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If you're still undecided about whether to watch the game of the Tri against Holland in a public place, or relocate your comfortable sofa in the room, takes into account that tropical depression 4-E - Douglas - could become the next hours in tropical storm will generate strong rains to very strong in Western, Central, southern and southeastern Mexico, warned Sunday the national meteorological service (SMN).

From 04:00 this Sunday, this tropical depression in the Pacific Ocean was located about 630 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Colima; to 850 to the South of Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, and 445 to the South-southeast of Socorro Island, Colima.

The system has maximum winds sustained 55 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 75 kilometers per hour, with movement towards the west-northwest at 26 kilometers per hour.

What does it mean?

Dense cloud with rain, wind and waves in Guerrero, Michoacan, Colima, Jalisco and Nayarit. The rains (from 75 to 150 mm) recorded in Michoacan and Guerrero, which includes the archipelagos of Rivillagigedo; In addition to precipitation very strong 50 to 75 mm in Jalisco and Colima, according to the weather forecast.

Sinaloa, Nayarit and Marias Islands will have rains and winds with gusts of 50 miles per hour and high waves of up to three meters high in Guerrero, Michoacan, Colima and Jalisco, added dependence in his morning statement.

The tropical depression is not the unique climatological phenomenon in Mexico.

A low pressure was located off the coast of Chiapas, where also recorded the tropical wave six. The interaction of these phenomena will facilitate the entry of moist air toward the States of the West, Central, South and Southeast of the country, where it will cause strong to very strong rainfalls.

A low pressure channel will continue on the interior of Mexico and, in combination with the entrance of humidity coming of the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, will give rise to rainfall with thunderstorms in the North, Center and East of the country.

The previous picture look very wet, but not so for the peninsula of Baja California, Sonora and Chihuahua will continue where the hot environment with maximum temperatures between 40 and 45 degrees Celsius, as a result of an anticyclonic circulation in the Northwest of the country.

[readon1 url="http://mexico.cnn.com/nacional/2014/06/29/la-tormenta-douglas-parece-asomarse-por-el-pacifico"]Source:mexico.cnn.com[/readon1]

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alThe campaign's mission is to raise awareness among the youth through workshops, lectures and damage testimonies that brings in people alcoholism in Mexico

Through a risoterapia  group of young  nayaritas implemented governmental campaign called  "Disfruta y Muévete Chin Alcohol" which aims to keep youth away from addictions.

One member said in an interview that this campaign already involved more than fifty young people from different schools, is to sensitize the youth through workshops, lectures and testimonies the  damage that brings in people alcoholism Mexico.

These activities, the respondent stated that take place daily in the various schools in the state, while the weekend was given the task of going to other places, such as hospitals, orphanages or some public places.

He explained that this campaign was implemented a few months ago and have already visited several schools where they have a mission to raise awareness among young people, that you can live a life without drugs or alcohol.


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Mexico Coca Cola Vros

Puerto Vallarta, Jal- Coca-Cola's largest bottler in Mexico has temporarily suspended operations in the capital of the embattled state of Guerrero following attacks on its workers and its trucks.

Alma Beltran, a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola Femsa SA, says the decision to stop supplying Chilpancingo was to "guarantee the safety of our personnel" while the viability of operations in the area is evaluated.

The decision comes amid protests in the southern state around the disappearance of 43 students. Protesting students and teachers have regularly blockaded roads and taken over vehicles delivering everything from milk to snacks.

The conflict reached a new level on Wednesday when protesters temporarily detained employees of Coca-Cola in response to what they said was a theft report filed by the company. Ten people were injured during what police described as an attempt to attack Coca-Cola's offices in Chilpancingo.

The conflict ignited anger in a business sector already frustrated by struggles to operate in the social turmoil.

Since the students disappeared on Sept. 26, Coca-Cola has lost 250 trucks to robberies or attacks, according to the Employers' Confederation of Mexico in Guerrero. Protesters have also attacked other big companies, such as Comercial Mexicana department stores, Oxxo convenience stores and trucks for Bimbo, one of the largest food conglomerates in the world.

The students disappeared at the hands of local police working with a drug cartel, which killed the young men and burned their bodies, the federal attorney general has said. Relatives of students dispute the government's version.



