The International Film Festival of Cartagena de Indias starts this week and here are ten reasons not to miss it:

1.     The entire festival continues to be free with priority access to accredited participants.

2.     Two additional Cine Colombia theaters (Centro Comercial La Castellana), 260 showings, more than 135 films, 27 countries, 48 daily screenings, 40 World Premieres and 26 Latin American premieres.

3.     The directors of the Festival’s Official Competitions, the latest and best film productions and a prestigious international jury all make their way to Cartagena this week for the festival.

4.     The outstanding British actor Clive Owen will be the guest of honor. In addition to a Tribute of his work and the screening of his latest film Blood Ties, he will participate in a public dialogue at the Teatro Adolfo Mejía, free of charge.

5. Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu, well-known for his feature films Amores Perros and Babel, will be honored with a Tribute; he will participate in a public dialogue at the Teatro Adolfo Mejía and also offer a master class, free.

6.     Retrospectives will include the essential work of Iranian Master Abbas Kiarostami, the best of John Sayles, the North American independent film icon, and the complete work of brilliant Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski. The three directors will travel to Cartagena to present their films, and participate in public dialogues and master classes at Salón FICCI.

7.     Salón FICCI will include 17 events including master classes, panels, public dialogues, workshops and press conferences by well-known film makers, screenwriters, producers, actors and other leading film industry professionals. Participation in Salón FICCI is free with priority access to with accredited festival-goers.

8.     In a joint effort with the Ministry of Culture, Proimágenes Colombia will once again offer Encuentros Cartagena, a space for learning about and promoting cinema that will bring together both national and international professionals.

9.     For the first time, the festival will have a Midnight Movies section, presenting two Colombian films: Encerrada, directed by Víctor García and written by Richard D´Ovidio (screenwriter of Los 13 fantasmas); and Demental, by young Colombian filmmaker David Bohórquez.

10.     Actor and director John Turturro’s hilarious Fading Gigolo, starring himself and Woody Allen together with and Colombian actress Sofía Vergara will close the festival.

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