During my stay in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, last month, I happened to be in town for the Guanajuato International Film Festival (GIFF). Guanajuato is one of the states of Mexico. It is here that San Miguel is located. I had not tried to plan my trip to correspond with the festival; it was merely a coincidence.
I live in Toronto where we have the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), arriving very soon next month. TIFF is world-famous and GIFF is rarely heard of in Canada and the U.S. It is, however, well-known to Latin Americans.
Although I am a movie buff, I have never attended any of the movies presented at TIFF, nor do I stand in long line-ups, waiting to get a picture of a celebrity. They get enough attention.
In fact, while in Mexico, I was more excited about GIFF than I have been in the past about TIFF. There are many similarities between the two festivals: the number of different venues where movies are shown, the red carpets, the celebratory atmosphere.
I took in one movie: Eden. It is directed by Elise Durant and stars Diana Sedano. Durant was once a native of San Miguel and many of the scenes are filmed in and around the town. Sedano plays an ill woman who has returned to the town where she grew up with her father. There is a reason for her return: she must talk to the man who played a huge part in dismantling the lives of her and her father.
From the attention that the movie was generating in San Miguel, I got the idea that this was going to be the darling of the festival.
There was a huge turn-out. It was exciting to sit in the audience with native San Miguelenses, all of us waiting to identify places or people that we recognized in the movie.
And, as is typical at TIFF, the director and actors came out on stage at the end to talk about the reception. With my limited knowledge of Spanish, I did understand some of what they said.