The 8th Annual Morelia International Film Festival in Michoacán opened to its largest turnout ever on Saturday, where hundreds lined the red carpets to see their favorite star studded guests. Hollywood notable guests included director of Brazil and Monty Python fame Terry Gilliam, Academy Award winning Spanish actor Javier Bardem, and celebrated Mexican directors Robert Rodriguez (Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Planet Terror, and upcoming Machete) and Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu (Babel, Amores Perros).
The AP article noted the contrast of Mexico in the media and up close, saying:
From afar it seems like Baghdad: car bombs, beheadings and corrupt politicians. Up close, Mexico remains magical and picturesque in parts, feeling oddly safe even in the hardest-fought territories of the drug war.
When asked to comment on Mexico’s violence, Innaritu told the Associated Press that culture and education are important weapons against it. The festival is quickly becoming a top international film festival. This year it had 270 entries and 500 invited guests, 100 of which were foreign.