Samuel Goldwyn Films Acquires Ilse Salas’ “Plaza Catedral”

Ilse Salas’ acclaimed project has a new distributor…

Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired Plaza Catedral, starring the 40-year-old Mexican actress.

Ilse Salas, Plaza Catedral, The Oscar-shortlisted film, which hails from writer-director Abner Benaim, is looking to represent Panama at the 94th Academy Awards, in the category of Best International Feature.

Samuel Goldwyn Films’ release plan has not yet been disclosed.

The drama centers on Alicia (Salas), a woman who had a perfect life before her 6-year-old son died in a tragic accident. Plagued by grief, she becomes estranged from society – until one night a street-smart 13-year-old boy named Chief (Fernando Xavier de Casta) arrives at her door bleeding from a gunshot wound, and begs her to let him inside.

Plaza Catedral made its world premiere at the Guadalajara International Film Festival, where it won the awards for both Best Actress and Best Actor. The film then went on to win the Audience Award for Best Film at the International Film Festival of Panama.

Juan Ernesto Regalado Morales Wins Guillermo del Toro’s Jenkins-del Toro Scholarship

Juan Ernesto Regalado Morales is celebrating a special honor…

The Mexican filmmaker is this year’s winner of the Jenkins-del Toro Scholarship, which is awarded through an agreement between the Jenkins Foundation; the board of trustees of the Guadalajara International Film Festival, the University of Guadalajara, the University of Guadalajara AC Foundation and Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro.

Nendok entre lagunas,

With the honor, Regalado Morales receives a $60,000 scholarship.

Regalado received the honor in recognition of his first film Nendok entre lagunas, which was featured at Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal’s Ambulante Festival, and was described by the jury as “a work that demonstrates a transformative point of view, visual quality, a decisive capacity and commitment to his community and society.”

The film was selected by a jury that included del Toro, his longtime producer Beth Navarro, Mexican scream queen Issa Lopez, animator Jose Solorzano, film critic Silvestre Lopez Portillo and actor Daniela Schmidt.

Guillermo del Toro Announces Scholarship for Aspiring Mexican Filmmakers

Guillermo del Toro is ready to help the next generation of Mexican filmmakers…

The 53-year-old Mexican writer-director, who won two Oscars earlier this month, has returned to his hometown of Guadalajara with some news.

Guillermo del Toro

After his romance-fantasy film The Shape of Water took home four Academy Awards last Sundayincluding best picture and director, del Toro attended the Guadalajara International Film Festival, where he’s imparting a series of free master classes to thousands of fans.

Following the first class on Saturday, the festival inaugurated a state-of-the-art cinema named after del Toro, and then organizers announced the creation of the Jenkins-Del Toro International Film Scholarship, a $60,000 annual award for an aspiring Mexican filmmaker to study abroad at a prestigious film institute.

“If we change a life, if we change a history, we change a generation,” said del Toro, whose genre filmmaking has inspired a new generation of talent in Mexico.

Del Toro and fellow countrymen Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman) regularly produce films from up-and-coming Mexican filmmakers.

“The first push is very important,” said del Toro, who will oversee a jury that awards the scholarship at the Guadalajara film fest each year.

del Toro also announced that his At Home with Monsters exhibit will hit museums in Guadalajara and Mexico City next year. The exhibit features 500 drawings, paintings and concept pieces from del Toro’s works, including creepy life-size sculptures of monster figures. The collection, to be curated by Oscar-winning production designer Eugenio Caballero (Pan’s Labyrinth), bowed in 2016 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Naranjo Honored for Her International Fight for Gay Rights

She may be known for her larger-than-life persona and voice, but Monica Naranjo is being touted for her exceptional fight for gay rights.

The 37-year-old Spanish singer, who has sold more than eight million albums worldwide, received the Maguey Prize over the weekend at Mexico’s Guadalajara International Film Festival for her work on behalf of the gay community.

Monica Naranjo

Hypocrisy still prevents people in many places from accepting public displays of love by same-sex couples, says the “Desátame singer.

“The path is a bit more open now in Spain, but there is still a lot of hypocrisy, it is still not viewed well to have homosexuals walking down the street with their partner,” says Naranjo.

In addition, the singer says The Spanish government has an “outstanding debt” with the gay community and needs to allow single people to adopt children, according to the singer.

Naranjo dedicated the prize to those who have been fighting “for decades” for gay rights.

The Guadalajara International Film Festival is screening a selection of gay and lesbian films.

Naranjo received the prize after performing in the last show of her 1950s-themed “Madame Noir” tour, which ran for a year and ended Sunday night at the Telmex Auditorium in Guadalajara, the capital of the western Mexican state of Jalisco.