Gravity to hold Mexico Movie Premiere at Morelia Film Festival

Gravity, directed by the well known Alfonso Cuarón of Mexico, will open the 11th edition of the Festival Internacional de Cine de Morelia. Cuarón will attend the event to present his film and will be present at international press conferences in both Mexico City and Morelia, the capital of Michoacán. According to Daniela Michel, director of the FICM, Cuarón “is a much respected filmmaker and loved by FICM.” The Mexican director will be in good company, joining directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Tommy Lee Jones, and Alejandro González Iñárritu, who have inaugurated previous editions of the festival.

Gravity stars Oscar winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney who play a medical engineer and a veteran astronaut, respectively. When disaster strikes, their shuttle is damaged and the two characters find themselves alone, spinning through space. The thriller was written by Alfonso and Jonás Cuarón, produced by Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman of the “Harry Potter” films, with Chris deFaria, Nikki Penny, and Stephen Jones as executive producers. The Warner Bros. Picture film’s Mexico premiere will take place on October 18.

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Morelia
Morelia Film Festival Logo

From October 18 to 27, 2013 the Festival International de Cine de Morelia (FICM) will be the worldwide focus of filmmaking and cinematography. For two weeks, the Morelia Film Festival will host such global stars as Salma Hayek, Javier Bardem, Julia Ormond, Tommy Lee Jones, Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh and Jennifer Lawrence. Since 2008, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) of the United States officially recognized FICM by offering the winning fiction, documentary and animation short films at Morelia the opportunity to be considered for an Oscar nomination. Since its beginning in 2003, FICM established a solid partnership with the Critics’ Week of the Cannes Film Festival, which has promoted Mexican filmmakers such as Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, Guillermo del Toro and Fernando Eimbcke. A selection of films from the Critics’ Week is presented each year at FICM with the presence of some of their participants. Likewise, the Critics’ Week shows some of winning films from FICM. Every year, FICM honors an important figure of Mexican cinema from the state of Michoacán. In previous years, the festival has paid tribute to the filmmakers Miguel Contreras, Fernando Méndeza and the Alva brothers; the cinematographers Ezequiel Carrasco and José Ortiz Ramos; the actors Julio Alemán and Damián Alcázar; and the actresses Stella Inda and Lilia Prado.

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Mexican Folk Art Dia de Los Muertos

The Arkansas State University Museum will be host to an extensive collection of Mexico’s popular art that has existed for over 2,000 years starting on October 23rd. The exhibit, “El Caballo: The Horse in Mexican Folk Art,” features 22 examples of Mexico’s artistic legacy including ceramics, metalwork, paintings, paper art, and sculpture. This exhibit focuses on the horse because “since introduced by the Spanish, the horse has held special prominence in Mexican culture,” from Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa to the Apostle St. James. Regional artists use a wide array of materials for diverse examples of popular art that blend tradition with modern-day creativity. The exhibit is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a program of the Mid-America Arts Alliance and curated by Robert Cugno and Robert Logan.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the ASU Museum will celebrate “Día de los Muertos,” on November 1st from 5 to 7 pm. An important Mexican holiday, the Day of the Dead celebrates reconnecting with deceased family members and, contrary to its name, is a lively and festive occasion. Therefore, the museum will host a free event with activities for the whole family including face painting, crafts, games, live music, and more. Regular museum hours are Tuesday from 9 am to 7 pm, Wednesday-Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm, and Sunday from 1 to 5 pm.

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Mexican National Football Team

Friday, October 11, 2013 is going to be a monumentally important day for Mexico’s National Soccer Team. As World Cup Qualifiers are coming to an end, Mexico finds themselves in fifth place in the CONCACAF table. The United States and Costa Rica have both mathematically qualified, leaving only one guaranteed slot and one intercontinental playoff slot in which CONCACAF’s 4th place team will face New Zealand in a home and away playoff. 

Mexico’s most likely chance of qualification will come through the intercontinental playoff. However, for them to even have a chance to reach this playoff, Mexico must first beat Panama on Friday at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. In the past, Azteca has been a fortress for Mexico in which they were usually guaranteed a win or at least a tie. But the reason the find themselves in this current predicament is that their form at Azteca has been off, only securing 3 points in their last four matches at Azteca with three ties and a loss. 

As they approach this crucial match, Mexico is looking at their European based players to have a major impact on the game. This list includes Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Giovanni Dos Santos and Javier Aquino but unfortunately does not include Héctor Moreno (injury) and Andrés Guardado (form). Another notable inclusion into Mexico’s roster is Rafael Marquez. The Mexican veteran and previous captain had retired from international duty but head coach Victor Manuel Vucetich has called him back in the hope that the team will benefit of his experience and veteran presence. 

