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Mexico City Docu Festival launches

From September 21st to the 31th, México City will witness the birth of DOCSDF, a forum, a meeting point where enthusiasts of the genre, film makers and producers, will have the oportunity to attend screenings of some of the genre’s highlights from recent years, from México and around the world.

-This festival stems from the big lack México City -one of the biggest in the world- suffered, that of a large documentary film exhibition, like the ones cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, Rome, NewYork, Amsterdam or Toronto, just to name a few, already have.

DOCSDF tries to:

A) Establish México City in the international documentary film festival circuit.
B) Create a space that the audience demands.
C) Offer an international cuality programming.

-The festival will have the following sections:

Section: International Documentary Exhibition

An exhibition of winning documentaries from the world’s most prestigious festivals, that offers us the best that’s been produced in the genre. This cycle guarantees the audience a programming of the highest standards.

Section: Panorama
A selection of documentaries that are relevant because of their quality, content, or success achieved. This section performs a very clear function, and that is to purvey the Mexican audience of titles that, because of their quality, deserve to be shown, noting that most of them haven’t opened in Mexico, and wouldn’t be if not for an event like DOCSDF.

Section: Mexican Documentary Exhibition

DOCSDF distinguishes itself by a Latin American vocation. In this section, we present a panoramic view of exclusively Mexican productions.
Within this section’s framework, the José Rovirosa Award will be delivered by the Filmoteca de la UNAM, to the best Mexican documentary of the year.
This exhibition is divided into four sub-sections.
1) From the last century. We look over the landmarks of XX century Mexican documentary cinema.
2) Contemporary Mexico. Documentaries produced from the year 2000 up to today.
3) Militant cinema. Movies which themes are centered around politic, civil or social vindication.
4) José Rovirosa Prize. Screening of the last three titles that received the award.

Section: Santiago Álvarez, forever.

In this section, we’ll hold a retrospective on an established, classic documentarian, with the goal of disseminating his work and offer the chance to see these landmarks on a theater screen.
This time it’s the turn of the most influential author in Latin American documentary, the Cuban “Maestro”, Santiago Álvarez. For this, we’ll count with the presence of his life partner, Lázara Herrera, and Ismael Perdomo’s, his assistant director. This section will be held at the Cineteca Nacional .

Section: Spain: documentary and memory

Having now surpassed the 30th anniversary of Francisco Franco’s death, we select a series of movies that fundamentally portray the development of international documentary, Spain’s civil war, dictatorship and democratic transition. To open this section we’ll count with the presence of Román Gubern.


DOCSDF is not just a succession of screenings. The main goal is to offer an attractive space to everyone who approaches the festival. It’s not a mere documentary exhibition, it’s a radiating center, a forum for the genre to regenerate, develop and be fostered in our country.

Documentary seminar: Patricio Guzmán

In every edition, an internationally renowned film director will visit Mexico City to impart seminars as well as workshops, offering an academic event that in subsequent editions will cover every aspect surrounding the study, analysis and, above all, production and shooting of a documentary.

This year’s guest is Chilean director Patricio Guzmán.

Simplemente Documental (Simply Documentary) Rally presented by Panasonic

One of the basic characteristics of a documentary festival is the active and participating character of our audience. Within it exists a vast number of filmmakers, students, journalists and screenwriters who are either devoted to, or starting to delve in the world of documentary.

The Simplemente Documental (Simply Documentary) Rally works as a mean por all of our audience to participate in the festival.

Simultaneously to the start of the festival, the previously registered filming crews will gather at Cinemanía, where a theme for the making of a documentary short film will be proposed to them. They will have 100 hours to deliver it to the festival administration.
The jury will value the presented films, announcing the winning title at the festival’s closing event, along with different prizes.

Director’s screenings

The directors themselves, promoting a feedback session with the audience at the screening, will present important titles of our programming.
For that purpose, the mentioned Patricio Guzmán (Salvador Allende, Chile, la memoria obstinada), Fernando León de Aranoa (Caminantes), Javier Corcuera (Invierno en Bagdad, La espalda del mundo), Pirjo Honskasalo (The three rooms of melancholia), Javier Martín Vázquez (Amando a Maradona), among others, will attend.


Cinemanía Plaza Loreto: The main location, in which most of the DOCSDF events will take place. An already established space among Mexico City’s movie enthusiasts, and a reference when it comes to quality programming.

Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana: Placed at the heart of the historic center, it´s one of the most beautiful spaces in which an event lika DOCSDF can take place. Conferences, presentations, screenings and the main seminar will be celebrated at the Main Hall and at the former temple of San Jerónimo. A historical sight that makes DOCSDF even more special.

