Most of the films we studied this week relied on festivals as a primary mode of distribution, rather than theatrical exhibition. Festivals also serve as an indispensable form of both cultural legitimation and of media promotion for niche or art movies.
Vital here is the Morelia International Film Festival, where the feature competition is limited to first and second films by new directors. The winner in 2009 was Alamar. What does the Morelia website tell us about its vision of international cinephilia and a Mexican national cinema?
Guadalajara is however the main festival which serves as a showcase for Mexican cinema. What does this report by respected critic of national daily tell us about elite conceptions of national film? http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2010/03/21/index.php?section=opinion&article=a09a1esp
Success at festivals abroad is used to promote Mexican films in the home market. This strategy was successfully used in the case of Amores perros (where the producers hid the fact that the prize their film won at Cannes was not in the main competition); and by a smaller regional film like Así, whose origins in the neglected northern metropolis of Monterrey were counteracted by the acceptance of a first time film at the second most important international festival, Venice.
The Torre Latinoamericana is praised here not just as a landmark ('hito') but as a motive for pride in Mexican engineering in its survival of earthquakes
Compare and contrast this view with the tower's fragile and momentary appearance in the opening sequence of Amores perros.