Four short films from Mexico screened today as part of the Cannes Film Festival Critics’ Week thanks to a partnership with the Morelia International Film Festival (FICM).
The films featured were Lo que no se dice bajo el sol (Under the Sun) directed by Eduardo Esquivel; Vuelve a mí (Back to Me) by Daniel Nájera; Aguas tranquilas, aguas profundas (In Deep Water) by Miguel Labastida; and the documentary Tierra de brujas, mar de sirenas (Land of witches, sea of mermaids) directed by Delia Luna Couturier.
The origin of the alliance between Cannes and Morelia goes back to 2003 when FICM organizers agreed to show Cannes Critics’ Week films during the annual film festival in the Michoacán state capital.
Two years later, Cannes organizers reciprocated by including Mexican films that had previously premiered in Morelia.
“We’re very well represented. It gives me great pleasure that it’s young people who are benefiting from this,” FICM director Daniela Michel told the news agency EFE.
The Cannes Critics’ Week, a parallel section of the Cannes Film Festival, was founded in 1962 to allow selected young filmmakers to screen their first or second feature or short film.
In previous editions, well-known Mexican directors Guillermo del Toro — who this year won the best picture and best director Oscars for The Shape of Water — and Alejandro González Iñárritu have shown their early work.
Michel said the Mexican shorts featured in this year’s selection are reflective of the good times that Mexican cinema is currently experiencing.
In his film Lo que no se dice bajo el sol, 25-year-old Guadalajara native Esquivel told EFE that he wanted to explore “the fractures that remain invisible in family relationships.” He described the film’s inclusion in the event as an “honor.”
Aguas tranquilas, aguas profundas, directed by 26-year-old Labastida, explores the fine line between sanctity and mental illness and the collision between religion and psychiatry in rural areas of Mexico.
Couturier’s documentary delves into the stories about legendary beings and characters who some people believe inhabit the canals of Xochimilco in southern Mexico City, while in Vuelve a mí Nájera, 29, examines the loss of innocence of two siblings who move together to Chihuahua to work but end up being driven apart.
Nájera said that young Mexican filmmakers don’t shy away from examining themes such as corruption and violence that they are confronted with in Mexico but they do so with a new and different perspective.
“It’s important to talk about violence because we’re living through it,” the 29-year-old Couturier explained.
Cinema can be “a weapon for change and a way to discover ourselves, culturally and historically,” she said.
The grand prize at this year’s Critics’ Week was won by a Franco-Brazilian-Portuguese comedy drama called Diamantino.
Source: EFE (sp)