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PUERTO VALLARTA - Toyota Motor 7203.T is finalizing plans for its first passenger car assembly plant in Mexico that could be approved by its board as early as next month, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

The plant would make the popular Corolla compact sedan and begin production in 2019. Based on recent investments by rivals, including Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE, a new assembly plant would represent an investment of over $1 billion for Toyota.

A green light for the plant would signal an end to a 3-year expansion freeze imposed by the Japanese automaker's president Akio Toyoda, who has blamed aggressive expansion a decade ago for contributing to quality lapses and a 2009 recall crisis.

Toyoda last year asked planners scouting for a site in Mexico to hit 'pause' and review the rationale for the project, executives familiar with the matter said then. He urged executives to squeeze more production from existing factories.

Toyota is the last mass-market automaker without a major production hub in Mexico, which has lured car makers and suppliers through its low labor costs and tariff-free access to the United States, Toyota's largest single market. The Japanese firm has a plant in Mexico's Baja California that produces the Tacoma pickup truck, but it has no passenger car plant.

Last year, Mexican officials pitched half a dozen potential sites for a new plant, and Toyota executives have zeroed in on a site in the central state of Guanajuato, two people with knowledge of the deliberations said.

A delegation of Toyota executives recently spent a week in Guanajuato and remain in talks with local government officials over a potential plot of land that would give the automaker a big enough footprint to expand in the future, a source said.

"We are always evaluating our production capacity in Mexico, and in North America generally, to keep it in line with local market demand, but no such decision has been made at this time," Toyota spokesman Itsuki Kurosu told Reuters.

An official at Mexico's economy ministry had no immediate comment on Toyota's plans in the country. A spokesman for Guanajuato's economic development department declined to comment.


The Mexico plant would produce a new generation of the Corolla, which will also be made at a factory in Japan, people with knowledge of the company's plans said.

Toyota said it sold close to 340,000 Corollas last year in the United States alone.

Mazda Motor 7261.T opened an assembly plant in Guanajuato early last year, which will also produce vehicles for Toyota under an agreement between the automakers. In June last year, Daimler DAIGn.DE and Nissan Motor 7201.T announced plans to build a new small car joint-venture plant in Mexico at a cost of $1.4 billion.

The wave of new investment by automakers has brought hundreds of Japanese auto parts suppliers to Mexico over the past few years. Auto production in Mexico doubled to more than 3 million vehicles a year in the five years to 2014.

Toyota's Corolla plant in Blue Springs, Mississippi, which opened in 2011, was the automaker's most recent assembly plant to come on line in North America.

With production capacity in Mexico, Japanese automakers avoid the risk of a stronger yen JPY= cutting into profits on exports and minimize the risk of a disruption to sales from events like the labor dispute that slowed trade through the U.S. West Coast earlier this year.

(Additional reporting by Chang-Ran Kim, Norihiko Shirouzu and Luis Rojas; Writing by Kevin Krolicki; Editing by William Mallard and Ian Geoghegan)



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  • Premiering on November 21 in new york, and mexico on February 12.

Just a few months after the presentation and a few days of its commercial release in new york, the Mexican film "Four Moons” (“Cuatro Lunas”) has been critices, and already won various awards.

This recently film took the prize of the public (audience award) at the festival of Fort Lauderdale (flglff 2014) as best debut film, and was nominated for the award Latin Sebastiane, of san sebastian festival in Spain. In addition, has performed at the festivals of Morelia, Monterrey and Guadalajara.

having been the only Mexican film nominated to Premio Maguey in the international film festival in Guadalajara 2014; cramming the rooms locations in Quito Ecuador, as well as the recognition of the soundtrack performed by pate de fua, make that "Four Moons” (“Cuatro Lunas”) causes greater expectations for the premieres of the year 2015.

It is the Nayarit director sergio tovar velarde second feature film has managed to attract attention not only in mexico but also in other countries, since it tells four stories of gay love, from different ages, perspectives, scenarios and situations completely different.

A child who is attracted to his cousin; a couple of young people who come to the school and where is complicated to accept his love; a couple who starts to have problems in the relationship when a third party; and, an old man, married with children, who have to see the way to retain a young man who only interest is money.

Juan Manuel Bernal, Karina Gidi, Monica Dionne, Gabriel Santoyo, Alonso Echánove, Antonio Velázquez, Alejandro de la Madrid, Alejandro Belmonte, César Ramos, Gustavo Egelhaaf, Sebastián Rivera, Martha Aura, Hugo Catalán y Jorge Luis Moreno, are some of the players that stand out in this movie.

