If you’d like a little culture with some laid-back vacation time, head to Mexico the last week of March. Two capital cities—Guadalajara and Campeche—are offering festivals in film and jazz, respectively.
Cheaper than Cannes and closer to home, Guadalajara—Mexico’s second-largest city—is hosting its 26th annual film festival March 25 to April 1. U.S. actors Willem Dafoe, Eva Longoria and Edward James Olmos are scheduled to be on hand. So will German film director Werner Herzog and Spanish director Fernando Trueba (winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1993 for his film “Belle Epoque”). A retrospective of Herzog’s films will be shown at the festival, as will Trueba’s latest film “Chico and Rita.” Both directors are also being honored with awards.
If Herzog and Trueba seem a bit high-brow, consider going to the vampire-film selection put together by Mexican director Guillermo del Toro. A native of Guadalajara and founder of the festival, del Toro (“Hellboy,” “Pan’s Labyrinth”) has serious street cred in the horror-film field. Professional commitments may keep del Toro from attending in person, but his spirit is sure to hover over his personally-selected fang-fest.
Fifty-five feature-length films will be in competition at the Festival, with 294 films in all—shorts, documentaries and features. The lineup includes numerous Mexican films as well as films from Spain, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and other Latin American countries.
If you prefer music—or the seaside—consider the 12th International Jazz Festival in Campeche, on the Yucatán Peninsula’s Gulf Coast. Running from March 25 to April 3, the jazz festival will take place in three coastal cities in the state: Campeche (the state capital), Champotón and Ciudad del Carmen. Performances include jazz groups and solo performers from Mexico, Venezuela, and Italy.
This year’s festival is in homage to Cuban jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, a four-time Grammy winner who has worked with musicians such as Gloria Estefan, Kenny G., Frank Sinatra, Stan Getz, Tony Bennett and Alicia Keys. Sandoval will perform on Saturday, April 2.
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