LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The first annual Baja International Film Festival, held November 14 - 17, 2012, in Los Cabos, Mexico, today announced the inaugural year's official film award winners at the Festival Award Ceremony, hosted by the Mexico Tourism Board. Rodolfo Lopez Negrete, COO of the Tourism Board, represented the CPTM at the ceremony. The festival showcased 80 films from 18 countries, including 5 international feature films, 5 Mexican feature films, 5 international documentaries, 5 Mexican documentaries, 30 international shorts, 13 Mexican shorts, 4 environmental films, as well as special presentation screenings of 7 international feature films and 6 Mexican feature films.
The following awards were given for best film in each screening category, honoring the work of this year's outstanding filmmakers at the 2012 Baja International Film Festival.
Best International Feature - No, directed by Pablo Larrain. Revolving around Chile's 1988 referendum on the Pinochet regime, this brilliant behind-the-scenes drama tracks with engaging detail the unfolding of a political marketing campaign that succeeded against all odds.
Best Mexican Feature - Los Mejores Temas, directed by Nicolas Pereda. Drifting from fiction to documentary, Los Mejores Temas tells the story of Emilio, a man in his fifties, who shows up at his family home after fifteen years of absence.
Best International Documentary - First Position, directed by Bess Kargman. Six young dancers from Italy, Africa, Israel, Colombia, and other countries battle intense pressure as they prepare for the most prestigious ballet competition in the world.
Best Mexican Documentary - Tie between two films. El Alcalde, directed by Carlos Rossini, tells the story of Mauricio Fernandez, mayor of the wealthiest municipality in Latin America, located in the North of Mexico. La Revolucion de Los Alcatraces, directed by Luciana Kaplan, is a documentary about Eufrosina Cruz Mendoza, a native of Santa Maria Quiegolani, an indigenous community located in the Sierra Sur of Oaxaca.
Best International Short Film - Luminaris, directed by Juan Pablo Zaramella. In a world where light reigns and sets the pace of life, an average man has a plan that can change the natural order of things.
Best Mexican Short Film - Yuban Yasib, directed by Vazquez Colmenares. This documentary is about the transformation of a Zapotecan community as it portrays the longing for a set of principles that are about to die and the effort the people make to keep their culture alive.
"The festival is proud to have screened so many wonderful films from Mexico, the U.S. and around the world," said Festival Director Scott Cross. "And we are thrilled at the amazing response from both filmmakers and the festival audience. The juries selected the winners from a rich program of entertaining, provocative, and compelling films and the festival team would like to thank all of the filmmakers for their incredible work."
Additionally, the Festival bestowed Tribute Awards to the following recipients who were in attendance to accept: two-time Academy Award-nominee Edward Norton for Outstanding Achievement in Acting, Academy Award-winner Melissa Leo for Excellence in Acting, celebrated actor Diego Luna for Excellence in Acting, Academy Award-nominee Virginia Madsen for Excellence in Acting, Academy Award-nominee Matt Dillon for Outstanding Contribution to Cinema, acclaimed director Nicolas Echevarria, for Excellence in Director and iconic filmmaker and Secretary-Treasurer of the Directors Guild of America Michael Apted for Outstanding Achievement in Directing. The Awards were presented during the Baja International Film Festival's Closing Night Gala presented by the Mexico Tourism Board on Saturday, November 17(th) at the state-of-the-art Cabo Convention Center. The Festival's Closing Night film was "No," directed Pablo Larrain and starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Alejandro Goic, Alfredo Castro, Antonio Zegers, Luis Gnecco and Nestor Cantillana.
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