Resignify stories. Make a scene, a phrase, a particular look, ours. The task of telling stories-whatever the medium-is completed through the other, through the person who reads, observes and gives meaning to an image, and in this case, a movie. It is when the audience sees their reflection on the screen that everything makes sense; and this is what we seek to transmit in the eleventh edition of the Monterrey International Film Festival A.C., during 2015.
In 2015 we turned the spotlight unto the audience that has been with us for the past 11 years, because it was necessary for them to see their own stories reflected in cinema, we helped them to become screens for the movie of their lives. “You are the screen” was our main motto, under which audiences of all ages were able to connect with stories from Mexico and the world.
For this edition, the FIC Monterrey received a total of 2,672 films, a figure that exceeded the number of films received in previous years. Thanks to the outstanding efforts of selection and curatorship lead by our Programming team, a total of 90 films became part of the Official Selection 2015; and hence competed for our official award: the Cabrito de Plata.
This edition began with our traditional Inaugural Gala that held a very distinguished main dish: Arturo Ripstein’s International Career Achievement Tribute, for his immeasurable contributions to, both, Mexican and international cinema.
The film that opened the edition 2015 was the movie Gente de bien, a Colombian project that delicately weaves the approach between a son and his father along a bittersweet and well-balanced chronicle that deals with socioeconomic strata, family ties and unconditional love. In addition, as part of the Festival’s efforts to bring international cinema to our state, this year we showcased the best of Colombian cinema through our partnerships with film festivals such as Bogoshorts and Intravenosa, thanks to whom we had 3 feature films and 2 short film programs, which together formed Enfoque Colombia.
An important part of cinema is to give a voice to the different stories and approaches we can find in a society, such as the Mexican one. Through film we promote political debate, specifically in Mexico and specially in our state, therefore we organized an exhibit of four films that use local politics as their main characters. After the screening we had dialogue tables with producers, directors and academics about the current state of politics in Nuevo León.
The Monterrey International Film Festival helds in great importance the formation of new and more filmmakers. Thanks to efforts such as Pantalla Abierta, and the continuous support of the Ministry of Social Development of San Pedro Garza García, we conducted a documentary filmmaking workshop in the San Pedro 400 neighborhood. And its results were the production of a documentary short film that narrated the problems those young people experienced day by day. We could also see short films that were produced in the Exemplary project of Heartland Alliance Mexico, the Monterrey chapter, and we also invited for the screening another five short films; four of them were made by children from the state of Tamaulipas.
Our efforts to strengthen the local film industry continued this year, and as proof of this, the Film Industry Day, has been a constant event in our Film Festival for the past eight consecutive years, and therefore we decided to dedicate it to the creation of independent productions, so we prepared a series of panels and conferences that will solely focus in independent filmmakers and a much needed topic: how to make films without private or state investments? The lack of institutional support should not be an impediment to tell stories.
This year we were honored because we had the presence of Edgar San Juan, Yossy Zagha and Emiliano Altuna as Jurors of the International Competition; Bani Khoshnoudi, Grae Drake and Carlos Zapata as Juries of the Mexican Competition; José Raymundo Martínez, Sergio Tovar and Linda Olszewski as Jurors of the Short Film Competition. For the Student Short Film Showcase (MECE), we have the presence of Carlos Dávila, Sebastián Duque and Ruth Smith.
International Feature Films Competition
Best International Fiction Feature Film
The Lesson, by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov, representing Bulgaria and Greece.
For the excellent dramatic arc of the character that exposes, both, the economic crisis and the values of Western society.
Best International Documentary Feature Film
Felvidek: Caught in between, by Vladislava Plancíková, representing Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
For the intimate portrayal of conflict directly involved in the sense of belonging to a culture, a country and a language that provokes a universal reflection about identity.
Best International Animated Feature Film
Pos eso de Sam, representing Spain..
For a great execution of animated techniques which were lead by a comedy that pays tribute to world cinema classics.
The price consists of a contract that guarantees a minimum budget of $ 40,000.00 USD for its international distribution
JURY: Arturo González, an expert in film promotion and director of the company Artkingdom.
Winner: Estar o no estar, directed by Marcelo González.
The Alebrije Prize seeks a film with possibilities for commercial exhibition, with elements of an outstanding level in the categories of cast, cinematography, music, and that in as a whole, achieves a story that can connect with the audience at theaters. Without a doubt, Estar o no estar by Marcelo González fulfills this profile.
Best Mexican Fiction Feature Film
Winner of a price of $ 100,000 pesos.
