The festival will tour 24 municipalities in eight Mexican states from February 21 to May 16.”
The films of the fourteenth edition of Ambulante unveil our present—and our past. These films present an overflowing reality that mutates in each viewer’s eye, and, open to endless interpretations, they invite the audience to share responsibility for what they are watching and to feel connected to the rest of the world. Poetic explorations of reality, tales about turbulent sociopolitical universes, family portraits assembled patiently and sensibly, rescued historic material that shows the value of cinema as memory and intangible heritage… The documentary, with its infinite versatility, unfolds into a 138-film program that defies preconceived notions regarding non-fiction films to captivate the viewer’s imagination in unexpected ways. It is an imperfect, personal, and lucid cinema: a changing, seductive cinema filled with boldness and a renewed narrative. With a dedicated and rigorous programming, this year Ambulante sparks a dialogue on the possibilities of reality and the epic of ordinariness.
“Documentaries, normally conceived as an indication of the truth, an empirical exam or a plain exhibition of the present, are perceived as microscopes rather than kaleidoscopes—but to think of them as devices for illusion, as our program suggests, reveals to us the genre’s choreographic and dramaturgical strategies, its formal games, its hidden pact with performance and fantasy and its capacity to produce alternative imaginaries. When we have an illusion, we oscillate between what is unimaginable, what is possible, and what is attainable. Once more, our aim is to come back with a festival whose programming proves other realities possible,” comments Paulina Suárez, Ambulante’s Director.
The program includes films from thirty countries, spoken in more than twenty languages, including twelve indigenous languages. From works by acclaimed filmmakers to debut films by new authors, these titles will be presented in nine sections: Pulsos (Mexican cinema), Ambulante Beyond (short films from our film training program in Mexican communities), Intersecciones (contemporary international documentaries), Sonidero (our long-standing music section), Injerto (avant-garde cinema), Retrovisor (Mexican newscasts from the early 20th century to the 80’s), Ambulantito (animated films and documentaries for children), Resistencias (stories about justice and memory), and Coordenadas (exclusive films for each state that address regional issues and cultural manifestations).
The presence of female filmmakers is outstanding.”
Films by female filmmakers stand out in the program, —this year, they outnumber male filmmakers—along with denunciation films, and stories told using archive material, which acquires a new meaning when revisited. Some of the main topics are justice, gender equality, LGBT+ rights, identity, memory, environment, enforced disappearance, freedom of the press, international conflicts, family relationships, migration, activism, music, and art. In multiple states, the tour will include a Salón Transmedia, a space designed to explore a selection of interactive pieces that highlight the ways in which narrative has been transformed and the impact it has in the milieu.
Additionally, this year, the courses and workshops offered by Ambulante address
the varying aesthetics and narratives of cinema. From optical illusions of artisanal film manipulation—material reappropriation, different animation techniques, and hand-made cinema— to transmedia narratives, multiplatform production, and its multiple possibilities for non-fiction films. We will organize workshops, talks, and seminaries specifically for each city in order to broaden the experience of the festival through new work tools for cinema pros, students, and amateurs.
Throughout the two-month tour, the screenings will be accompanied of talks with the filmmakers, the main characters of the documentaries, and experts. Around 120 national and international guests will travel to the different states of the tour, and
690 activities will take place at 144 venues across 24 municipalities. More than 65% of the events will be for free.
The tour will visit eight Mexican states from February 21 to May 16. The opening state will be Veracruz (February 21-28), and then the festival will move on to Querétaro (February 28-March 7), Puebla (March 7-14), Coahuila (March 14-21), Jalisco (March 28-April 4), Chihuahua (April 4-11), Oaxaca (April 11-18), and Mexico City (April 30-May 16).
We would like to thank the National Council for Culture and Arts, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Comisión de Cultura y Cinematografía de la H. Cámara de Diputados, Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía IMCINE, Fundación BBVA Bancomer, Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), and Museo Arocena for their commitment and making this tour possible. We would also like to thank the Secretaría de Cultura del Estado de Querétaro, the Secretaría de Turismo de Querétaro, the H. Ayuntamiento de Xalapa, and the H. Ayuntamiento de Orizaba (Veracruz) for allowing their states and municipalities to be a part of the Ambulante Film Festival 2019. Furthermore, we want to thank to our sponsors, who join forces and collaborate with us, among which are Labodigital, R7D, Panasonic, LCI Seguros, Barmicil, Aeromar, cerveza Cucapá, and to all the embassies, foundations, venues, restaurants, media, and every collaborator that supports us in this tour. Thank you too to the more than 250 voluntaries for their time and dedication; it is them who allow Ambulante to continue existing in each city of the tour.