Tucson, AZ [March 7, 2018] – Tucson Cine Mexico, a partnership between the University of Arizona Hanson Film Institute and New York-based Cinema Tropical, has announced the 2018 festival program. Highlights include the U.S. premiere of the Mexican box office hit Me gusta pero me asusta (I Like it, but it Scares Me) and, celebrating the centennial of the birth of El Santo, a screening of the brand new digital restoration of the first film to star the legendary luchador, Santo contra cerebro del mal (Santo vs. The Evil Brain). This year’s festival will run from March 21 – 25. All films are in Spanish with English subtitles. As always, Tucson Cine Mexico events are free.
Direct from its World Premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, the digital restoration of Santo contra cerebro del mal will screen on March 22 at the Fox Tucson Theatre. Filmmaker/archivist, and granddaughter of the film’s producer Jorge Garcia Besné, Viviana Garcia Besné will be on hand at the post-screening Q&A to discuss her journey to restore the film. She packed the disintegrating reels into a refrigerated van and drove them to Los Angeles, where she enlisted various entities, including The Academy Film Archive, to save them from oblivion. In honor of the Santo centennial, doors will open 45 minutes prior to the screening for a pre-show birthday cake, and music and video mixed live by DJ Dirtyverbs and visualist Adam Cooper-Terán of Verbo•bala.
Screening on Saturday March 23 at 4:00pm at Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18, Me gusta per me asusta will feature a post-screening Q&A with the film’s director, Beto Gómez. The romantic comedy – the second highest-grossing Mexican film of 2017 – stars Alejandro Speitzer and Minnie West in their big-screen debut.
With a focus on presenting the best of the latest films from Mexico, co-directors Vicky Westover and Carlos Gutiérrez have programmed a lineup that reflects the masterful quality of films being produced in Mexico.
“Mexican cinema is currently going through a second golden era,” says Carlos Gutiérrez. “The country broke all-time production records with 175 films made last year, and it’s not only a matter of quantity, but also about quality. Mexican cinema has reached a peak of maturity and artistry, represented by a diversity of voices. Beyond the historic wins of the Three Amigos at the Oscars, there’s a vast wealth of film talent currently active in the country. We’re thrilled to serve as an important international showcase for Mexico’s who’s who in film, which we’ve done since launching Tucson Cine Mexico 15 editions ago.”
Vicky Westover added: “One of the greatest joys in putting together Tucson Cine Mexico is the large and highly diverse audience we continue to draw. We are grateful to our sponsors whose generosity makes it possible for us to offer the festival to the community for free.”
The festival’s event schedule is as follows:
WEDNESDAY MARCH 21, 6:15PM, Center for Creative Photography ARIZONA PREMIERE: ETIQUETA NO RIGUROSA / NO DRESS CODE REQUIRED Presented with support from the UA Institute for LGBT Studies In person: Director Cristina Herrera Bórquez Director Cristina Herrera Bórquez’s memorable documentary follows an unassuming same-sex couple, Víctor and Fernando, as they fight for the right to be married in their hometown of Mexicali, Baja California. As their struggle gets complicated and their case becomes public—winning them both allies and enemies—they become improbable media cause célèbres. With the filmmaker’s remarkable access to the epic story, No Dress Code Required is a rallying cry for equality, and a testament to the power of ordinary people to become agents of change.
THURSDAY MARCH 22, 6:30PM, Fox Tucson Theatre SANTO CONTRA CEREBRO DEL MAL / SANTO VS. THE EVIL BRAIN In person: Filmmaker/Archivist Viviana Garcia Besné Filmed in Cuba in 1961, Santo contre cerebro del mal is the first lucha libre film starring El Santo (Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta), the most iconic of all Mexican luchadores. In this film, the silver-masked hero foils the plot of a mad scientist to create a zombie army by zapping his innocent victims with electric shocks. Cerebro del mal sparked a long series of films – 52 in all – in which El Santo fights supernatural creatures, evil scientists, and various criminals and secret agents. Cut to 2017: the rapidly deteriorating original camera negatives are saved by archivist and filmmaker (and the producer’s granddaughter) Viviana Garcia Besné. Her mission: to rescue, preserve and reinterpret this and other Mexican films that have been despised by critics but loved by audiences. With assistance from director and archivist Nicolas Winding Refn, The Academy Film Archive and Cinema Preservation Alliance, the result is a stunning new digital restoration of this cult favorite. Doors open at 5:45pm for a pre-show celebration with DJ Dirtyverbs and Adam Cooper-Terán of Verbo•bala.
FRIDAY MARCH 23, 6:30PM, Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18 ARIZONA PREMIERE: LOS ADIOSES / THE ETERNAL FEMININE In person: Director Natalia Beristáin Boasting outstanding performances by Karina Gidi and Daniel Giménez Cacho, Natalia Beristáin’s second feature film is an unconventional biopic about the late Rosario Castellanos, one of Mexico’s top literary voices of the twentieth century. The film picks up her life in the 1950s when, as an introverted university student in Mexico City, she fights to have her voice heard in a society run by men. Winner of the Audience Award at the 2017 Morelia International Film Festival.
FRIDAY MARCH 23, 9:00PM, Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18 ARIZONA PREMIERE: EL VIGILANTE / THE NIGHTGUARD In person: Director Diego Ros Salvador (Leonardo Alonso) works the night shift as a security guard in a construction site located on the outskirts of Mexico City. One evening, while the rest of the country celebrates a national holiday, Salvador repeatedly tries to leave the site in order to attend an important event, but a series of improbable situations turns the night into a bizarre and exhausting experience. The auspicious debut feature by Diego Ros is “a wonderfully atmospheric, slightly off-kilter piece through which evil gently and troublingly pulsates.” (Jonathan Holland, The Hollywood Reporter).
