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  • Writer's pictureTyzza Macias

Celebrating 15 Years of Mexican Cinema: Hola Mexico Film Festival Lights up Los Angeles

Lights, cameras, fiesta! Get ready to experience the magic of Mexican cinema at the Hola Mexico Film Festival (HMFF), the largest Mexican Film Festival outside of Mexico. Founded in 2008, this incredible event has become a yearly tradition and a true celebration of Mexican cinematography. With a fantastic lineup of films spanning various genres and a festive atmosphere filled with exclusive parties and outdoor concerts, the HMFF is an unmissable experience.

Thanks to the generous support of sponsors like Toyota, Delta, Aeroméxico, and LA Plaza de Cultura Y Artes, the HMFF has grown into a grand showcase of the best and brightest talents in Mexican cinema. The festival aims to highlight the richness and diversity of Mexican culture through the power of film. It's a celebration of storytelling, art, and the incredible achievements of Mexican filmmakers.

This year, the HMFF returns for its 15th annual edition, coinciding with Hispanic Heritage Month. From September 29 to October 7, 2023, cinephiles will gather in Los Angeles, the capital of the worldwide film industry, to immerse themselves in the captivating world of Mexican cinema. The festival attracts over 10,000 attendees, creating a vibrant and inclusive community of film lovers.

The HMFF offers an impressive lineup of more than 20 films and 20 short films from its filmmaker-focused program, Tomorrow's Filmmakers Today. This program, in partnership with the leading nonprofit organization TFT, is dedicated to fostering the growth of emerging Latinx filmmakers. It provides a platform for these talented individuals to showcase their work and connect with established Mexican filmmakers and industry professionals in the U.S., opening doors for their career advancement.

Samuel Douek, the founder and director of the HMFF, is thrilled to celebrate the festival's "quinceañera," its 15th anniversary. He emphasizes how the festival has not only grown over the years but has truly come of age, becoming an integral part of L.A.'s Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations. The essence of the HMFF remains the same, with luxurious movie theater screenings that bring strangers together, forming a cinematic family bonded by their shared love for Mexican cinema.

Cinema has always been a powerful medium for showcasing culture, and the HMFF recognizes this. Alex Chau, Brand Media Manager at Toyota Motor North America, acknowledges the exceptional platform cinema provides for highlighting the richness and diversity of culture. Toyota is thrilled to renew its partnership with the HMFF, presenting a captivating showcase of Mexico's most brilliant filmmakers and their talented creations during this vibrant celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

In addition to the remarkable films, the HMFF also participates in the tradition of creating memorable movie theater posters. Working with sought-after graphic designers from Mexico, the festival prides itself on producing unique and collectible poster art. This year, Tone Olvera, a creative Mexican illustrator and art director, brings his visionary style to the 15th-anniversary HMFF poster. His work captures the essence of Mexican cinema, embodying "Mexicanness" and presenting it as an offering to the festival spirits.

The festival's program is divided into several sections, ensuring there's something for every taste. "México Ahora" showcases the best of Mexican films released in recent years, covering a wide range of genres. "Documental" presents notable non-fiction films made by Mexican filmmakers, offering an opportunity to explore real-life stories. "El Otro México" skillfully portrays the experiences of Mexicans rarely seen on screen, challenging the status quo through perceptive narratives. Lastly, the "Nocturno" section offers offbeat stories and thrilling horror films that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

The festival's excitement culminates with the opening night film screening at The Montalban Theater on September 29, 2023, and the closing night concert at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Downtown L.A. Before the concert, an award ceremony recognizes the audience's choice for the best film and best short film, adding an extra layer of anticipation and celebration.

The Hola Mexico Film Festival is not just about movies; it's a celebration of culture, community, and the power of storytelling. It's an opportunity to connect with the vibrant world of Mexican cinema, immerse yourself in unforgettable stories, and become part of a cinematic family. So mark your calendars, get your festival passes, and join this incredible journey into the heart of Mexican cinema. Viva el cine!


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