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Local film festival showcases unique perspectives of Mexico

knegus
Courtesy Kerryn Negus | The Daily Wildcat

Kerry Negus is the assistant director of the Hanson FilmTV Institute. Negus oversees the production of theTucson Cine Mexico Film Festival. 

A documentary filmmaker records his matriarch grandmother, who reveals many secrets about their family. An indigenous girl defies any notion of how class should hold her and her mother down as domestic servants. A wealthy wife tries to maintain her composure and status while the economy crashes around her in 1982 Mexico. Stories like these will be shown in theaters in Tucson this week. 

Tucson Cine Mexico returns for another run of diverse Mexican films on Wed., March 27. UA faculty, members from the  Hanson FilmTV Institute  and other groups from the community anticipate a large turnout for the film festival, now in its 16th year. 

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Colin Deeds, assistant director of the Center for Latin American Studies, said the event “is a real group effort” composed of volunteers.

“We help organize everything, from funding to events to marketing,” Deeds said. “It’s really important to us to make the festival as accessible as possible.”

Kerryn Negus, assistant director of the  Hanson FilmTV Institute, said the festival is an opportunity for Mexican filmmakers to show their work to U.S. audiences.

“It’s really important and exciting for our audiences to have exposure to these films that they might not otherwise get a chance to see,” Negus said.

This year’s film includes the comedy, “Cinderelo,” a male take on the Cinderella fairy tale showing on March 30 at 9 p.m. In “La Camarista,” a woman ponders her situation in life as cleaning woman in a high-rise hotel in Mexico City showing on March 30 at 6 p.m. “Tesoros” follows two siblings as they try to find the treasure of a legendary pirate in their quiet beach town and will be showing on March 31 on at 2 p.m.

Renowned photographer Maya Goded’s 2016 film, “Plaza de la Soledad,” will be shown at the UA Center for Creative Photography. 

The documentary examines the lives of prostitutes in Mexico City. The trailer shows snippets of the women outside of their work.

Martha Sosa, a producer of the project, felt a strange connection to the subjects. Her grandmother, who resided in the U.S., “was a very open and very liberal woman” like the women in the film. 

“I wondered, ‘Why do these women and my grandmother talk about the same things?’" Sosa said. 

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With that in mind, Sosa worked with Goded on how to portray these women as independent, resilient “survivors.” 

“I really wanted to go with Maya and explore those issues about solitude, about being a mother, about your body, about the relationship with men, and I think all of those questions are incredibly universal,” Sosa said. 

Negus said the festival should provide a clear viewpoint of Mexico through visual storytelling.

“I think one of the goals of Tucson Cine Mexico is to enable people to have a fuller understanding of contemporary film that’s being made in Mexico and, through these amazing diverse films, to get a better understanding of what’s happening in Mexico these days,” Negus said.

Deeds added that the current popularity of Mexican directors in Hollywood will open doors for more directors from Mexico.

“Our festival is helping bring visibility and the spotlight to the next generation of young filmmakers, many of whom are women and indigenous peoples of Mexico,” Deeds said. 

Negus said the festival is an important avenue to communicate an appreciation for different cultures. “It’s really a bridge between Mexican filmmakers, Mexican artists and U.S. audiences,” Negus said.

To find out more about the films, the schedule or Tucson Cine Mexico, visit its website.


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