Tovar Velarde said that he is proud of the reception of his latest work and hopes to continue giving more satisfaction, because it is a work well done despite trying as controversial issues in our society.

This is the first time a Mexican film addresses the issue of child sexual preference was the same sex as well as the experience of their parents to understand and cope with their child's gay condition.

The filmmaker said the commercial release of "Four Moons” (“Cuatro Lunas”) will take place on November 21 in New York, as the company Breaking Glass Pictures has acquired the distribution rights in the US, while in Mexico it will be released on February 12, 2015 in different theaters.

"Four Moons” (“Cuatro Lunas”) is a Atko Films production in co-production with The Güeros, supported Kinómada (Québec), ColorSpace and Skyflak Studio.


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A trainer moves a dromedary during a show at the Cedeño Hermanos Circus in Mexico City on 9 March. A ban on animal performers is due to come into effect on 8 July.
Circus owners claim the ban will put non-human performers in danger as zoos and sanctuaries look unprepared to provide homes

A trainer moves a dromedary during a show at the Cedeño Hermanos Circus in Mexico City on 9 March. A ban on animal performers is due to come into effect on 8 July. Photograph: Henry Romero/ReutersWith animal acts about to be banned from all circuses in Mexico, the fate of the non-human performers has become mired in acrimony and doubts over whether the legislation will actually lead to an improvement in animal protections.

Rather than bring relief to the elephants, lions, tigers and other animals they currentlytransport around the country in cages, circus owners claim the ban in fact puts the animals in danger.

“A lot of owners don’t want to give the government the animals that are their livelihoods, and which they look after well,” said Armando Cedeño, president of the national association of circus owners. “Some are looking to sell them, and you don’t always know who is buying. Others are so desperate they are thinking of putting them to sleep.”

But the government of Enrique Peña Nieto has brushed aside such warnings with promises of a bright future for Mexico’s four-legged circus performers. The implementation of the ban is just three months away.

“We will ensure that all the animals have top-level destinies that attend to their comfort and wellbeing,” the chief environmental prosecutor, Guillermo Haro, told reporters earlier this month.

Such optimism sounds a little glib given the vagueness of the legislation, the state’s limited capacity to provide sanctuary and a long history of a black market trade in exotic species. All within the context of wildly varying estimates of how many circus animals there are.

tigers mexico circus Tigers are seen in a cage during a media tour organised by circus workers union, to show animals from some circuses that have already shut, in a town called Tizayuca, near Mexico City on 9 March. Photograph: Henry Romero/Reuters

The ban explicitly gives Mexican zoos first pick of the animals. The rest, the legislation says, can be handed over to the authorities, though this is not obligatory.

So far, the big public zoos have expressed little interest in the animals, given their tight budgets, and other state-owned sanctuaries do not have the infrastructure to receive more than a small number. Expansions have been promised, as have arrangements with privately run sanctuaries, but how this will be arranged or funded remains a mystery.

Doubts over numbers

Although authorities have said that the owners could face legal action if they put their animals down, there has been almost no comment on the prospect of mass sales of old circus animals. A thriving black market in exotic species already feeds unregulated private collections – such as the tigers found in drug traffickers’s mansions – as well as the trade in pelts.

“It’s very difficult to get a handle on what is going on,” said Dilce Winders of the international animal rights group Peta that lobbied energetically in support of the Mexican ban. “And the deadline is looming.”

Winders stresses that there is still very little solid information about the animals that will be needing a new home. This should come, theoretically, when the owners provide a census immediately after the ban comes into force in early July, but they currently claim it is about 4,000. The authorities say their existing registers suggest the number is closer to 2,500.

Tim Phillips of Animal Defense International, a group which has been at the forefront of campaigns to ban circus animals across the world, has dismissed the larger figure as “circus propaganda”, and the warnings of deaths and mass sales as “outrageous threats” designed to force some kind of compensation deal.

Still, Phillips, who said ADI had been involved with the Mexican case from the start, added that the Mexican authorities seemed “a bit overwhelmed” in recent meetings and suggested they may soon announce a delay in implementation.

