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Francis Ford Coppola will be a special guest of Cuenca’s La Orquídea Film Festival

Among the special guests attending next week’s Orquídea Film Festival are Francis Ford Coppola, festival organizers announced Wednesday. Also attending the event are Oscar-winning Chilean director  Sebastián Lelio, Peruvian actress Stephanie Cayo and Mexican actor Darío Yazbek Bernal.

Francis Ford Coppola

Opening with the premiere Friday, October 19 at the Carlos Cueva Tamariz Theater, the festival continues through October 26 with the showing of 80 feature films and 113 short films. Feature films will be screened at the Pumapungo, Sucre, Multicines, CIDAP and Carlos Cueva Tamariz theaters with short films to shown in more than a dozen locations throughout Cuenca.

In addition to public showings, 20,000 Cuenca school children will see a variety of selected movies, organizers say.

In addition to the films, the festival also features workshop and lectures for film students and the general public.

Azuay Province Prefect Paúl Carrasco, says the 2018 edition of the festival will be best yet. “This is one of the top film festivals in Ecuador and its focus on providing training for future filmmakers makes it especially important,” he said. “The festival’s Orchid Lab and Orchid Pro will provide intense training for film students of varying degrees of experience and will be taught by our special guests and other film industry professionals

In all, Carrasco expects 60,000 residents and overseas tourists to attend and take part in the festival.

Coppola, U.S. director, producer and screenwriter, is best known for his Godfather series, Apocalypse Now and the Great Gatsby. Sebastián Lelio directed the top foreign film of 2017, Una mujer fantástica, or a Fantastic Woman.

The festival concludes Friday, October 26 with a concert featuring Spanish singer Miguel Bosé, the Colombian Fonseca and Mexican Alex Syntek. Price of admission will be two liters of milk to be donated to poor families.

For information about the Orquídea Film Festival, go to the festival website.