Centro Cultural Plaza Loreto: The forum and main plaza. Two exceptional spaces in which stellar screenings will be held, those that count with the biggest potential audience, as well as post-screening events, with spaces reserved for our sponsors.

Centro Cultural Bella Época: Beautiful and loaded with history, it´s a cultural space that in it´s time included the Lido movie theater. Soon it´s doors will open again, and DOCSDF will be one of the first events to take place in the second era of this theater, very beloved for México City dwelers.

Centro Cultural de España: A promotor for cultural diversity, an open space for the exchange of experiences between both countries and a helper in cultural cooperation. As such, the Center supports the exchange of professionals, experiences and view points. It is an information source, offering vanguard technology to users, promoting popularization of cultural programs, training and aid for creators, in the cultural field. Located between historical streets Guatemala and Donceles, the Center occupies a XVII century building, ceded by the City´s government and recovered by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation, that in doing so, helps to the recovery of the Historical Center of the City.

Cineteca Nacional: Founded in 1974, the Cineteca Nacional is the governmental organism in charge of rescueing, classifying, restoring, preserving and divulging México and the world´s most relevant cinema.
Part of the Public Education State Department, thru the National Council for Culture and Arts, and member of the Film Archive International Federation (FIAF) since 1977, the Cineteca Nacional offers film exhibitions and research services, for the general public and for specialized investigators.
It has eight theaters, a specialized bibliographical and hemerographic Documentation Center, a bookstore, restaurant and coffe shop.

Cinematográfico del Chopo: Dr. Atl 37, Col. Santa María La Ribera.

Cinemex Plaza Insurgentes: San Luis Potosí 214. Col. Roma.

Cinemex Casa de Arte: Plaza Mazarik, Anatole France 120, Col. Polanco, México DF.


Patricio Guzmán
Documentarian. Producer, director and screenwriter. Born in Santiago de Chile in 1941. He felt attracted to documentary cinema when he had the chance to see some of the work of Ivens, Resnais, Maker y Rossif in the late 50´s. He studied Theater, History and Philosophy at the Universidad de Chile, and Filmmaking at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and the Escuela Oficial de Cinematografía de Madrid (Spain). He obtained the Guggenheim Grant and the Open Society Institute Grant (USA). He´s filmed 11 documentaries with which he´s won awards at the international festivals of Mannheim, Grenoble, Brusels, Leipzig, Habana, Berlin, San Francisco, Florence, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Amiens, Valladolid, Friburg, Marseille, Saint Louis, among others. Exdirector of the Festival Documental de Santiago de Chile (1997-2002). He´s been a member of the jury at the Marseille, Guadalajara, Dei Poppoli, Providence, Bombay, Paris and Leipzig festivals. He´s dictated seminars and courses at University of Columbia, Escuela de México, Escuela de Cuba, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universidad Arcis de Chile, University of Ottawa, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Escuela de Madrid, Universidad de Los Andes de Colombia and Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. He´s published the book “Guión y método de trabajo de La Batalla de Chile (Script and work methods for La Batalla de Chile)” (1997).

Chile, la memoria obstinada and El Caso Pinochet will serve as a showcase for his work in the Indispensable Documentaries cycle.

Roman Gubern
We have the privilege of counting with the presence of Roman Gubern, an internationally renowned film historian and one of the most prestigous scholars of Spanish cinema, specially the one concernig the era around which this section revolves. Without a doubt, it is not posible to program a section of this kind without counting with his presence.

Born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1934. He´s an Audiovisual Comunication profesor at the Comunication Sciences Faculty in the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, of which he´s been the Dean. He´s been President of the Asociación Española de Historiadores del Cine and belongs to the Association Francaise pour la Recherche sur l´Histoire du Cinema. He´s a member of the Fine Arts Academy of San Fernando, the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Honor Comité of the International Association for Visual Semiotics.

