The sounds, tastes, stories and spirit of Mexico were in full force last night as more than 350 guests flocked to the historic Chauvel Cinema in Paddington for the opening night of the Hola Mexico Film Festival – kicking off a week-long celebration of film and a huge program of free nightly entertainment for the new Hola Sol Festival Cantina.
Transporting guests to the heart and soul of Mexico, the Cantina was decked out in bright lights, vibrant colours, and authentic Mexican materials – with flowing Sol beer, tequila and Mezcal cocktails to boot.
Hitting Sydney shores for the eighth time, the Festival kicked off with a uniquely Mexican bang, offering up a smorgasbord of cultural delights in the form of great film, fine food and live music. Aussie band Kallidad treated guests to a pre-Summer holiday with an acoustic set of Spanish guitars, thumping box drums and palpable party rhythms, setting the stage for a jam-packed, week-long lineup of live music.
Guests were treated to some Mex-inspired culinary treats including ice-cold $5 Sol Beers and Zapopan Silver Tequila shots, as well as $10 Donjalis – a kicker cocktail made with Scorpion Mezcal® Reposado, orange and lime juice. Tasty food selections were also up for offer, with the bar serving $10 Margaritas topped with Don Juan 2 Worm Mezcal, 100 per cent agave nectar, rimmed with salt and chili.
You can be sure that the volume went up, rather than down, once festivalgoers got their Mex-mittens on these!
Mexico’s #1 smash hit comedy, NOSOTROS LOS NOBLES (WE ARE THE NOBLES) opened to a full house, with audiences grinning from ear-to-ear as the story of a trickster construction mogul and his clueless kids beamed up on the silver screen.
Fresh off the plane from Los Angeles was Festival Founder and Director Samuel Douek, who jumped head-first into festivities, mingling with guests and sharing a few Mexican tales of his own. Guests comprised an eclectic mix of actors, local artists and musicians including Home & Away star, Samara Weaving, 107 Projects founder Jess Cook and emerging Sydney muralist Sally Gottlieb, as well as a slew of film buffs from Sydney’s Latin community. While all this was happening, many guests indulged their inner-child by having their faces intricately made up Day of the Dead Style – for free, courtesy of the incredible artists at the Australasian College. Creepy, but equally fabulous! To complete the experience, there was an abundance of mini burritos, nachos, bean dip and guac for the whole gang thanks to Guzman y Gomez.
For those who missed out, never fear; the party has just begun! The Hola Mexico Film Festival and Hola Sol Festival Cantina will continue to run until December 4, with films screening each night at the Chauvel, and an incredible selection of workshops, free talks, live music, art exhibitions and cold cervasas featuring throughout!
To check out the upcoming program, visit www.holamexicoff.com