Sexton’s Sundance soirees promote Mexican filmmaking

Brenda Sexton, former IFO director

Sundance wouldn’t be the same without a party hosted by Brenda Sexton, who started the tradition of showcasing Illinois at parties in LA and Sundance beginning back in 2005 when she headed the Illinois Film Office.

Her annual Sweet Home Illinois affairs gave the state a glitzier cachet with a hometown flavor, as it brought together Chicagoans from home and Hollywood, where they had achieved status in the motion picture industry.

Sexton will be her lively hostess self again at Sundance this weekend. This time, the theme and guest list at two Park City parties will have a Spanish accent.

Sexton recently was appointed US liaison for the fast-growing annual Guanajuato International Film Festival (GIFF), which is collaborating with Sundance and has already partnered other top-tier festivals, such as Cannes, Rotterdam and Torino.

GIFF is held in July in the cities of Guanajuato, considered one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico and nearby San Miguel de Allende, rated the number one travel destination in the world by Condé Nast Traveler.

At Sexton’s party this Sunday in her Park City home, international filmmakers and independent producers will learn how San Miguel is set to become one of Mexico’s most important production locales, with the launch of La Fabrica GIFF, a $16 million production facility and multipurpose arts complex.

When completed in 2015, the one-stop facility, with sound stages, post and sound facilities, will be capable of accommodating anything from a small-budget indie to a medium-budget commercial film.

It also will serve to host a residency program for international directors and screenwriters, who are either developing, shooting or in post with their projects.

The other event she is organizing will be hosted by a prominent Mexican businessman at his Park City home. This guest list includes top US business leaders, many of whom are members of the World Presidents and the Young Presidents Organizations.

“The goal is to demonstrate to the international business community what can be gained from doing business and investing in the state of Guanajuato, located in north central Mexico,” Sexton says.

When the weekend has concluded, Sexton will head back to LA where she has meetings scheduled for the next chapter in her life in show biz.

“What I’ll be doing will be a new challenge.  I feel lucky and honored to continue to have a role in the film industry,” she says.