Pulsos, one of the core sections of Ambulante, serves as a significant showcase for Mexican documentaries locally and worldwide. This year, Pulsos comprises eight films – two short films and six feature length films, which call us to look within, recognize ourselves, and reunite with ourselves in the present moment. This film selection reflects the theme of this edition, exploring the potential of documentary films to depict not only that which is obvious, but also a future that is yet to be built. “From our interpretation of the contemporary Mexican documentary production,
we draw a selection of films that, because of their aesthetic proposal and/or unorthodox point of view, generate echoing or allow us to generate a discussion in line with the core concept of this year’s edition: optical illusions. In these films, we find hope and discouragement, our perception is played with, and there is a narrative boldness that reaffirms the drive documentary cinema has to generate reality-transforming illusions,” explain Antonio Zirión and Itzel Martínez del Cañizo, film programmers at Ambulante.
The following titles will compose this section:
An outstanding feature are the scrutinizing portraits of endearing characters whose lives have infringed all conventions and transcended constraints. “The cinematic exploration of a country burdened with social tension and violence is also remarkable, along with the citizens’ reactions built upon solidarity, resilience, and resistance. One of the concerns we noticed in these documentaries revolves around kinship. We discovered an emotional insight into personal and intimate matters, and also a growing keenness to utilize cinema as a device to examine and personally confront the family memory of the filmmakers. The plots and characters take us for a ride to multiple regions of this country: Aguascalientes, Colima, Jalisco, Oaxaca, the US-Mexico border, and the outskirts of Mexico City. Through this selection, it’s possible to ascertain that documentaries in Mexico are in urgent need of a prolific space, so that we can understand our present and have an impact on our future,” added the film programmers.
Some of the films featured in Pulsos are produced by Mexican filmmakers, while some others are takes on Mexican reality by foreign directors. “For the first time, Pulsos expanded to accommodate films on stories happening in our country produced by foreigner directors – the perspective of an outsider that sheds light from a different angle to our domestic problems. In that manner, besides listening to Mexican creators, we broaden our spectrum to include other perspectives that allow to uncover Mexico’s image before the rest of the world.”
In the following days we will publish other sections of the programming that comprise more Mexican titles. For example, the section Coordenadas will include feature length films and short films divided into exclusive programs for each state. They will address regional problems and cultural manifestations. Coordenadas encourages a space of reunion among spectators and creators with shared local concerns so that they exchange experiences and knowledge, strengthening communities through documentary cinema.
With eight years of existence, Ambulante Beyond has become one of the most significant training courses in the country. The main objectives of this documentary production training initiative are to celebrate diversity, propel decentralization of audiovisual productions and democratize the access to those realities that deserve to be known. This year, we will feature five films created by a generation of students from the Costa Chica region in Guerrero and Oaxaca.
The following is this year’s documentaries by Ambulante Beyond:
The quality of the films produced by this generation has allowed several filmmakers to engage in the global film industry; they have been invited to present their films at the First Look Film Festival by the New York Museum of the Moving Image, the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival, the Latin American Short Film Festival Barcelona, the Viña del Mar International Film Festival in Chile, MICGénero in Buenos Aires, and the Asinabka Festival in Ottawa, among others.
The Sound of Waves received the Best Short Film Directed by a Woman award at the Festival Internacional Todos Somos Otros, and an honorable mention in the Student Documentary Film category at the 2018 edition of the Prize José Rovirosa.