Hola Mexico’s first-ever free event on Mother’s Day! Taking place at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, thee event will include a variety of food vendors and music by Ceci Bastida and Las Colibri. There will also be a screening of ¿Que Le Dijiste a Dios?, a musical featuring the songs of Juan Gabriel.

SPECIAL EVENT: Closing Night Screening & Concert (May 18)

After the World Premiere of the comedy Volando Bajo (Flying Low), which stars Méxican actor Rafael Inclan, Hola Mexico invited guests to stay for a performance by popular Mexican rock en español group La Gusana Ciega. La Gusana Ciega, who has not rocked out in L.A. in six years, features Daniel Gutierrez, the band’s lead singer who helped create the Volando Bajo soundtrack.

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