Cinema As A Tool Against Intolerance

in 32nd Guadalajara Film Festival

by Xavier-Daniel

Cinema as a tool against intolerance: this definition was provided by Festival Director Ivan Trujillo as the motto of the 32nd edition of the International Film Festival in Guadalajara, whose activities spanned numerous sections, ranging from Cinema and Literature, