HOLA MEXICO Festival attracts nearly 25,000 people, and continues to be about bringing the best films, food and music from Mexico to Downtown Los Angeles–this year is no different.
Festival opens the portal of Mexico to the entire LA community, so that they can experience more of Mexico’s cultural gems. 2014 is the sixth Hola Mexico anniversary and to celebrate it, festival has something for everyone! For starters, it offers its first ever FREE event in celebration of Dia de Las Madres (Mother’s Day) on May 10th, which is open to the entire community.
Hola Mexico starts the day before on May 9th, with the premiere of the box office smash CASESE QUIEN PUEDA (Get Married If You Can) written and staring Marta Higareda.
To give you more info about Hola Mexico we interviewed Samuel Douek, director of the festival.
BijanTehrani: Please tell us about this year’s Hola MExico festival and what we should expect to see this year.
Samuel Douek: This year’s festival brings the best films that Mexico produced in the past year, it was a great combination of films from all types of genres, they are films that have won many awards like “Heli” or ‘La Jaula De Oro”, and there are also films that broke box office records in Mexico, films like “Cásese Quien Pueda” & “Nosotros Los Nobles”. So I think that people that come to the festival this year will see how successful and varied the Mexican film industry has become.
BT: How many nights are the festival and will there be guest coming from México?
SD: The festival is 10 nights so it is a 10-day event and yes we have around 50 guests coming from México and most of the director and many actors and producers attending.
BT: How challenging was it to run this festival?
SD: That is a great questions, we simply tried to put on the best program that we can do, we did a lot of marketing as well and we had the fortune to target the Mexican population in Los Angeles which is quite a large so we had to gather our strengths to make sure that the Mexican people living in Los Angeles had a chance to see great Mexican films.
BT: What theaters and venues will the festival be screening at?
SD: We are screening at Regal Cinemas in LA Live in Downtown Los Ángeles.
BT: How can people access and obtain passes for the whole festival?
SD: People can go to our website, and there people can buy festival passes for the entire event or individual tickets.
BT: Are there Q&A sessions with the filmmakers?
SD: Yes, for every film there is a filmmaker present for a Q&A.
BT: Are there any other events at the festival besides the screening of the film?
SD: We have events, we have concerts, we have opening night Gala, and there are a big variety of events that we do around the film screening.
BT: How can people get to the other events?
SD: We sell tickets to all of our events, so people can go to the website and purchase tickets for any event.
BT: The films that are more artistic and intellectual; are there any films like these that we can look forward to at the festival?
SD: Many of those films, we were talking about “Heli” the film that won at the Cannes Film Festival for the best director, I think that this was a very strong film and beautiful, and also “La Juala De Oro” and we also have “Tercera Llamada” from Francisco Franco and this is a film that has been doing very well in Mexico and it has a lot of nominations, it is one of those films that resonated inside the industry because it has a great cast, it is a great story and it is very well made.
BT: How are audiences outside of the Mexican-American community welcoming and attending the festival?
SD: To a very small degree, not as many as we would like to tell you the truth.
BT: I truly believe that Mexican cinema deserves to be seen.
SD: I agree with you, we are trying and hosting campaigns and we did not see any big results, but any company or marketing campaign that will support the film, we will welcome. Every film is English subtitled and we welcome anyone through our doors and we hope to see more non-Mexicans attending the festival.