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Opening Ceremony of the 13th FICM

By: Jaime Garba, reportero (@jaimegarba)

The Morelia International Film Festival (FICM) held its opening ceremony, the official beginning of the activities of its 13th edition, with the screening of Crimson Peak, the latest film by Mexican director Guillermo del Toro. The event, which took place at the Cinépolis Escala Morelia (formerly Plaza Morelia), was preceded by a red carpet with the presence of well-known personalities of the film industry. You can see the gallery of photos of the red carpet: here.

The opening ceremony was conducted by Mexican actress Johanna Murillo, who welcomed everyone and thanked the directors, actors and special guests who came from different parts of Mexico and the world to participate in the different activities of the festival. She also thanked the enthusiastic public that attends the festival each year.

Johanna Murillo.

Johanna Murillo.

Then, Murillo turned the podium over to Morelia municipal president Alfonso Martínez who said it was an honor for Morelia to host one of the most important festivals in the world. “During one week, Morelia will proudly show the world its true essence, since beyond the films that will be screened and the hundreds of artists that visit us, the city will show its true face, and will invite people to walk around and admire all that it has to offer,” he said. The municipal president mentioned that FICM grows in importance each year. “Over time the festival has become a reference point in the world of the seventh art,” he added.

Alfonso Martínez, Mayor of Morelia.

Alfonso Martínez, Mayor of Morelia.

The actress then introduced Michoacán governor Silvano Aureoles Conejo, who congratulated Alejandro Ramírez Magaña, president of FICM, Daniela Michel, general director of FICM, and Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel, vice president of FICM, and the festival staff for their effort over the past 13 years, which has contributed to the festival’s prestige.

Silvano Aureoles Conejo, Governor of Michoacán.

Silvano Aureoles Conejo, Governor of Michoacán.

Amid strong applause, Daniela Michel, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel and Alejandro Ramírez Magaña went on stage. Ramírez Magaña, who in name of the three, thanked all the invited guests for coming, and emphasized the indispensable support of people, institutions and companies. He also stressed the extraordinary program of the 13th FICM. “This year the competition is comprised of 55 short films, 12 documentaries, 13 works from Michoacán, and 10 feature films by Mexican filmmakers from around the country. Thanks to the support of the British Council México, we are celebrating the best of classic British cinema in the context of the Dual Year of Mexico-United Kingdom. This year, there is a selection of nearly 40 premieres of the best of Mexican and international cinema. We will have the Mexican premieres of Chronic by Michel Franco, Las elegidas by David Pablos, La calle de la amargura by Arturo Ripstein, Desde allá by Lorenzo Vigas; a special screening of 600 millas (2015) by Gabriel Ripstein and of Desierto (2015) by Jonás Cuarón. Also, in celebration of the 120 year anniversary of the birth of cinema, Thierry Frémaux, general delegate of the Cannes Film Festival, will present a special program made up of 98 restored films, made by the Lumiére Brothers and their team between 1895 and 1905, including the first filmed images in our country.”

Daniela Michel, Alejandro Ramírez Magaña and Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel.

Daniela Michel, Alejandro Ramírez Magaña and Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel.

Crimson Peak, the opening film of the 13th FICM, was presented by Thierry Frémaux, who said, “FICM is one of the most important festivals in the world and to me it is important to be here. I think the work that we do in Cannes is the same work that is done here, in order to make Morelia an important place in the world of cinema.” About Guillermo del Toro and his new film, he added, “Guillermo is one of the most important directors in cinema today. Each time he speaks of a film it is to emphasize the best in it. Guillermo is a poet, and above all Crimson Peak shows the poetry of horror, and it makes him a son of the tradition of the thirties, a very important tradition in the history of film.”

Thierry Frémaux, Daniela Michel, Alejandro Ramírez Magaña and Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel.

Thierry Frémaux, Daniela Michel, Alejandro Ramírez Magaña and Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel.

Crimson Peak was co-written with Mathew Robbins for Legendary and Universal Pictures, and stars Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam and Jim Beaver. Described by its creators as a gothic romance, the film tells the story of a young woman who falls in love with a seductive stranger and is swept away to a mansion atop a mountain of blood-red clay – a place full with secrets that will continuously haunt her.

After the screening in Morelia, Crimson Peak will premiere in Mexico on October 30, 2015.