ADI, Phillips said, had already “emptied Bolivia” of old circus animals with a number of “rescues” in the wake of its ban in 2010. The group is currently finishing a similar operation in Peru, preparing to airlift 33 lions and a bear to sanctuaries in California and Colorado.

dromedary bactrian camels mexico circus A group of dromedary and bactrian camels from some circuses that have already shut shelter under a tree. Photograph: Henry Romero/Reuters

Phillips expects ADI will be invited by Mexico to help place the animals and, perhaps, even to help enforce the ban.

“Often the countries most in need of animal protection laws are the ones with the least resources to enforce them,” he said. “We are getting a taste of that in Mexico.”

Phillips said that he expected the numbers to fall dramatically as the most common species, such as llamas and horses, were sold off easily. He said some of the exotic ones might also “disappear”, though he insisted that feeding the black market is a longstanding practice among circus owners and should not be blamed on the ban.

“We have to be realistic,” he said. “If this is the last generation to suffer in circuses in Mexico it is a very positive thing.”

‘They are killing the industry’

The ban is already partially in action, thanks to local-level legislation in about a third of Mexico’s states.

Circus owner spokesman Cedeño said this has had a major impact on audiences for the family-based companies that set up their big tops in small towns and poor barrios across the country, forcing some to close down altogether.

“They are killing the industry,” he said.

Cedeño insists the ban goes beyond concern for animal welfare and is – at least partially – a cover for powerfully connected people seeking a cut from selling off valuable animals appropriated from the circuses.

The evidence is suspect, but such stories gain some traction in Mexico thanks to the dubious reputation of the Green party, which has been the ban’s main promoter and whose leadership is mired in allegations of corruption.

They have also previously used publicity campaigns that have had little to do with environmental issues. One candidate used an elephant to launch his campaign in 2012, and the Green party governor of the state of Chiapas gave a key position to a businessman who boasted of his exploits hunting elephants in Botswana.

But animal rights activists insist that none of this is relevant to the task at hand.

“No political party has a good reputation in Mexico,” said Leonora Esquivel of the group AnimaNaturalis that has worked closely with the Green party on the ban. “Our responsibility is to ensure that this opportunity results in the end to the exploitation and mistreatment of animals in circuses.”



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PUERTO VALLARTA - Mexico is one of the biggest and most diverse countries around. There really is something for everyone ... lovely, temperate-climate mountain towns, a vibrant Renaissance-like capital city, rainforests and farmlands and yes, those absolutely gorgeous beaches.

Today's Mexico is not only amazingly diverse and exotic, it's also far safer than the media would have you believe. And we won't belabor this point because there is simply no way to convince the naysayers.

The truth is that there are plenty of us who love Mexico. It's a top destination for U.S. and Canadian tourists. Lots of international conferences are held in its many welcoming cities and resort towns.

Mexico has also been a top expat destination for more than 60 years. We've lived here ourselves over the years, in the Lake Chapala, San Miguel de Allende, and Mérida.


San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Today, more U.S. and Canadian expats live in Mexico than anyplace else in the world -- as many as a million of them, it's said. There are many reasons for that, including the vibrant culture, an affordable cost of living and excellent healthcare.

Expats in Mexico know that this country is an easy place to live. The climate is great, it's close to home (you can easily drive to Mexico from the U.S. and Canada) and it is, simply, convenient. You can get fast Internet and see first-run films in modern cineplexes -- in English. You can shop at big-box stores and eat at chain restaurants like Chili's, Applebee's, Burger King, and McDonald's if you want to.

But with Mexico's culinary reputation, it's doubtful you'll care much about chain restaurants when you live in Mexico, where you'll find some of the world's tastiest and most exotic foods. Chiles, chocolate, vanilla -- all these and more come from Mexico. And you'll find regional cuisines here as varied as the country itself...

Some of the Most Popular Destinations in Mexico for Expat Living

Close to the U.S. border, you'll find many Arizona residents own holiday and retirement homes in the Sea of Cortez seaside town of Puerto Peñasco, also known as Rocky Point.

Baja Norte from Tijuana to Ensenada is also very popular. And with new border crossing lanes recently opened at the San Ysidro crossing, getting back and forth to San Diego is now faster and easier than ever before. It's so easy, in fact, that some expats in this area commute daily, working in the U.S. and living in Mexico.

Further south, in Baja Sur, popular destinations include the popular Los Cabos area and the resort town of Cabo San Lucas, as well as La Paz, Todos Santos, Loreto, and more.


