With Netherlands in the spotlight, the Guanajuato International Film Festival commences from 20th July.

The 15th edition of International Film Festival Guanajuato (GIFF) is ready to kick off on July 20-25 in Guanajuato, Mexico with a renewed spirit and ringing louder of the motto "More movies Please!”. The film festival is an offering of a non-profit organization and a state-sponsored cultural event. It does not charge admission to its viewing audience and features a variety of films, conferences, workshops, tributes and activities at no cost to the visiting public. The main aim of the festival is to spread cultural awareness through film and celebrate the diversity of filmmaking and humanity. Every year, the festival highlights the culture of one country in particular and this time the country in focus is Netherlands.

The Guanajuato International Film Festival for 2012 announced competition in the categories of Short Film, Documentary, Feature National and International Opera Prima. The participants had to submit their entries in short film format, or digital video, which were produced after January 1, 2011. Each entry was allotted a maximum of 30 minutes (including credits). For the Documentary section, participants had to submit the documentaries in film, video or digital format which were minimum 30 and maximum of 120 minutes and produced after January 1, 2011. The feature film section will have works of directors, both Mexican and international, film or digital format, whose distribution has been realized in theaters in the country and produced after the January 1, 2011. The entries submitted by May 1, 2012 were accepted.

More than 400 films will be screened from 10am until 4am each day in 20 venues, which include such unusual locations as: the Jardín Principal (main square) of San Miguel de Allende; the classical open-air staircase of the University of Guanajuato; the subterranean streets and tunnels beneath the city of Guanajuato where underground films are screened; as well as horror films in the infamous Museum of the Mummies of Guanajuato and both municipal graveyards (panteónes). There are also screenings in more conventional spaces such as Teatro Ángela Peralta (SMA), Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramirez - El Nigromante (SMA), Teatro Santa Ana (SMA), Galería Kunsthaus Santa Fe (SMA), the Auditorio del Estado de Guanajuato (GTO) and the Teatro Principal (GTO).

Guanajuato borders Jalisco where the beautiful city of Puerto Vallarta is located. For visitors of the film festival, this is a great time to not only savor the colonial architecture of Guanajuato but also spend few days in Puerto Vallarta. Puerto Vallarta has some of the most beautiful beaches and scenic settings in the world which play host to many Hollywood celebrities and film shootings.

Founded in 1998, the International Film Festival Guanajuato (GIFF)-formerly known as Expression in Short was instituted to create a strong film culture and promote filmmaking. Today it has grown to be the largest and most prominent film festival and competition in Mexico. Since its establishment, various acclaimed Mexican and international filmmakers have participated in the festival. It is one of the finest platforms provided to the aspiring young filmmakers as they are always challenged to explore the unknown and come up with something stimulating for themselves as well as the audience.

One the latest addition to the festival is the GIFF Residence program. The GIFF Residence program is designed to provide an opportunity to the artists of the future to be mentored by international instructors in both thematic development and technique. Sarah Hoch, the executive director of GIFF stated, “The GIFF Residence is actually a house that will be occupied by eight filmmakers at a time, who may each be working on different stages of a given project, and who will be advised by national and international experts, with the common goal of completing their films.” The program is scheduled to begin from January 2013.

For more details about everyday programs and activities, visit http://www.guanajuatofilmfestival.com/_wp/