HOLA Mexico Festival: 8 Days of Film, Food, Festivities



Los Angeles – The Hola Mexico Festival successfully concluded last week with an outdoor celebration and the screening of the documentary Celso Piña, The Accordion Rebel (Celso Piña. El rebelde del acordeón) and a concert by Celso Piña that kept attendees dancing all night.

The festive event celebrated the end of the festival’s eight consecutive days of culturally rich events, screenings and festivities. The Hola Mexico Festival accomplishes to deliver its enhanced mission by providing a complete cultural experience to its guests. The festival hosted three separate but complimentary components: Hola Mexico Film Festival presented by DishLATINO; the Hola Mexico Food Festival that feature a live cooking extravaganza with five renowned chefs from Mexico; and at the intersection of film and music; and the Hola Mexico Music Festival which showcased concerts and music themed documentaries featuring Celso Piña and Molotov.image013

The festival’s new location in Downtown LA provided a state of the art movie experience for the increasingly popular event, keeping the film, food and music all within a close proximity.  Final attendance numbers are not yet available but easily surpass attendance to the 2012 edition of the festival.

Tlateloco Verano del 68, directed by renowned filmmaker Carlos Bolado, was announced as the winner of the “DishLATINO and Cinelatino Audience Choice Award.” Bolado will receive a cash prize on behalf of DishLATINO and Cinelatino. Tlatelolco is the fictional story of an impossible love between two students from different social classes that unravels during Mexico’s historical student movement of 1968 that culminated in the public assentation of student and civilian protesters by the Mexican government employees just days before the 1968 Summer Olympic celebrations in Mexico City.

“We are proud to help support the incredible talent and film production in Mexico by presenting the Hola Mexico Film Festival’s Audience Award with our partners at DishLATINO,” said James M. McNamara, President of Cinelatino. “Many of these films will soon be available on Cinelatino, which can be seen nationwide on DishLATINO.”

image015“We offer our customers the power of choice… their interest are at the center of what we do,” said Leonardo Torres with DishLATINO. “The audience award is yet another way in which DishLATINO listens to the consumer and honors the artists behind outstanding culturally relevant entertainment. We are thrilled to collaborate with Cinelatino and recognize Tlatelolco Verano del 68 as the story that has struck a chord within the community and resonates with our audience.”

Featured among the Festival’s 13 narratives and six documentary feature films were two international premieres, three U.S. premieres and nine Los Angeles premieres. Touching on an array of subjects, the official program showcased a nation in transition, with introspective analyses of important historic moments like the Mexican Revolution and the 1968 student massacre in Mexico City.  The line-up also included narrative and documentary features about Mexico’s relationship with its neighbors, particularly the subject of immigration and the plight of Central Americans in Mexico headed for the U.S. border. The festival celebrated Mexico’s rich music and film legacies, and showcased recent worldwide acclaimed films by some of Mexico’s top directors.


Celebrities in attendance included: Oscar Nominee Demian Bichir, leading Mexican music recording artist Graciela Beltran, TNA Wrestling personality Chavo Guerrero Jr., Molotov’s lead singer Tito Fuentes, actors Sebastian Zurita, Kuno Becker, comedian Omar Chaparro, actress Karyme Lozano, director Felipe Cazals, world music icon Celso Piña, to name a few.

The Hola Mexico Food Festival brought together world-renowned chefs of Mexican cuisine at the unique culinary event “La Gran Parrillada” that celebrated the tradition and richness of the flavors of Mexico. Participating chefs:

  • Chef Aquiles Chávez, one of Mexico’s notable celebrity chefs, owner of the restaurant La Fisheria in Houston, Texas, book author and host of his own TV shows, “El Toque de Aquiles” and “Aquilisimo”; broadcast all over Latin America.
  • Charismatic and Tijuana-born Chef Javier Plascencia is a fervent promoter of Baja Mediterranean cuisine. He is the Chef and owner of multiple restaurants in Baja California, and Southern California with his work featured by leading publications and various radio and television shows in Mexico and the US.
  • Chef Pablo Salas, owner of Restaurante Amaranta and the leading ambassador of traditional “Mexiquense” cuisine – from the state of Mexico where he was born. Amaranta has been named one of the best restaurants in Mexico by leading publications and Salas holds the title of Delegate by the Mexican Conservatory of Gastronomic Culture.
  • Multi award-winning Chef Rodolfo Castellanos is a leading force in contemporary Oaxacan cuisine. At his restaurant Origen he uses authentic Oaxacan ingredients, influenced by avant-garde techniques and foods from other countries; achieving uniquely an authentic, fresh and innovative cuisine that pays homage to the age-old tradition of his heritage.
  • Chef José Ramón Castillo is considered one of the world’s leading chocolatiers and owner of “Que Bo! Chocolatería Mexicana Evolutiva.” His work has earned praise by the leading culinary entities around the world. “Maximum Exponent of Mexican Cacao and Master Chocolatier” is one of the many prestigious titles he has received.

The Opening Night Fiesta featured beloved Mexican actor Joaquin Cosio who received the Career Achievement Award, given every year to a Mexican actor or filmmaker with a career that has brought recognition to Mexican cinema through their work both on and off the screen.

Spanning eight days, The Hola Mexico Festival is the leading Latino themed film festival in Los Angeles, California and the premier showcase of Mexican films in the world. Hola Mexico’s 2012 creative advertising campaign won several advertising and marketing awards around the world.

The festival is also one of the top 10 film festivals in the world by the number of Twitter followers. Please visit www.holamexicofest.com. “LIKE” us on Facebook: at www.facebook.com/holamexicoff, and follow us on Twitter @holamexicoff for more information and upcoming festival editions.

Official 2013 Hola Mexico Festival in Los Angeles Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor

 Gold Sponsors
La Opinion, Cine Latino

 Silver Sponsors
Milagro Tequila, Pantelion Films Victoria Beer, Tapatio Hot Sauce, New York Life, Montelobos Mezcal Joven

Travel Partner
Alaska Airlines

Opening Night Presenting Partner
La Opinion

Closing Night Presenting Partners
New York Life, Alaska Airlines

 Broadcast Sponsors
Univision34/Unimas46, Telemundo52, KLCS TV/PBS-LA

 Collaborating Partner
La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Guelaguetza Restaurant

 Promotional Supporters
Click Latino Magazine, Besetu Magazine, La Prensa de Los Angeles, American News, Imagen Latina Magazine, Mi Sangre Latina, Tech Notas,Musica Roots Magazine, Latino Weekly Review


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Elia Esparza is a leading expert in communications and journalism targeting the burgeoning Hispanic market and has produced and written dozens of articles. President and CEO of Always Evolving PR and a Communications Specialist, Elia, incorporates her 18 years experience in the areas of entertainment and education public relations, and marketing. promotions, market research and translations (Eng/Span).