La Paz, Mexico

Lake Chapala, in central Mexico, is often called the world's largest foreign retirement community, with up to 16,000 or more U.S. and Canadian retirees in residence, depending on the season.


Lake Chapala, Mexico

The large expat community means you'll have a built-in support network as well as access to all the familiar products and brands from home. The 30-mile long freshwater lake is the largest in Mexico and provides cool breezes for this area, considered by many to have the best weather in the world. Being just an hour south of Mexico's second-largest city of Guadalajara, internationally known for its teaching hospitals, you can also count on world-class healthcare.

Another popular expat destination, San Miguel de Allende is a 500-year-old town of about 140,000 people that sits at an elevation of about 6,000 feet in the Sierra Madre mountains right in the center of Mexico.

Its latitude gives it the perfect climate ... never too hot, never too cold. No heat or air conditioning needed. San Miguel was recently designated as a World Heritage city and Conde Nast recently named it the world's #1 most livable city. It's not hard to understand why. Perfect weather, beauty on every corner, and it's a town that thrives on culture. Art, theater, music, gourmet food, and more ... you'll find it here, as well as a large expat community of as many as 10,000.

About 90 minutes from San Miguel de Allende is the city of Guanajuato, also a World Heritage city and the capital of the state by the same name.


Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato is a university town and has a fun, youthful feel to it. It's known for its cultural activities. Every fall, the International Cervantino Festival is held here and brings performers from around the world. But you can find an abundance of art, theater, live music and more in Guanajuato any day of the week. Still, this city remains largely undiscovered by expats -- only about a thousand or so call Guanajuato home.

Mérida, where we lived for four years, is one of our favorite cities in Mexico.

It's a major city of almost a million people, the capital of Mexico's Yucatan state, and is often referred to as the safest city in Mexico. It offers a lively local culture, an interesting and friendly expat community, and plenty of local amenities such as shopping, restaurants, health clinics, and hospitals. The Yucatecan architecture is French, Spanish and Caribbean-influenced, unique and inviting...


Merida, Mexico

If you're looking for convenience, and a quality lifestyle, gorgeous Puerto Vallarta, on the Pacific Coast and the huge Bay of Banderas, is your place. You'll find everything you might want here, including direct flight connections to many destinations in the U.S. and Canada.


Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

And if you're not a fan of big cities, head north to small idyllic beach towns likeSayulita, where the laid-back lifestyle can't be beat. You'll find a good number of foreign residents all along this coast, called the Costa Nayarit.


Sayulita, Mexico

The Riviera Maya, on Mexico's Caribbean Coast, is very popular -- and the beaches are among the most beautiful in the world.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Cancun is a huge tourist destination. And, increasingly, so are Playa del Carmenand Tulum. But plenty of expats live on the Riviera Maya full-time. Cancun and Playa del Carmen, especially, offer shopping, cinemas, major hospitals, and other amenities. And Cancun has the international airport -- every airline flies to Cancun.


Tulum, Mexico

The truth is that Mexico offers an endless number of places where you might want to live, and we've only scratched the surface here. If you're looking for an overseas retirement destination that's conveniently close to home, and that offers a high quality of life, a rich culture, and a relaxed atmosphere ... put Mexico on your list.



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cajanegraIt seems that they have spent many years of regular use of analog photography , young people today do not know what it is to change a roll and its further development . For them it is dedicated exhibition "Black Box " in the Naval Museum of Puerto Vallarta, starting this May 6 and will run for two weeks.

involved in this event are:  Ady  Terán, Arabela Zapata, Carolina Garcia , Carmen Delgado, Elena and Jessica Castillote Serratos , all students of Photography Workshop: Yesika Felix Montoya teacher in the Cuale Cultural Center Holistic Institute of Culture.
"This is the sign of spring, one of three that are made during the year. The images shown are of a similar technique, gelatin silver . It is the only public workshop that uses film and has 12 years of experience , "said the teacher.

The workshops are on Monday and Tuesday from 10:00 to 18:00 hours, with four shifts that are coupled to the needs of young people. Classes are personalized with a maximum of three members , registration is open all year . Students are mostly young people 15 to 20 years who discover fascinated the process of photography in the old way , they  catch  the developing and printing .