Plan sexenal, by Santiago Cendejas
For its aesthetic proposal that is not afraid to take risks, and because of its narrative that manages to take us to an experience without temporality.
La Maldad, by Joshua Gil Delgado.
For its beautiful and abstract portrayal of the abyss between the reality of life in the countryside and the idea of the city.
CINEMA UNO acquisition award for digital distribution, with a value of $ 1000 USD
La Maldad, by Joshua Gil Delgado.
Best Mexican Documentary Feature Film
Winner of a price of $ 100,000 pesos.
Retratos de una búsqueda, by Alicia Calderón
For its courageous initiative to create a collective voice based on singular stories of pain and tragedy, at a time when Mexico needed to unified its forces. A film that tells a story that transcends borders and countries, reminding us that these events could happen in any part of the world. A painful documentary that touches the deepest fibers of the human being. It makes us think about the true meaning of life, its inherit value in the face of war and its heritage that goes from generation to generation; desensitizing its protagonists in the most brutal of ways to and leaving them as victims and simple observers of the catastrophe.
Exergo, by Diego Amando Moreno.
For the beauty of its visuals and because it dares to narrate based on the image, breaking the common narrative preconceptions of the documentary.
Best Nuevo León Feature Film
Alexfilm, by Pablo Chavarría
A different visual and narrative proposal that achieves a new cinematic experience by using just a few elements
Short Film Competition
Best International Fiction Short Film
Burden’s weight by Vivian Andereggen, representing Germany
For being an excellent cinematographic piece, brilliant in every aspect and whose impact is destined to remain in our memories.
Los niños del río, by Javier Macipe, representing Spain.
Leidi, by Simón Mesa Soto, representing Colombia, for the performance of her leading actress.
Best International Documentary Short Film
Hacia una primavera rosa, by Mario de la Torre, representing Spain.
For being a solid representation of the Arab Spring, an environment that remains hostile to all who live outside the norm.
Invisible, by Zofia Pregowska, representing Poland.
For the outstanding poetry and the inspiration of this poet who continues to work on her art and lead a meaningful life despite being over eighty years old and being blind.
Owami – I am…, by Diana Menestrey, representing Germany
For its delightful and honest portrayals of people that we have never seen before.
Best International Animated Short Film
Historia de un oso, by Gabriel Osorio, representing Chile
For telling an endearing and moving story, simple in appearance but that allows different levels of interpretation, using the highest standards in terms of animation quality and outstanding aesthetics.
The Master, by Rino Unt, representing Estonia.
For presenting a powerful story through an amazing animation.
Best Mexican Documentary Short Film
Futuro quebrado, by José Luis Soto Ruvalcabac
For introducing us the story of Poncho, a boy who saw his future cut short by a bullet from the police, and hence becoming another innocent victim of the cruel reality that surrounds the country, wishing that his story, which still demands answers and justice, would be heard.
Best Mexican Fiction Short Film
Contrapelo, by Gareth Dunnet Alcocer
For showing characters, with a lot of depth, who have to face ethical dilemmas in the framework of a tough Mexico, using brilliant execution and the outstanding performance of Art Bonilla as a common man trying to survive by doing his job as a barber as best as he can.
Best Mexican Animated Short Film
Olas del cielo, by Gildardo Santoyo del Castillo
For an exceptional use of animation, combined with music, to create a happy and endearing story.
Best Nuevo León Short Film
Vuelve, by Jesús Gerardo Castorena y Víctor Alonso Ponce
For showing the tale of a meeting of two photographers that pays tribute to friendship and memory, framed by the majestic landscapes of the desert in Nuevo León. It also possess a premise and concept strong enough to even become a full-length film.
Feliz cumpleaños, by Carlos Mendoza Guillén
Mexican Feature Film
El comienzo del tiempo, by Bernardo Arellano.
International Feature Film
Enclave, by Goran Radovanovic, representing Serbia.
Student Short Film Showcase
Best Short Film from the Student Short Film Showcase (MECE)
Winner of an incentive for $ 10,000 pesos in production services by UNA VOZ CON TODOS, a channel owned by the Public Broadcasting System of the Mexican State,
Nuevos Aires by Ivan García González.
For being an interesting proposal dealing with the personal search of encountering with one’s self and hence using an unexpected outcome, managing to transmit such a proposal with an outstanding technical quality and a current point of view of life in a simple and forceful way.
Efímero by Elizabeth Moreno Reyes
For the originality of its story, for being told with a good rhythm, quality and freshness.
Turno 66 by Gustavo Gamero
For a clear narrative and an interesting handling of the cinematographic language.