SATURDAY MARCH 24, 4:00PM, Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18 USA PREMIERE: ME GUSTA PERO ME ASUSTA / I LIKE IT, BUT IT SCARES ME In person: Director Beto Gómez In this family-friendly box office hit from Mexico, Brayan Rodríguez, the innocent heir to a nouveau rich Sinaloa family, is sent to Mexico City to expand the mysterious family business. In the capital he meets Claudia, a spoiled millennial being pressured by her father to find a job, and their worlds collide. Appearances can be deceiving when hipster culture meets narco aesthetics in this deliciously subversive romantic screwball comedy starring Minnie West and Alejandro Speitzer in their charming feature film debuts, from director Beto Gómez (Saving Private Perez).
SATURDAY MARCH 24, 7:00PM, Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18 ARIZONA PREMIERE: TODO LO DEMÁS / EVERYTHING ELSE Post-screening discussion with Ana Martínez, PhD, Independent Scholar and Scenographer Accomplished documentarian Natalia Almada (Sundance Documentary Directing Award 2009) makes her fiction debut with Everything Else, starring Academy Award-nominated Adriana Barraza (Amores Perros, Babel). The film follows Doña Flor, a 63-year-old bureaucrat living in Mexico City who has worked in the same government office for 35 years, attending unsentimentally to people from all corners of Mexican society. When she loses the only living creature she cares for, she goes into crisis. With a keen directorial eye, impeccable framing, and inspired by Hannah Arendt’s idea that bureaucracy is one of the worst forms of violence, the story ultimately becomes a mesmerizing contemplation on solitude.
SUNDAY MARCH 25, 11:30AM, Tucson Museum of Art – Lobby TALK: THE SILENT GIANT – LATIN AMERICA, A MODERN-DAY EPICENTER OF FILM with Carlos Gutiérrez, Director of Cinema Tropical It’s been 20 years since the emergence of the ‘New Argentine Cinema,’ which fostered the arrival of a new generation of filmmakers like Lucrecia Martel (La Ciénega), which would drastically change local modes of production and narratives. The Argentine success served as inspiration for many other Latin American countries, creating an impressive artistic outburst, and breaking film production and box office records throughout the region. Yet, aside from a few break-through films like City of God, Y Tu Mamá También and Amores Perros, Latin American cinema remains largely overlooked in the United States. Carlos Gutierrez, co-founding director of Cinema Tropical, the leading presenter of Latin American cinema in the U.S., will discuss the outstanding contemporary cinema coming from Latin America, and share exclusive trailers of upcoming films.
SUNDAY MARCH 25, 2:00PM, Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18 ARIZONA PREMIERE: TEMPESTAD Post-screening discussion with Ana Cornide, Assistant Professor, UA Department of Spanish and Portuguese Tatiana Huezo’s second documentary feature (after her acclaimed debut The Tiniest Place) recounts the story of two women: Miriam, who was wrongly accused of human trafficking and imprisoned in a jail controlled by a drug cartel, and Adela, a circus performer who has been looking for her kidnapped daughter for over a decade. Through a subjective and emotional journey, and with striking cinematography by Ernesto Pardo (nominated for an American Society of Cinematographers Award for his work on the film), Tempestad conveys the paralyzing power of fear and reflects the impact of the violence and impunity that afflict Mexico. Hailed as “a rich and original piece of work” (IndieWire), Tempestad was Mexico’s official entry to this year’s Oscars.
Tucson Cine Mexico’s website www.tucsoncinemexico.org is the source for all festival event details and free tickets.
Screening Information: The 2018 Tucson Cine Mexico screenings and talk will take place across four venues in Tucson including the Center for Creative Photography (1030 N Olive Rd, Tucson 85719), Fox Tucson Theatre, Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18 (5455 S Calle Santa Cruz, Tucson 85706), and the Tucson Museum of Art & Historic Block. Tickets are free and open to all. Advance tickets are now available atwww.tucsoncinemexico.org. Note that tickets do not guarantee seats. Seating will be available to ticket holders on a first-come first-served basis. Patrons are encouraged to arrive early to secure seats. Subject to availability, some tickets may be available on the night.
The Hanson Film Institute (hansonfilm.org) is concerned with the art and business of film. The Institute works in partnership with diverse UA entities and local, national, and international organizations. The Institute produces educational programs, public events, and creative projects that provide educational and professional development opportunities for students, faculty, and filmmakers. The Institute contributes to the University’s land-grant mission by producing film events and films that address societal issues. The Institute places a special focus on Mexican and Native American filmmaking.
Cinema Tropical (cinematropical.com) is a non-profit media arts organization dedicated to promoting, programming and distributing Latin American cinema in the United States. Founded in 2001 with the mission of distributing, programming and promoting what was to become the biggest boom of Latin American cinema in decades, Cinema Tropical brought U.S. audiences some of the first screening of films such as Amores Perros and Y Tu Mamá También. Through a diversity of programs and initiatives, Cinema Tropical has become a dynamic and groundbreaking organization creating better and more effective strategies for the distribution and exhibition of foreign cinema in this country.
About our sponsors: Tucson Cine Mexico 2018 acknowledges the support of the following sponsors. SILVER Film Tucson, Topline Entertainment, Rio Nuevo, Arizona Office of Film & Digital Media BRONZE La Estrella Bakery, UA College of Fine Arts, UA Department of Spanish & Portuguese, UA Office of Global Initiatives, SplitSeed Productions, Vantage West, Calle Tepa Mexican Street Grill, Guadalajara Original Grill WITH SUPPORT FROM Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, UA Institute for LGBT Studies, UA Center for Latin American Studies, UA College of Humanities, UA College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, UA Department of Gender & Women’s Studies, and Ambulante Gira de Documentales