Full Spectrum Features – Cross-Border Filmmakers Take a Virtual Journey

Graphic courtesy of Chicago Cinema Exchange: Mexico City

Grab your living room front-and-center seats for the upcoming “Chicago Cinema Exchange: Mexico City” film series. The program offers cinema diversity at a moment in time perfectly suited to its airing. Originally intended as a cross-border program taking place in both Chicago and Mexico City, COVID-19 crafted some unexpected changes in plans. Now, instead of live presentations, the film screenings will be offered on the virtual platform with virtual Q&As with involved filmmakers. This free, week-long on-demand program will screen from June 23 to July 9, 2020. All of the films explore themes of displacement from the perspective of different cultures and daily experiences. What better way to explore cultural diversity in a world experiencing two pandemics at the same time, the novel coronavirus and covert racial biases erupting to the surface.

Program participants will have the opportunity for exciting professional development through collaboration sessions with funders, producers, and distributors from both countries. Program planners and project managers include Raul Benitez (Full Spectrum Features), Viviana Garcia Besne (Permanencia Voluntaria Archivo Cinematografia), and Lucia Palmarini. Tailor-made for today, the program is supported by the MacArthur Foundation International Connections Fund in partnership with Permanencia Voluntaria Archivo Cinematografia and features a varied selection of films. The entire free program encompasses some fascinating studies of people facing challenges to how they see themselves and what defines them in times of stress.

Pegah Pasalar – Photo courtesy of Chicago Cinema Exchange: Mexico City

June 23-28, 2020 (on demand)

SUNDAY – Photo courtesy of Chicago Cinema Exchange: Mexico City

SUNDAY, a short film by Pegah Pasalar, an Iranian interdisciplinary artist current based in Chicago, who studies the role of women in her family and society more generally as she encounters different members of her family, all immigrants, while remembering them on her thirtieth birthday.

Fernanda Tovar – Photo courtesy of Chicago Cinema Exchange: Mexico City

June 25, 2020 (6:30 pm CST)

MI EDAD, LA TUYA Y LA EDAD DEL MUNDO – Photo courtesy of Chicago Cinema Exchange: Mexico City

MI EDAD, LA TUYA Y LA EDAD DEL MUNDO, a film by Fernanda Tovar, a Mexican artist who studied in Mexico and Spain and was a FONCA Jovenes Creadores program fellow in screenwriting. The film tells the tale of a queen, her lands, her palace, and her love.

Tania Hernandez Velasco – Photo courtesy of Chicago Cinema Exchange: Mexico City

June 23-28, 2020 (on demand)

TITIXE – Photo courtesy of Chicago Cinema Exchange: Mexico City

TITIXE, a film by Tania Hernandez Velasco, a Mexican filmmaker who studied in Mexico and Spain. The multi-talented Velasco presents her first feature documentary highlighting her skills in directing, editing, producing, and photography. The film deals with a Mexican family’s very last attempt to cultivate their land as they gather at the mourning tree and deal with ghosts and forgotten seeds.

Astrid Dominiquez – Photo courtesy of Chicago Cinema Exchange: Mexico City

June 30-July 5, 2020 (on demand)

LAS DESAPARECIDAS – Photo courtesy of Chicago Cinema Exchange: Mexico City

LAS DESAPARECIDAS, a film my Astrid Dominguez, a Mexican artist who developed this film as a graduation requirement while completing graduate studies in Melbourne, Australia. She focuses on gender topics and is currently developing her first feature film.

Erika Valencia – Photo courtesy of Chicago Cinema Exchange: Mexico City

June 30-July 5, 2020 (on demand)

LA MITAD DEL MUNDO – Photo courtesy of Chicago Cinema Exchange: Mexico City

LA MITAD DEL MUNDO, a film by Erika Valencia, a Chicago-based filmmaker, interdisciplinary artist, and educator. She explores the harrowing and painful stories of young survivors of sex trafficking in Ecuador.

Jose Luis Benavides – Photo courtesy of Chicago Cinema Exchange: Mexico City

July 7-12, 2020 (on demand)

LULU EN EL JARDIN – Photo courtesy of Chicago Cinema Exchange: Mexico City

LULU EN EL JARDIN, a film by Jose Luis Benavides, a Latinx artist, filmmaker, and educator who has presented his work at many international festivals. Benavides explores the journey of a tenacious, Latina émigré who endures forced institutionalization when she “comes out” as a teenager in 1970s Chicago.

Otilla Padua – Photo courtesy of Chicago Cinema Exchange: Mexico City

July 9, 2020 (6:30 pm CST)

BIRDERS – Photo courtesy of Chicago Cinema Exchange : Mexico City

BIRDERS, a film by Otilla Padua, a Mexican filmmaker who studied architecture in London and has presented her work internationally. BIRDERS was produced by No Ficcion for Netflix. She tells the tale of bird watchers on both sides of the US/Mexico border as they share their enthusiasm for protecting and preserving some of the world’s most beautiful birds.

Full Spectrum Features is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization committed to achieving racial and social equity in the media arts by producing, exhibiting, and supporting the work of woman, LGVTQ, and POC filmmakers. A Chicago- and Mexico City-based producer, educator, and creative consultant, Lucia Palmarini served as project producer for the program. Viviana Garcia Besne, serving as programmer, has a history of extensive collaborations with prestigious institutions, including The Academy Film Archive, UCLA Film and Television Archive, and The Film Foundation. Her impeccable restorations have been screened internationally. Program coordinator Raul Benitez is the lead programmer for Full Spectrum’s annual shorts program, Chicagoland Shorts, and has been involved in multiple international programs and festivals.

The public is invited to share in this free, week-long series of virtual screenings. Don’t miss a golden opportunity to take a peek at what filmmakers on both sides of the border are working on. This is a timely series which should spark thoughtful conversation.

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