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Mexican Grand Prix 2014

Sergio Perez reckons Formula 1 will be blown away by the reception it gets in his homeland if the planned Mexican Grand Prix gets the green light for 2014. After a trying first season following his move to McLaren, Sergio Perez admits that he is already looking forward to leading the team to the Mexican Grand Prix. A draft calendar circulated to teams before the Monza race had a record 21 rounds, with Mexico listed for November 9, 2014, the week before the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

Perez said: "I'm very excited. It's not confirmed yet, it's just a pre-calendar but I feel there are very big chances now of this happening. It will be great for my country, great for the sport. F1 will be amazed how popular this grand prix can become...it will be huge for F1 as a sport to go there."

Mexican businessman Carlos Slim Domit: "I believe there is potential to do more races in the Americas and I believe that Mexico is in the right spot to do it. It's a stable country, our economy is doing quite well and we have drivers people can identify with. All of the pieces are coming together and I believe the potential promoters are doing a good job in trying to secure something."

Mexico last hosted a grand prix in 1992, when Nigel Mansell triumphed for Williams en route to his world championship title. That race also took place at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, which is on course to return to the calendar despite rumors that Mexico was seeking alternative venues, such as the resort of Cancun, to stage its comeback.

As expected, the Mexican race is featured towards the end of the 2014 schedule, but was listed before the USGP rather than after it was anticipated. The November 9th slot ensures a three-race swing through the Americas to end the campaign, with Brazil continuing to stage the season finale.

The Mexican reckoned a few flat-out months of work would be required to upgrade the pit and paddock facilities but the layout was good. "I know how good the racetrack is," Perez stated, "Obviously, they need to rebuild it, but there is time enough. They have to change the pits to make them proper for F1, and improve a few corners but, apart from that, it's just a matter of time what they can do. They don't have to do big things for the racetrack to be ready so I really hope - for the good of the sport and my country - that it happens."

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Go_Deeper_Into_Mexico_With_Mezcal

Mezcal, which comes from agave like its more popular counterpart, tequila, has recently emerged as a trend on several cocktail lists. It is characterized as having a smoky taste that cannot be masked, even by the addition of fruit juices, sugar, or other mixers. It adds complexity to the usual tequila cocktails: “Everyone is familiar with a margarita, and it’s a good way to showcase mescal,” explains Ethan Smith, mixologist and co-owner of the restaurant Hecho en Dumbo in NoHo. Although both mezcal and tequila are made from agave, “mezcal can be made from any of nearly 30 types of agave,” while tequila must be 100% blue agave, and in the former, “the piñas, or cores, are usually smoked in open pits, not steamed” as is the case for tequila.

Mezcal can be mixed with tequila in a cocktail, as Brian Van Flandern of Creative Cocktail Consultants has showcased with his “Smoking Jacket,” which combines the two at varying proportions and contains many of the familiar ingredients of a margarita. Mr. Van Flandern’s new book, “Craft Cocktails,” features several mezcal cocktails. Mezcal partners particularly well with whiskey (especially scotch) and certain fruits such as orange and pineapple. Although Mexican dishes are the first that come to mind when pairing mezcal with food, the spirit also goes well with Asian food. Fresh Hamptons, in Bridgehampton, N.Y, has a distinct Asian influence. The house mixologist, Douglas Sheehan, serves reposado mezcal with fresh pineapple juice, honey, chile, and lime for a sweet and spicy cocktail called “They Didn’t Burn Rome in a Day.”

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Will_Canelo_Alvare_ Be_The_One_to_Finally_Defeat_Floyd_Mayweather_?

The super welterweight world championship pay-per-view showdown between Canelo Alvarez and the undefeated Floyd Mayweather will take place on Saturday, September 14 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. In spite of facing the most important fight of his career, Alvarez displays the collectedness of a man who is never worried.

Canelo, a redhead with matinee idol looks, is the No. 1 boxing attraction in Mexico. He is on the cusp of joining the same club as Mexican boxing legends like Carlos Zarate, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales.

What’s at stake? A victory over Mayweather would cement Canelo’s legacy as one of the all-time greats in Mexican boxing history.

Alvarez received advice from fellow Mexican boxer and mentor, Oscar De La Hoya, who lost to Mayweather in 2007, could give Alvarez the edge to defeat Mayweather. “Floyd is a different kind of fighter and this is a different kind of fight,” Alvarez said. “For every fight there’s a game plan. But that game plan can go out the window in the first round. So you have to have a Plan B and a Plan C. And that is what we’ll work on.”

