The Mexican cinematic landscape has changed radically in the last decade due to more intensive support for new local storytellers to bring their projects to fruition. The two government subsidized film schools in Mexico provide a handful of talent every year with the resources to learn the craft, develop their ideas, materialize them, and then showcase them in the international film arena via high profile festivals.
One of these two institutions is the CCC (Spanish for Center of Cinematic Training), whose films have increasingly become prominent in some of the biggest film markets in Europe. This year alone, the program was represented at the Berlinale by Gabriel Marino’s A Secret World (Un Mundo Secreto) (ISA: Shoreline), in Venice in the Orizontti section by David Pablos Life After (La Vida Despues) (ISA: IMCINE), and at the 2013 Cinefondation in Cannes by the short piece Fable of a Blood-drained Girl (Contrafabula de una Niña Disecada) by Alejandro Iglesias Mendizabal.
The CCC’s films have also recently received attention here in the U.S. Their 2010 feature We Are What We Are (Somos lo que hay) by Jorge Michel Grau was picked up for international sales by Wild Bunch, and was also remade gaining exposure at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Cannes Directors Fortnight and Deauville. The English language version of We Are What We Are (ISA: Mementor) by Jim Mikkle was picked up for North America and U.K. by eOne and sold to many other territories as well. Other notable titles are The Tears (Las Lagrimas) by Pablo Delgado Sanchez and Inertia (Inercia) by
Muñoz Cota Callejas, a beautiful movie I saw in Guadalajara which was reviewed by Variety during their festival runs.
With two more features now in post production, the narrative Lonely Stars (Estrellas Solitarias) by Fernando Urdapilleta and the documentary The Silence of the Princess (El Silencio de la Princesa) by Manuel Canibe, this prolific program is sure to become the prime platform for up-and-coming filmmakers in Mexico to create new and interesting works.
The other educational alternative, the CUEC (University’s Center for Cinematographic Studies) which is part of Mexico’s National University (UNAM) had their film Workers played at the Berln, Los Angeles and Jerusalem Film Festival s this summer and will be part of the upcoming Morelia International Film Festival (FICM). Directed by El Salvador-born student Jose Luis Valle, the film was financed by FORPROCINE, World Cinema Fund (the Berlinale fund) and produced by Zensky Cine and Autentica. Its ISA is MPM, Marie Pierre Macia’s company which Pierre Menahem heads up. You can’t get much better than that for a first film.