In keeping with a tradition that began in 2005, the Morelia Int’l Film Festival will showcase a selection of shorts at Cannes’ Critics Week.
As festival director Daniela Michel explained: “The selection is made by the Critics’ Week team directly. Every year, a member of that team is invited to participate in our Mexican Short Film jury; they make a shortlist of films for the program in Cannes and the programming team narrows it down to four shorts.”
The shorts chosen from Morelia’s prior edition underscore the diversity of themes and genres that are currently explored in Mexican cinema, from family ties that bind to black and white animation. It’s a strategic alliance between the festivals that has allowed some 40 short Mexican films to screen in Cannes through the years, with the presence of some of the filmmakers and talent behind them.
Reflecting on how the pandemic has affected the festival, now on its 20th edition, Michel said: “It has been a difficult two years, but I’m proud to say we have managed to hold a festival every year since the pandemic began!”
While the festival was a reduced and “cautious in-person affair with a much larger hybrid element” in 2020, the following year saw a larger number of screenings.
“We’ll be focusing even more this year on our Mexican competition, which has always been the heart of the festival – Mexican features, documentaries and short films,” said Michel adding: “We hope to hold an event that represents what Morelia has achieved over the last 20 years, since it began in 2003 as a short film showcase – to celebrate our mission to support Mexican films and filmmakers and offer a meeting place for lovers of film from all over the world.”
The short films screening at the Espace Miramar on May 24 are:
“Al Motociclista no le Cabe la Felicidad en el Traje,” Gabriel Herrera (Black Maria Prods.)
Also screened at the 71st Berlinale Shorts Competition, this wry short with a title that is roughly translated to “A Motorcyclist’s Happiness Won’t Fit into His Suit” is directed by Gabriel Herrera who earned a Master’s Degree in film direction at the National Film School of Poland (PWSFTviT). The short is described as a “playful recreation – with roles reversed – that points to the arrogance of colonial conquerors” as a man sits proudly on his motorbike that he won’t lend to anyone.
“Llueve,” Magali Rocha Donnadieu, Carolina Corral Paredes (IMCINE, Amate Films)
This stark black and white animated short tells a grim story narrated by a mother whose son has vanished, and who is later told has been kidnapped. She’s convinced he’s reaching out to her through the rain to tell her where he is and to help unearth the truth. Rocha studied literature in Paris and has produced various prize-winning shorts through her company, Amate Films. Corral directed the lauded 2017 short “Semillas de Guamúchil.”
“Mi Edad, la Tuya y la del Mundo,” Fernanda Tovar (Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica)
Translated to “My Age, Yours and the Age of the World” this sweet and highly personal short by Tovar films her inimitable grandmother as she recovers from losing most of her belongings when their apartment was destroyed by an earthquake. Tovar has studied film direction at Mexico’s prestigious Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica.
“El Sueño Más Largo que Recuerdo,” Carlos Lenin (Huasteca Casa Cinematográfica)
In “The Longest Dream I Remember,” this 20-minute short centers on Tania who is leaving home but has to contend with what her absence will mean in the search for her missing father. Lenin’s previous short “24º 51′ Latitud Norte” received the Orona award at the San Sebastian Festival and five awards at Shorts México, as well as a nomination for the best short film Ariel award. His debut feature, “The Dove and the Wolf,” premiered at the Locarno International Film Festival where it received the Swatch Art Peace Hotel award.
The 20th Int’l Film Festival of Morelia will run from Oct. 22-29.