Among the exhibitors are Carolina Garcia Luna "I like the visionary power " the two works exhibited are " Fragile trees "  and Lost in Serenity " ; Ady Teran second time posing in the same room, is a translator " Interacting with light and time and no audible form of communication " it is "He who knows, knows " "Master of Life" ; and Carmen Delgado "The analog capture the essence of people," newcomer in the world of photography with "Amanda" and " The Fishbowl of Love"

The Naval Museum is located on Zaragoza Street number 04 colonies Center . Open Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 to 19:30 and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am 2:00 pm

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scorpion nails

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.- The dangerous mani, which started gaining popularity last September after scorpion enthusiast Lupita Garcia advocated for a scorpion design at her friend Rocío Vidales' nail salon, includes applying small scorpions on the nail and painting over them with acrylic.

“It started out as a sick joke,” Vidales, owner of Miss Uñas in Durango, Mexico told Daily Mail.

However, the joke quickly blossomed into one of the riskiest and hottest nail trends in the country. Although the insects are dead once applied, the critters still carry a high amount of their venom. While the effects aren’t deadly, clients can still experience side effects of the poison including swelling and pain.

Using scorpions on a daily basis is nothing new for Mexican culture. They can often be found preserved in alcohol bottles, lurking in lollipops, and even fried and served as a dish. Guess it was only a matter of time before they found their way into beauty.

How do you feel about this wacky new trend? Watch the video below to learn more:





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A gem-studded lineup of 27 movies vie for plaudit

MADRID – Argentina’s “Natural Sciences,” Mexico’s “Gueros” and Spain’s “Magical Girl” and are among a record 27 titles — including “Wild Tales” and “Libertador,” both shortlisted for a foreign-language film Oscar nomination — that compete for the Cine Latino Award at the 26th Palm Springs Intl. Film Festival.

Prize goes to the best movie from Latin America, Spain or Portugal at the fest, which kicks off today. Sponsored by Mexico’s Guadalajara Festival, its biggest film event, and the University of Guadalajara Foundation in USA, the Cine Latino Award is now in its third year.

The Cine Latino Award’s cash prize has been raised to $10,000, Raul Padilla, president of the University of Guadalajara Foundation in USA, announced Friday. This recognizes and strengthens the fast-building bridges between the U.S. and Mexican film communities, seen in the number of companies operating out of both the U.S. and Mexico and the burgeoning number of U.S.-Mexico co-productions, in which Mexico brings increasingly significant coin to the table.

The hike in the competition numbers is hardly surprising. A road movie-reconciliation tale, Matias Lucchesi’s “Natural Sciences” is just one of 10 first Cine Latino Award fiction features, many from helmers who have debuted to instant recognition, sales agent world sales pickups, and often sales, which have effectively – and sometimes energetically – launched careers.

UDI-repped “Sciences” scooped best Ibero-American picture, screenplay and actress at 2014’s Guadalajara Fest; sold by Mundial, an IM Global and Canana j.v., Alonso Ruizpalacios’ “Gueros,” possibly the most laurelled of Latin American freshman outings last year, won Berlin best first feature, San Sebastian’s Horizontes Latinos, the AFI’s New Auteurs’ Audience Award and best film at Los Cabos. Another contender, Brazil’s gay coming-of-age tale “The Way He Looks,” from Daniel Ribeiro, took a Berlin Teddy; acquired for sales by France’s Versatile, social-divide drama “Gente de Bien,” directed by Colombia’s Franco Lolli, nabbed a special mention at San Sebastian’s Horizontes Latinos. Mexican Catalina Aguilar Mastretta’s “The Hours With You” won a Fipresci nod at 2014’s Guadalajara.

Cine Latino Award entries also feature a clutch of films which rep significant steps-up in ambition or recognition for their directors: on Films Distributions’ sales slate, Carlos Vermut’s “Magical Girl” won San Sebastian’s Golden Seashell as critics hailed the confirmation of an original voice in filmmaking.

Picked up by Film Factory, a move to the mainstream for Chile’s Alejandro Fernandez Almendras’ “To Kill a Man,” also at Palm Springs, won a Sundance World Cinema Grand Jury Prize; starring as independence fighter Simon Bolivar in “Libertador,” also a Mundial movie, gave vet Venezuelan helmer Alberto Arvelo a double-digit million dollar budget. Mexican Jorge Perez Solano’s “la Tirisia” won lead actor (Gustavo Sanchez Parra) at Guadalajara, Thessaloniki’s Golden Alexander, Chicago’s Roger Ebert Award.

