New to the global film festival circuit comes the ambitious Baja International Film Festival launching itself this coming November 14th -17th in Los Cabos, Mexico. To celebrate the culmination of much hard work and dedication from a key team, guests gathered at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Los Angeles last week to raise their glasses, dine on delicious traditional Mexican style canapés and hear first hand from the festival creators as to their vision for this coming event and it's future.
The hotspot of Los Cabos has long been a popular retreat for movie stars, entrepreneurs and west coast dwellers since the 1950's. It has a reputation for world class beaches, fishing, outstanding golf courses, hotels and plenty of natural beauty. Over the decades Los Cabos has been developing into a internationally renowned destination, and many huge films like Troy, Titanic and Pearl Harbour have all been filmed in this region.
A bi-national team of Mexican and American industry experts and film and business managers have banded together to create a world class aspiring platform for both established and emerging film makers, allowing them to promote their work and create lasting cross country relationships.
BIFF co-founders Sean and Scott Cross are two of the key players on board, with previous success co-founding the Colorado Film Institute and Veil Film Festival, alongside Jorge Sanchez Sosa, Director of the Guadalajara Film Festival. All three will be leading the festival direction. Nancy Collet, former Director of Programming at the American Film Institute will be the festival's Senior Programmer.
One of the major contributors and co-founders of the festival - Eduardo Sanchez-Navarro Redo had this to say about the Baja International Film Festival and Los Cabos.
“First of all being a festival, it has to be a quality festival and for that we have very qualified people that have been in festivals for many years. We have the Crosses, Sean and Scott that have run the festival in Vail for nine years successfully and we have Jose Sanchez who has run the festival in Guadalajara, one of the most successful film festivals in Latin America. So we will have a very good festival. The other thing that is very interesting is that this is an the opportunity to bring festival people from the United States into Los Cabos and then bring the Mexicans from Mexico City to Los Cabos so that they can do networking, get together and see opportunities. Hopefully this will help the Mexican film industry to become more international and it will also help the US industry to do many things in Mexico. Los Cabos needed to have more than sun and beaches. It needed to have culture. I have been going to Los Cabos and have loved Los Cabos for thirty years. The opportunity was there. They needed a festival”.
With this solid crew of business and creative professionals investing into a such a huge project, the aim is to promote relations through film making with Mexican and American talent, as well as opening up the competition to contributors worldwide.
Daily screening of feature films, short films and documentaries will take place over four days, with evening entertainment - panel discussions, workshops, galas, award ceremonies and more. Support from the Mexico Tourism Board and endorsement by the State of Baja California Sur and the Los Cabos Tourism Bureau solidifies BIFF as the Official Film Festival Of Cabos, Mexico. Virgin Produced – the film and television branch of Richard Branson's Virgin Group - has come on board as the main festival sponsors, as well as actor and producer Edward Norton keenly accepting the offer to be a prime advisor for the festival. All stars look to be aligning for one tremendous event, fashioning international festivals such as Cannes and Venice. Submissions for screenplays remain open until October 26th and the winners will be announced on November 7th.