He´s worked as a researcher in the Massachussets Institute of Technology and as a professor of Cinema History at the University of Southern California. Fundesco 1986 essay award. He´s been director of the Instituto Cervantes in Rome. Among his numerous Works:
Historia del cine, Danae, Barcelona, 1969; Godard polémico, Tusquets, Barcelona, 1969; La novela criminal, antología de textos y prólogo, Tusquets, Barcelona, 1970; El lenguaje de los comics, Península, Barcelona, 1972; Mensajes icónicos en la cultura de masas, Lumen, Barcelona, 1974; Homenaje a King Kong, Tusquets, Barcelona, 1974; Literatura de la imagen, Salvat, Barcelona, 1974; Cine contemporáneo, Salvat, Barcelona, 1974; Un cine para el cadalso. 40 años de censura cinematográfica en España (with Domènec Font), Euros, Barcelona, 1975; El cine español en el exilio 1936-1939, Lumen, 1976; El cine sonoro en la II Republica (1929-1936), Lumen, Barcelona, 1977; Comunicación y cultura de masas, Península, Barcelona, 1977; Las raíces del miedo (with J. Prats), Lumen, Barcelona, 1978; La censura. Función política y ordenamiento jurídico bajo el franquismo (1936-1975), Península, Barcelona, 1981; Cine para leer, Editorial Mensajero, Bilbao, 1986; 1936-1939: La Guerra de España en la Pantalla. De la Propaganda a la Historia, Filmoteca Española, Madrid, 1986; El simio informatizado, Fundesco, Madrid, 1987; La caza de brujas en Hollywood, Anagrama, Barcelona, 1987; Los comics en Hollywood. Una mitología del siglo XX (with Javier Coma), Plaza y Janés, Barcelona, 1988; El discurso del comic (with Luis Gasca), Cátedra, Madrid, 1988; La imagen pornográfica y otras perversiones ópticas, Akal, Madrid, 1989; Espejo de fantasmas. De John Travolta a Indiana Jones, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1993; El discurso del comic (with Luis Gasca), Cátedra, Madrid, 1994; Del bisonte a la realidad virtual, la escena y el laberinto, Anagrama, Barcelona, 1996; Proyector de luna, Anagrama, Barcelona, 1999; El eros electrónico, Taurus, Madrid, 2000.

Lázara Herrera
Life partner of maestro Santiago Álvarez, his last producer and responsible for the Santiago Álvarez Office at the ICAIC (Instituto Cubano de Artes e Industrias Cinematográficas), and responsible for the Santiago Álvarez In Memorian documentary festival.

Fernando León de Aranoa
Known for movies like Barrio, Los lunes al sol or the recently released Princesas, he´ll join us to present his documentary Caminantes, filmed in México.
Since he was 19 he’s been working in TV as a writer for shows like "Un, dos, tres" and “Martes y trece“, among others.
He jumped to cinema with the scripts for ¡Por fin solos! (Antonio del Real, 1994), Corazón loco (Antonio del Real, 1996), Insomnio (Chus Gutiérrez, 1997). "Fausto 5.0" (La fura dels Baus), among others.

In 1994 he directs his first short Sirenas, rewarded at the Festival de Alcalá de Henares in 1996, grabbing the attention of producer Elías Querejeta. From then on, he launches himself into feature directing. Familia (1996), about a lonely man who hires a fake family for his ideal birthday, received awards at the Festival de Cine de Valladolid, and the Goya to Best Newcoming Director that same year. In 1998 he directed Barrio, the story of a group of kids in a marginal neighborhood that was rewarded in the San Sebastián Film Festival and got two Goyas, for Best Director and Best Script. His consecration in the current landscape of Spanish cinema came with Los Lunes al Sol, which won the Concha de Oro at San Sebastián and 5 Goyas, among them Best Picture and Best Director. His most recent movie is Princesas, (2005), rewarded too with three Goyas, and which has a group of prostitutes for protagonists.

Javier Corcuera
Peruvian established in Spain, he´s one of the most internationally successful new generation documentarians, mainly for La espalda del mundo e Invierno en Bagdad, recently released.

Javier Martín Vázquez
He´ll join us to present his latest documentary, Amando a Maradona.

Juan Carlos Rulfo
He´ll attend the screening of his latest documentary, En el hoyo.
Son of the great Jalisco writer Juan Rulfo, Juan Carlos Rulfo has devoted himself to cinema like an explorer, using camera and microphone to dwelve in the labyrinths of one people´s collective memory.
Juan Carlos Rulfo graduated from Sciences of Comunication at the UNAM in 1987, while working as an assistant public relationist in the Comercial Direction of the Churubusco-Azteca film studios. In 1988 he entered the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC) where he studied film direction, besides specializing in script writing.
His thesis at CCC was his short film El Abuelo Cheno y Otras Historias (1995), a documentary that explored the life and death of his grandfather. Famous for his poetic imagery and his intimate reconstruction of the almost forgoten memories of a group of old men in a Jalisco small town, the picture won the Ariel for the Best Short Documentary and got the Debut Film Award in the Festival del Cine Latinoamericano in Biarritz, France.
His feature debut, Del olvido al no me acuerdo (1999), reaffirmed him as the best Mexican documentarian in recent years. Competing with fiction films, Rulfo´s documentary got four Ariel prizes in the categories of Debut Film Award, Best Cinematography, Best Edition and Best Sound.
We must add to his work as a director, the effort he´s made promoting newcoming talents in the field. Diminutos del Calvario (2000), a mini-short films project directed by students, transcended the Mexican border and continued in Spain.