“Futuro Beach” earned Brazil’s Karim Ainouz a Berlin Competition berth. Trans-Atlantic love story “10,000 KM,” Spaniard Carlos Marques-Marcet’s debut, scooped a SXSW special jury prize for leads Natalia Tena and David Verdaguer. Sold by FiGa, “Sand Dollars,” from Israel Cardenas and Laura Amelia Guzman, stars Geraldine Chaplin in a turn that has won not only won a Chicago fest actress nod for Chaplin but also sales for FiGa. “Flowers,” from Spain’s Jon Garaño and Jose Maria Goenaga, was the first film shot in Basque to make San Sebastian’s main competition.

“Their stories, genres and production values have garnered these films both critical and audience recognition at the most important festivals all over the globe. This will be indeed a very competitive year for an award that is acquiring more and more prestige worldwide,” said Ivan Trujillo, Guadalajara festival director.

“What does it mean to be Latino or Ibero-American? The best answer can be found in the movies: Increasing power of visual language and an innovative spirit –this is what our film industries have in common!” added Hebe Tabachnik, Palm Springs Fest’s Ibero-American programmer.

The Cine Latino Award’s jury includes Josep Parera, entertainment editor at Los Angeles’ La Opinion; Tom Davia, founder and managing partner of Cinemaven Media; and Nacho Carballo, director of Spain’s Gijon Festival.

In all, Palm Springs screens seven Latin American foreign-language Oscar submissions: Damian Szifron’s “Wild Tales”; “Liberator”; Quixotic buddy dramedy “Mr. Kaplan,” from Uruguay’s Alvaro Brechner; Colombia’s conflict-set “Mateo,” by Maria Gamboa; Cuba’s school drama “Behavior,” from Ernesto Daranas Serrano; “To Kill a Man” and “The Way He Looks.”

But the selection also has the virtue of highlighting less-known movies: “A Moonless Night,” a tale of small-town solitude from Uruguay’s writer-producer-turned-director German Tejeira; or “Mother of the Lamb,” a second-chance drama from Chile’s Rosario Espinosa Godoy and Enrique Farias.

The Cine Latino Award contenders underscore building trends in Latin American filmmaking. One is regional cinema. Produced out of Brazil’s Pernambuco, and sold by FiGa, Gabriel Mascaro’s “August Winds,” another standout debut that played in competition at Locarno, taking a special mention, is not only a slice of life movie set against characters’ building perceptions of natural cycles, but also a film set on the borderlands between documentary and fiction, a Pernambuco cinema hallmark.

Some titles – Perez Solano’s unwanted motherhood drama “La Tirisia,” Hector Galvez’s “NN,” a Peruvian “Bones,” with few easy fixes – are fairly straight-arrow social dramas. Spaniard Hermes Paralluelo’s Colombia-set “Not All Is Vigil,” a docu feature, charts an aging couple’s response to infirmity. Mike Ott’s U.S. indie movie “Lake Los Angeles,” the third film in his desert trilogy, charts a friendship between a middle-age Cuban and a 10-year-old Mexican girl, both immigrants chasing the American Dream in the titular location.

But an increasing number of Latin American movies – Chus Gutierrez’s Bollywood-ish salsa-school romantic comedy “Ciudad Delirio” and “One for the Road,” from Mexico’s Jack Zagha Kababie, about three aging friends’ last escapade — lie close to the mainstream. A scathing but gleeful satire of Mexico’s media elite, Luis Estrada’s “The Perfect Dictatorship” has touched a national nerve, grossing $13 million through Dec. 16.

And others mix social concerns – Latin America’s and Spain’s great movie tradition — with more generic tropes, a newer departure.

“Magical Girl” plays sometimes like Ken Loach meets Quentin Tarantino, delineating Spain’s punishing economic crisis in the shabbiness of the lead’s flat, for instance. But its characters often seem just a hair-trigger from ghastly violence, which can by set off by the most involuntary of comments.

The Palm Springs Festival runs Jan. 2-12.

(Emiliano Granada contributed to this report.)

FILED UNDER: Cine Latino AwardNatural SciencesPalm Springs Festival

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CARPuerto Vallarta, Mexico.-Secondary and preparatory school students from Zapopan, Jalisco, have designed and built three highly-efficient solar-powered vehicles. But they’re not done yet: an airplane may be next.