UA Institute Brings Best of Mexican Cinema to Arizona

Tucson Cine Mexico 2010 celebrates the best of Mexican cinema with award winning screenings, a party at the Tucson Museum of Art and a partnership with the Ambulante Documentary Film Festival.
March 2, 2010
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The festival begins on Thursday, March 4. A complete guide is available upon request and can be found at Tucson Cine Mexico 2010. All films are in Spanish with English subtitles.

Screening venues:

Harkins Theatres Tucson Spectrum 18, located at 5455 S. Calle Santa Cruz

Tucson Museum of Art, located at 140 North Main Avenue.

"Alamar" (To the Sea), will be screened on Friday, March 5, at 8:30 p.m. at the Harkins Theatres.
"Alamar" (To the Sea), will be screened on Friday, March 5, at 8:30 p.m. at the Harkins Theatres.
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The University of Arizona's Hanson Film Institute and the Mexican Consulate in Tucson present "Tucson Cine Mexico 2010, a festival of Mexican film."

Tucson Cine Mexico 2010 was the first and is the most prominent film festival in the U.S. focusing entirely on the work of Mexican directors. The festival partnered with Ambulante, which was created in 2005 by Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna and Pablo Cruz, with the purpose of promoting the exhibition and production of documentaries in Mexico, as well as their screenings abroad.

All screenings and events are free and open to the public and will take place Thursday, March 4, through Sunday, March 7, at the Harkins Theatres Tucson Spectrum 18, located at 5455 S. Calle Santa Cruz in Tucson. The lone exception is "Tropico de Cancer" ("Tropic of Cancer") which will be screened during the festival's opening night party on Thursday, March 6, at the Tucson Museum of Art, Downtown at 140 North Main Avenue.

One movie, "Tijuaneados Anonimos" ("Tijuanans Anonymous") is making its U.S. debut and all films being screened are being shown for the first time in Arizona. "This is the only opportunity anyone in the state, or the country will have to see these films shown together as part of a festival," said Vicky Westover, program director of the Hanson Film Institute.

The UA's Hanson Film Institute works in partnership with the School of Media Arts in the College of Fine Arts, and serves diverse, underrepresented and new voices in the film industry.

Westover's experience with the film industry and close ties with the Mexican film industry in particular led to the annual Cine Mexico festival and screenings with the unique quality of their content.

Last year's Cine Mexico featured Mexican science fiction genre and saw sell outs at some of the screenings. This year, Westover said bigger crowds are expected as the screenings are all free, thanks to the contributions of the festival's sponsors, Cox and Harkins Theaters.

This year's festival features a mix of award-winning contemporary films and documentaries, kicking off with Ambulante's "El General" ("The General") directed by Natalia Alamda. Alamda will be present for the screening at the Harkins Theaters on Thursday at 6 p.m. and will participate in a question-and-answer session after.

The film won the Audience Award and Best Documentary Feature at the Cine Las Americas Film Festival in 2009. Alamda was awarded the Documentary Directing Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival for her work on "El General" and has been nominated for the Film Independent Spirit Truer Than Fiction Award 2010. 

The screening of "El General" at the Harkins Theater at 6 p.m. will be followed by an opening night party at the Tucson Museum of Art at 8:30 p.m. with a screening of the film "Tropico de Cancer." The party will feature live music and refreshments.

"Tropico de Cancer" is a poignant and powerful documentary included in "The Best Latin American Films of the Decade" list and winner of Mexico's most prestigious award, the Ariel.

Another highlight of the festival is the Arizona premiere of "Arráncame La Vida" ("Tear This Heart Out"), Mexico's costliest film production and biggest box office hit to date. It is based upon the bestselling book by Ángeles Mastretta. "Arráncame La Vida" is the story of a young woman searching for freedom and identity in Mexico's 1930s and will be screened on Saturday, March 6, at 8:30 p.m.

"Tijuaneados Anonimos: Una Lagrima, Una Sonrisa" ("Tijuanans Anonymous: A Teardrop, a Smile") was an official selection of the Festival Internacional de Cine de Morelia (International Film Festival of Morelia). The documentary will be screened on Sunday, March 7, at 2 p.m. Its focus is on Tijuana, the vibrant border city, examining how violence and lack of leadership affects the daily lives of its inhabitants.

"We are very excited about the quality of the films selected for the Tucson Cine Mexico 2010," said Julian Etienne, a spokesman for the Mexican Consulate. "These films showcase the diverse work of Mexico's vibrant filmmaking industry. This will be the only opportunity to see these films on the big screen in Tucson," Etienne said.