"Ice Man," starring Michael Shannon, above, Winona Ryder,… (Millennium Films )
The first Baja International Film Festival, which kicks off Wednesday in Los Cabos, Mexico, has a heady goal: to become the Cannes Film Festival of Latin America.
If scope is included in the criteria for that honor, the festival is off to a good start; it will showcase 80 films from 18 countries before concluding Saturday. The festival opens with the Latin America premiere of “Ice Man,” which is slated to premiere in May in the United States.
The festival's directors, who also founded the Vail, Colo., Film Festival, think they have a chance to meet the challenge of becoming the Latin American equivalent of France's Cannes Film Festival because of Baja's proximity to Hollywood celebrities and filmmakers and because the locale is already a well-known vacation destination.
“Mexico is not only a wonderful location for an event, but also a place where cutting-edge films are being produced,” said Sean Cross, who is directing the festival with his brother Scott.
“We are excited to welcome filmmakers from around the world to come together at this inaugural event and build relationships that will benefit the international film making industry."
The festival will include nightly parties, panel discussions, filmmaker receptions and award ceremonies. It is supported by the Mexico Tourism Board and endorsed by the State of Baja California Sur and the Los Cabos Tourism Bureau.
Info: Baja International Film Festival
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