“For one thing, youth is on his side,” De La Hoya said of the 23-year-old Canelo, who hails from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. “But the real advantage will be the intelligence. People will also be surprised with his speed.”

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Las Vegas
Mexico_USWNT_RFK_Stadium

The United States women’s national team will rival Mexico at the RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. on September 3rd, live on Fox Sports 1, America’s new sports network.

The game will mark the first international soccer match on the new network. “This event will only bring the players together for a few days, but as always, we relish the opportunity to play an international match,” said U.S. head coach, Tom Sermanni. “Many of the US and Mexican players will be coming right out of their club seasons, so everyone should be fit. We know we will probably face Mexico in World Cup qualifying so it’s good to see them before that tournament.”

The last three U.S. vs. Mexico games were decided by just one goal, including when Mexico won at a 2-1 victory during qualifying for the 2011 Women’s world cup. The U.S., the number one team in the world, is 26-1-1 against Mexico.

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Washington
Simple_Mexico_Home_of_Surrealist_Luis Buñuel_Opens_to_Public

The home of the “father of surrealist cinema,” the late Luis Buñuel, will be a meeting place for Spanish and Mexican moviemakers, with workshops and exhibits to celebrate Spanish-language cinema. The home can only be visited during events, exhibits or by prior scheduling and the opening ceremony will lie on the 30th anniversary of Bunuel’s death. Bunuel's home is being presented as simply as the director left it when he passed away, and not with the museum treatment given to the much-visited Mexico City abodes of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky and surrealist painter Frida Kahlo.

In fact, Buñuel never imagined his house as a representation of his work, unlike Mexican director Guillermo del Toro's Southern California home, which is filled with images of the monsters and heroes of his films. Buñuel is regarded as one of cinema’s greatest directors because of the way he pushed the boundaries of taste and narrative. The décor of his home, however, is surprising to those familiar with his work. Although he spent much of his career criticizing the bourgeoisie, Buñuel, “lived like a petite bourgeois” according to author, Jose de la Colina. Filmmaker and son of Luis Buñuel said, “There was always imagination and humor and good food.” The unexpectedly normal home shows no signs of the shocking and bizarre images that were dreamed up inside, making it all the more intriguing.

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Mexico City
A_Taste_of_Mexico's_Wine_Country

Forbes Travel Guide recently explored Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe and discovered the many great wineries and attractions in the region. In particular, they explored the upcoming events in the Fiestas de la Vendimia.

This harvest festival from August 2 through 18 will feature special wine tastings and street parties. On August 7, the modern gourmet restaurant Laja will host a wine pairing dinner at Laja with prominent Mexican Chef Daniel Ovadia as a guest.

The wine pairing will reflect the best of Mexican’s fine wine country, which offers great variety from wineries using modern techniques, such as Hacienda La Lomita, to more traditional wineries such as Monte Xanic and Baron Balch’s.

In addition to the events of the festival, Forbes recommended many of the beautiful hotels in the region, including the Encuentro Guadalupe by Antiresortes, Adobe Guadalupe, and La Villa del Valle. Each of these boutique hotels offers accommodations with panoramic views of Mexican wine country. Adobe Guadalupe, in particular, offers its own winery for guests to explore.

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Ensenada

Mexico will play Trinidad and Tobago on July 20 at 6:35 pm Eastern Time at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in the second quarterfinal match of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The match will be televised live in the United States on Fox Soccer.

Mexico advanced to the quarterfinal after going 2-1 in group stage play. After losing to Panama 2-1, El Tri rebounded by defeating Canada 2-0 and Martinique 3-1. Trinidad and Tobago drew with El Salvador 2-2, lost to Haiti 2-0, and then beat Honduras 2-0 to advance out of Group B.

The winner of Mexico versus Trinidad and Tobago will face the winner of the Panama-Cuba match. Mexico is seeking its third straight Gold Cup title, having won the tournament in 2009 and 2011 by defeating the United States. Mexico has won more Gold Cup titles than any other CONCACAF nation (6 wins) and has had more tournament appearances (with 20).

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TaeKwonDo_World_Opens_Central_Mexico_City_Puebla

The 2013 World Taekwondo Championships began in Central Mexico’s city of Puebla this weekend. This year marks the 21st annual Championships for men’s events, and the 14th annual for women. Over 800 athletes from 134 countries and regions will be competing for seven days for an audience of over 5,000 locals.

