Other guests will include Andy Garcia and Gabriel Retes.

The Guadalajara International Film Festival (March 2-10) is launching today with Mike Leigh’s Another Year as opening film, in the presence of the director, fresh from his experience as president of the international jury of this year’s Berlinale.

The celebrated director is leading the British delegation present in Guadalajara as the UK is honoured by this year’s festival.

Seven fiction, seven feature documentaries and a number of shorts are coming from the UK including such titles as Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur and Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea.

The homage to the UK film industry is backed by the British Council.

Leigh will receive the Guadalajara international award for his career and will introduce all the eight films that compose his festival tribute, including Bleak Moments (1972), Life is Sweet (1990), Naked (1993), Secrets and Lies (1996), Vera Drake (2004) and Happy-Go-Lucky (2008). 

He will also offer a lecture in the fourth Guadalajara Talent Campus, held with the Berlinale Talent Campus.

Joining him for a tribute and to receive the festival’s Iberoamerican award is Andy Garcia who will  also lecture at the Talent Campus and talk about his 2005 directorial debut Lost City, which will screen in the festival as part of the tribute.

The prolific Mexican director, screenwriter and actor Gabriel Retes will receive the Guadalajara Mexican award.

Another homage celebrates the Mexican actor Demian Bichir, recently Oscar nominated for A Better Life.

Among other expected Latin American guests are Andres Wood fresh from his Sundance win for Violeta Went to Heaven, Eliseo Subiela, Benito Zambrano as well local veterans Jorge Fons and Felipe Cazals.

The festival is expected to build on the positive changes that were introduced last year, including a move to state of the art new venues that coincided with Ivan Trujillo taking the helm of the event.

The competition sections for Mexican and Iberoamerican productions (13 and 18 titles, respectively) feature separate international juries set to hand out more than €60,000 in cash.

The 19 titles in the non-competitive International Panorama include Wim Wenders’ Pina, Pal Sletaune’s Babycall, Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady, Mark Jackson’s Sundance hit Without and the Wanda-produced Wilaya directed by Pedro Perez Rosado hailed at its recent world premiere in the Berlin Panorama.

The Europa New Tendencies sidebar curated by San Sebastian head Jose Luis Rebordinos includes six titles led by Phillipos Tsitos’ Greek production Unfair World winner of the best director and actor nods in San Sebastian 2011.

Ecuador is this year the invited Latin American country with eight titles screening, including international Sebastian Cordero’s Rats, Mice, Pickpockets from 1999.

The festival will its first queer cinema section as well as a tribute to melodramas including David Lean’s Brief Encounter, Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, Walter Salles’ Central Station, Alejandro Amenabar’s The Sea Inside and Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Three Monkeys.

The industry sector of the event includes the 10th Film Market, Guadalajara Construye (for co-productions) and the Iberoamerican coproduction meetings now in its eighth year.

The Film Market boasts more than 1,000  titles, leading the Iberoamerican film markets attached to a major festival.

The festival and the industry side of the event are expected to hand out nearly €300,000 in awards in cash and in services.