Ismael Perdomo
Director and screenwriter, Ismael Perdomo was born in Havana on July the 13th, 1971. He studied moviemaking at the Moscow State Institute for Cinema, graduated from the Journalism Faculty at the Universidad de La Habána, with a golden diploma, which stemmed from a thesis tutored by Santiago Álvarez himself, in the Escuela Internacional de Cine de San Antonio de los Baños. He was Santiago Álvarez´s assistant director and co-directed documentaries with him, becoming one of the closest collaborators in the last years of this celebrated filmmaker’s life.

During the following years, he collaborated on the French Canal Plus, Canal Plus España, Documania, Canal Mezzo, among others; airing his documentaries in more than fifteen countries. Also, he’s participated in several national and international film festivals, as a guest and as a jury. Inside the Santiago Álvarez Office, he’s cooperated with the continuous study, divulging and protection of Santiago Álvarez´s work. He’s a member of the SGAE since1999.

-The team in charge of programming and producing the first edition of DOCSDF consists of the following persons:


Born in 1976 in Valencia, Spain, he’s a graduate in Hispanic Philology by the Universidad de Valencia, has a master’s degree in Communication by the Universidad Miguel Hernández with a thesis on documentary filmmaking and he’s a candidate for a Doctorate in Communication by the Universidad de Valencia. Also, he’s attended documentary cinema courses in the Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión de San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba.

Journalist in printed and televised press, he started his professional career in 1995 at Channel 9, where he remained for six years in a variety of positions. He’s worked in the media since always, and is currently a freelance documentary filmmaker, as well as a teacher in different Institutes.

In 2003 he participated in La Muerte de Nadie, a production made by Malvarosa Media. Got an Honorable Mention at the Bogota Film Festival, 2004 and Best Documentary award in the Festival de Cine del Mediterráneo, Valencia, 2004. Has written and filmed several documentaries, such as El pan de cada día, Mujeres y poder, a través del techo de cristal, Los últimos artesanos de la mar, José Martí. 150 años, among others.

Executive Producer, INTI CORDERA

Born in México City in 1969, he’s a graduate in Communication by the Universidad Iberoamericana with the thesis “Environmental Communication”.

He starts his professional career in 1992 with the making of the Neruda en Isla Negra documentary, produced by channel 22; in 1992 he assited direction for Felipe Cazals in the movie Kino, and did the same for Arturo Ripstein in Profundo Carmesí.

Director and founding member of LA MAROMA productions since 1995, in which he has directed and produced documentary projects, TV series, TV commercials and diverse spots for commercial clients and public institutions such as TELMEX SCOTIA BANK, SEDESOL, SEMARNAT, ILCE, TELEVISA and CANAL 22.

In the year 2001 he produced the documentary No Tenemos Nada que Esconder, about the Zapatista caravan, nominated in the III FICA festival, which takes place in Goiás, Brasil. In 2002, he finished the Reencuentros documentary series, aired in México and Spain. This year he began a documentary project about the Champ Car serial, and is currently directing the Automóvil TV series, which is aired every saturday on Univisión’s channel 9.


He graduated from the Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos (CUEC) with the thesis La Leyenda del Santo Bebedor, cuec-unam, 20 min, 35 mm. In 1998 he gets an Ariel nomination with his documentary short Ojalá que Te Mueras, cuec-unam, 10 min, 16 mm; and is also selected in the Tampere, Sweden documentary festival, the same year.

In 2000 he produced the documentary series Reencuentros, a documentary series, co-produced and aired in México and Spain. One year later he directs the No Tenemos Nada que Esconder documentary, about the Zapatista caravan (La Jornada-La Maroma) nominated in the III FICA festival, which takes place in Goiás, Brasil. In the year 2002 he began a documentary project about the Champ Car serial, and is currently producing the Automóvil TV series, which is aired every saturday on Univisión’s channel 9.

In 2004-2005 LA MAROMA wins the bid for EL METROBÚS, financed by the Hewlet Foundation and in which the México City Government and the Sustainable Transport Center participated, thru the Environment State Department.

So far, he’s produced more than 50 TV commercials, short films and corporate videos.


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