14th annual Hola Mexico Film Festival: October 2-10 in Los Angeles, CA

The horror film “Mal de Ojo” is one of the movies that make up the 14th annual Hola México Film Festival, which takes place at several Los Angeles venues October 2-10 during Hispanic Heritage Month. (Photo courtesy Hola México)

With about 40 feature-length films and shorts screening at various locations in Los Angeles, the 14th annual Hola México Film Festival returns with an all-new lineup that offers a snapshot of the best and most exciting things happening in Mexican cinema.

“Cinema is a representation of our culture,” Samuel Douek, founder and director of the festival said ahead of the event, which runs Oct. 2-10 during Hispanic Heritage Month. “It’s the language of its artist, it’s a statement of what this filmmaking generation is saying about their country.”

The films are in Spanish with English subtitles and range from horror and documentaries to comedies and dramas, as well as movies that tell the stories of marginalized communities. The films are presented in four different categories: México Ahora (drama films), Documental (documentary films), El Otro México (rarely heard stories and perspectives), and Nocturno (horror films).

10 must-see films:

“El Norte Sobre El Vacio”

Directed by Alejandra Marquez Abella, this film looks at the life of ranchers in Mexico and how this lifestyle is being affected by drug dealers. “That is the base of this story, but really what the film is doing is challenging the machismo culture and how everything is male-dominated and how that is starting to come apart,” Douek said.

Where to watch: 6:45 p.m. Oct. 8 at The Montalbán Theater, 1615 Vine Street, Los Angeles.

“La Civil”

This dramatic action tale follows Cielo, a mother whose teenage daughter, Laura, has been kidnapped. Although Cielo pays several ransoms, her daughter isn’t returned. So, Cielo is left with no choice but to take matters into her own hands. “This looks at how Mexico responds to these situations and how not the government, not the police, no one can really help her but herself,” he said.

Where to watch: 6 p.m. Oct. 7 at The Montalbán Theater.


“Un México Perro… El Héroe Verdadero”

Fans of Mexican wrestling won’t want to miss this documentary about legendary wrestler El Perro Aguayo, who wrestled from the ’70s-’90. He left behind an amazing legacy and wasn’t one to wear a mask, so everyone knew him. The documentary interviews many other wrestlers who worked alongside him and really digs into the life of this wrestler, Douek added.

Where to watch: 5:15 p.m. Oct. 3 at Regal LA Live, 1000 W Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles.

“Gods of Mexico”

Douek describes this movie as one of the most visually stunning films of the festival since it depicts vast rural landscapes including deserts, highlands, and jungles. “There’s no one narrating, there’s no particular story, but what it is, is a fantastic portrait of rural life in Mexico,” he said. “This is a movie where the photographer goes deep. It’s a meditative film of people working the fields, building a house all with beautiful photography.”

Where to watch: 4:30 p.m. Oct. 9 at The Montalbán Theater.

El Otro México

“Dias Negros”

This drama is set in a small town in Chiapas and explores how corruption and crime affect the most vulnerable people. It’s told through three main characters; an unscrupulous businessman who sells things the locals aren’t too happy with; a drug dealer; and a doctor who uses sex education workshops as a front for human trafficking. “This is a story about this little town where they don’t even speak Spanish, but Zapotec, and you see this story about this community that most people may not know about,” he said.

Where to watch: 10 p.m. Oct. 4 at Regal LA Live.


This film focuses on the Muxes from Oaxaca.  Members of this community were born male, but identify as women or non-binary. After an earthquake, members of the community try to fight for recognition. “They want to be who they are and do it with pride,” Douek said.

Where to watch: 3 p.m. Oct. 8 at The Montalbán Theater.



While Valeria was eager to become a mother, she soon starts to suspect that a sinister entity is trying to destroy her. In her desperation, she seeks help from a group of witches. “Yeah, this is pretty scary,” Douek said. “And I love horror films at a film festival because you watch it in a dark theater with other people; it just gives you a special thrill.”

Where to watch: 9:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at The Montalbán Theater.

“Mal de Ojo”

When nothing seems to help Luna with a mysterious illness, her desperate parents take her to her grandmother in the countryside for alternative treatment. But there is something evil lurking in grandma’s house. “The grandma might or might not be, well, you know …” Douek said, not wanting to give away too much of the plot.

Where to watch: 11:59 p.m. Oct. 7 at The Montalbán Theater.

The Shorts


This five-minute short has a simple storyline line. “It’s about a guy who is walking on the street and someone comes and tells him he needs to eat soup from this spoon,” Douek said. “We don’t know why. It’s a psychological drama and you don’t know what’s happening until the end. When I saw it it just blew me away.”

Where to watch: 8 p.m. Oct. 8 at The Montalbán Theater.


A famous singer is doing her thing at a nightclub and on a bathroom break, she runs into an attendant who once dreamed of also being a singer. The two unlikely friends instantly connect in this 12-minute short.

Where to watch: 11 a.m. Oct. 8 at The Montalbán Theater.

Source: holamexicoff.com

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