Alfonso Cuaron’s “best director” Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards hints at the growing influence of the Mexican film industry.

This weekend, the University of Arizona’s Hansen Film Institute will give audiences a taste of the latest Mexican cinema as part of the Tucson Cine Mexico Festival.

Sebastián Galván, economic, media, and special affairs officer with the Mexican Consulate in Tucson, said his office is co-sponsoring the event.

He said the festival is a good opportunity for people in Tucson to see films they would otherwise not be able to see.

“It’s the first film festival, outside of Mexico, that features exclusively Mexican films,” Galván said. “It’s historic.”

This is the 9th edition of the festival, and Galván said the films focus on historic issues and social issues that are relevant to life in Mexico and along the U.S. border.

“Here in Tucson people might identify with a lot of these movies,” Galván said.

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After several decades in the doldrums, the Mexican film industry is seeing some light on the horizon.

Once a thriving industry, Mexican cinema has struggled to compete with the behemoth that is Hollywood. But some observers are seeing a renaissance in a string of box office hits and international awards for Mexican filmmakers. Fronteras Desk reporter Jill Replogle spoke with some people at the San Diego Latino Film Festival about the industry’s trajectory.