Monday, May 20, 2024

A film buff’s feast: Sundance CDMX brings festival favorites to the capital

For film buffs who don’t live in Mexico City, there’s still time to make arrangements to attend the first-ever Sundance Film Festival CDMX, which will feature a selection of films screened at this year’s festival from April 25 to 28 in the capital.

Tickets went on sale Monday on the Cinépolis website, on the Cinépolis app, and at the box offices of Cinépolis Diana on Paseo de la Reforma and Cinépolis VIP Miyana in Polanco.

Logo for the Sundance Film Festival CDMX 2024
The first-ever Sundance Festival held in Mexico will bring 12 feature-length films and six short Mexican films to Cinépolis-owned cinemas on Mexico City’s Reforma Avenue and in the Polanco neighborhood. (Sundance Institute)

The renowned Sundance festival, founded in 1978 by actor and director Robert Redford, is known for its celebration of independent cinema and emerging filmmakers. Its 40th edition took place in January in Park City, Utah.

The announcement of Sundance Film Festival CDMX 2024 came in early March and was met with much excitement, marking a significant milestone for the city’s vibrant film scene.

Over four days, 12 feature-length films (with an emphasis on documentaries) and six Mexican short films will be screened at the two theaters mentioned above, along with selected showings at three additional Cinépolis VIP cinemas: Perisur, Mitikah and Satélite.

The festival “goes beyond a showcase of films,” Alejandro Ramírez, Cinépolis CEO, said in a press release. “It is a gathering point for creativity, innovation and exploration in the world of independent cinema.”

The opening-night film, at 7:30 p.m. April 25 at Cinépolis VIP Mítikah, will be the lyrical and beautifully animated “Frida,” directed by Carla Gutiérrez, who won a 2024 Sundance award for editing.

The 88-minute U.S. film is touted by Sundance officials as an intimate, raw and magical journey through the life, mind and heart of iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. It’s the first film told “through her own words,” drawing from her illustrated diary, letters, essays and media interviews.

A man in military combat uniform crouched down with hands on the shoulders of a boy
The 2024 Oscar winner for Best Documentary, “20 Days in Mariupol,” is one of the films scheduled to be screened at the CDMX festival. (Sundance Institute/AP)

Among the feature films are “In The Summers,” which won the Grand Jury Prize for a U.S. drama at Sundance in January, and “Daughters,” which won the Audience Award for U.S. documentary.

Other films include the Sundance crowd-pleasers “Your Monster” and “Love Lies Bleeding.” There will also be a screening of the 2024 Academy Award winner for best documentary feature, “20 Days in Mariupol” and “Going Varsity in Mariachi,” a documentary that tells the story of competitive high school mariachi by focusing on a South Texas school striving for a state championship.

The lineup of six Mexican shorts includes films that have previously screened at Sundance over the years. They will have English subtitles.

One of the highlights is “Al Motociclista no le Cabe la Felicidad en su Traje” (“Motorcyclist’s Happiness Won’t Fit Into His Suit”), a 10-minute film that’s a fictional re-enactment of a motorcycle lover’s journey in the jungle. 

Other highlights include “La Odisea Espeleológica de Sócrates” (“Socrates’ Adventures in the Under Ground”), a 7-minute animated film from 2021 filled with talking animals, and “Chica de Fábrica” (“Sweatshop Girl”), a 16-minute drama from 2022 about a seamstress who toils in an underground sweatshop.

Eugene Hernandez, Sundance’s director of programming, said in a press release, “We know that Mexico City audiences will be moved, inspired and entertained by the originality and creativity coming from a visionary group of new filmmakers.”

To see short film summaries, visit the Sundance website. Ticket prices range from 105 pesos (US $6.20) for regular screenings to 210 pesos (US $12.40) for VIP screenings, and officials are urging people to buy in advance.

Unfortunately, the Cinépolis website doesn’t lay out the schedule in an easy-to-view format. The only way to see films, locations and dates is to select a region of Mexico City, a theater and a date from April 25-28 and hit “Ver Cartelera,” or “See Billboard.” At that point, you can start your purchase by clicking the showtime.

In other news for film buffs, the 19th Ambulante film festival has launched with 120 screenings at various theaters in Mexico City from April 10-21. The documentary tour of nearly 90 works from more than 20 countries will continue in Veracruz (May 2-12), Michoacán (May 8-19) and Querétaro (May 15-26).

Many of the films are in Spanish without English subtitles. For details, visit

Mexico News Daily

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