By Mario R. Mercado
November 18, 2014
Reese Witherspoon, Los Cabos International Film Festival
Credit: Los Cabos International Film Festival

Los Cabos has long been popular with American and Canadian travelers. In addition to its hotels and resorts, golf courses, water and adventure sports, and eco-tourism, the destination at the tip of the Baja California peninsula is also a magnet for Hollywood—its producers, directors, and actors, many of whom have houses in the destination. The recent Los Cabos International Film Festival, in its third edition, took advantage of its geography (Los Cabos is less than a two-hour flight from Los Angeles) to showcase the best in feature-length, as well as independent movies and documentary film from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and world cinema.

Among this year's highlights, the festival screened the critically acclaimed Boyhood, directed by Richard Linklater; gave the Mexican premiere of Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon, by Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée, the filmmaker of Dallas Buyers Club, in advance of its planned general release; and offered tributes to the director Atom Egoyan, and the late film critic Robert Ebert.

Los Cabos will also present Words with Gods, a captivating anthology film by Mexican screen writer, Guillermo Arriaga (the author of Babel) that takes spirituality and faith as the subject for a series of shorts, by nine international directors, in diverse settings—the Australian outback, a mosque in Kurdistan, post-tsunami coastal Japan, urban Mumbai.

After the walloping damage inflected upon the destination in September by Hurricane Odile, the ambitious reach of this year's festival stresses an auspicious relaunch of the destination—and its continuing and marked recovery—which may be the best story of all.

Mario Mercado is the former arts editor at Travel + Leisure.