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6th Edition of the Los Cabos International Film Festival Kicks Off in Cabo San Lucas

The spotlight shone on Cabo San Lucas last night for the gala premiere of the Los Cabos International Film Festival, the 6th edition of which takes center stage in the Land’s End city from November 8 – 12.

Luminaries walked the red carpet at El Pabellón Cultural de la República, pausing for photographs and conducting impromptu interviews with the throng of national and international media pressed against velvet ropes.

The governor of Baja California Sur and the state’s Secretary of Tourism were among the many prominent regional figures in attendance, but the headliners were the Mexican film and television stars who graced the red carpet: Lidia Brito, Paulina Goto, Horacio Panchini, Christian Chávez, Cata Marín, Zuria Vega, Paty Lozano, and more. All were on hand for the opening night screening of Battle of the Sexes, a much buzzed about new film about the landmark 1973 tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell.

The Los Cabos International Film Festival kicked off its 6th edition last night in Cabo San Lucas, with a red carpet gala at the city’s Pabellon Cultural de la Republica. Photo by Michael Mattos.

Big names and gala screenings have always been the major attention grabbers at the festival – Hollywood stars who have attended in past years include Edward Norton, Matt Dillon, Reese Witherspoon, Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor – but its main goal is to promote collaboration between the film industries of México, the U.S. and Canada. Hence, the festival’s long-running motto, “Come and see what the neighbors are doing.”

In addition to behind the scenes industry meetings, some 40 films will be featured this year, either at El Pabellón or at Cinemex Theaters at Puerto Paraíso Shopping Mall on the Cabo San Lucas Marina. Tickets for the screenings at Cinemex are once again available to the general public, and offer an opportunity to share in one of the region’s signature cultural events.

Los Cabos International Film Festival

Battle of the Sexes, a film about the landmark 1973 tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King, is one of more than 40 films featured at the 6th annual Los Cabos International Film Festival.

This year’s festival is the first under new director Hugo Villa Smythe, who succeeds former festival director Alonso Aguilar Castillo. Smythe is the current General Director of Mexico City’s Film Commission – an important national position – and thus his commitment to the LCIFF confirms its status as the premiere festival in México, and one of the most important and influential in the hemisphere.

Under Smythe’s guidance, three new prizes will be awarded this year, adding to a list that already includes more honors than any festival in Latin America. Winners for contemporary films and those honored for career achievements will receive La Ballena de Los Cabos, a whale-shaped, gold or silver gilded award that was unveiled last year.

Today’s highlights are expected to include a press conference at The Resort at Pedregal for Paul Schrader, and the gala screening at El Pabellón Cultural of the new Alexander Payne film Downsizing, which stars Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz and Kristen Wiig. Schrader is being honored with the festival’s yearly Tribute Award, and the Taxi Driver writer and long-time director will have two of his films shown this week:  First Reformed and Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters.

For more information about tickets and screenings, visit is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, call toll-free (US/CAN) at 855-BAJA-411 or email us at

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About Chris Sands

Chris Sands is the author of Bohemia by the Bay, and writes about wine, golf, and travel for publications such as, Los Cabos Guide, Los Cabos Magazine, 10 Best, and USA Today. He is a full-time resident of Cabo San Lucas.

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