The 29th Guadalajara International Film Festival, or FICG, which has the Canadian province of Quebec as guest of honor, was inaugurated at the Telmex Auditorium in this western Mexican city.

At Friday night's start of the competition, which goes on until March 30, actress and singer Maria Victoria received the Mexican Tribute for her long career in the national film industry.

"Receiving such an honor at my time of life is a reward for many years of hard work," said Maria Victoria, 81.

At the same function, Elpidia Carrilla received the Latino tribute saying "I'm immensely proud to be Mexican, to be a Michoacan woman. With a great deal of pride I wish to give this prize to Mexican woman and to Michoacan mothers who have recently lost their children," she said, a reference to the violence of organized crime that continues to ravage that state.

The Posthumous Tribute was dedicated to Sara Garcia (1895-1980), the "grandma of Mexican movies," and was accepted in her name by Enrique Vidal, a personal friend of the unforgettable actress.

Irish moviemaker Jim Sheridan, who brought a reel of his films headed by the prizewinning "In the Name of the Father" and "My Left Foot," received the International Tribute.

The organizing committee of FICG received entries of 1,459 films, 166 more than last year, from 59 countries.

Entered for the awards categories were 216 feature films of fiction, 225 documentaries and 848 short films, as well as 170 titles for parallel categories.

Countries with the greatest participation in the festival were Mexico with 370 films, Spain with 306, Argentina with 153, Brazil with 139, Chile with 55, and the province of Quebec with more than 60. EFE