The opening ceremony was held on Saturday, with a folk dance performance depicting the traditional Mexican legend of Popocatepetl – an active volcano in the Puebla region. Also, Puebla’s governor Rafael Moreno Valle and the World Taekwondo Federation’s president Choue Chung-won spoke and opened the biennial Championships, which are scheduled for July 15-21st. They expressed their hopes for the best championships in the Federation’s history and thanked Puebla’s local government for hosting the tournament.

"Dear athletes please train hard and compete fairly, to show the audience of Puebla, Mexico and the whole world how wonderful is taekwondo," Choue Chung-won said.

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Mayweather_Canelo_Booked_September_14

Can Mayweather vs. Canelo Top Boxing's All-Time PPV Record?

Rated as the best pound-for-pound boxer and five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (44-0, 26 KO) and junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KO) are still more than two months away from meeting in the ring, but they're already shattering records. Tickets for their September 14th mega fight in Las Vegas sold out in the blink of an eye, and the fight has broken the all-time live-gate record for a boxing event.

Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, known as El Canelo, Alvarez is an undefeated 22-year-old Mexican professional boxer in the Junior Middleweight division. Álvarez started boxing at 13 years old, after watching his older brother Rigoberto Álvarez's debut as a professional boxer. In 2004 he won the silver medal at the Junior Mexican National championships, held in Sinaloa. Even though Álvarez turned professional young, he had 20 amateur bouts under his belt. At 22, Canelo is going to let whatever happens happen, responding with youth and an imaginative spirit with the 36 year old Mayweather having to adjust to Canelo’s youthful eagerness. “I am 22-years-old and I'm not worried about money at the moment because I have a long future ahead of me. This fight is about pride, and winning, because I want to be one of the best boxers in history and this is the opportunity to reach that goal," Canelo said.

According to ESPN.com, the fight is guaranteed to generate at least $18.6 million dollars in total ticket sales. That's more than enough to supplant the 2007 bout between Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya, which generated just over $18.4 million dollars. Canelo and Mayweather might top the all-time PPV revenue mark, as the fight is priced at $65 standard definition and $75 in HD, so even if they don't get the 2.4 million buy mark, they could top the revenue mark, which is around $134 million domestically.

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Las Vegas
UFC expected to Expand In Mexico

The UFC, a popular Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sports organization, is considering expansion to Mexico in 2014. Expansion to Mexico would greatly enhance their booming Latin American market, which is already thriving in Brazil. With an enormous MMA following, a growing circuit of regional fight promotions and great local talent, Mexico has the essential pillars in place. 

UFC President Dana White said he would like to take full advantage of this spike in MMA interest; he believes there is a great culture of Mexican MMA fighters who have developed a unique style of Mexican fighting. 

These bright local talents include Mexican-American Cain Velasquez, the defending heavyweight champion, and Erik Perez, a rising bantam-weight contender. The success of the expansion efforts depends on whether the UFC is able to build and nurture these rising stars to bolster community support. 

However, for now, the UFC is relying on a similar model it presented in Brazil--a joint-venture deal with a television network--to increase its TV presence in Mexico. This strategic partnership with Televisa Networks will give the organization a way to disseminate free UFC programming on existing channels. According to media reports, it could launch as early as September 2013.  

Plans are also in the works to add a Spanish -language version of "The Ultimate Street Fighter" to the network, tentatively titled: "The Ultimate Street Fighter: Latin America." UFC executive Marshall Zelaznik, chief of international development, believes that having a regionally specific series and a live event in Mexico City would spearhead the UFC's business efforts in Mexico.

If the UFC can implement successful expansion efforts in Mexico in 2014, perhaps, a blueprint will be laid for future endeavors to help make the UFC a global sporting heavyweight!

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Thanks to an agreement signed by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Chinese President Xi Jinping, China will reduce trade barriers on the sale and import of Mexican tequila. Mexico is expected to export 10 million liters of tequila to China over the next 5 years.

Ramón González, President of the Consejo Regulador del Tequila, predicted that by 2018 China will be the world’s second largest importer of tequila, behind only the United States.

“China represents a golden opportunity for tequila and agave.” The “tequila pact” was one of a series of trade agreements signed by the two presidents at a bilateral meeting in Mexico City. The accords span industries like food, energy, mining, tourism, infrastructure and education. As part of the education initiatives, China invite 100 Mexican youths to summer camps on Chinese soil and offer 300 government grants over the next three years to Mexican youths who want to study abroad there.

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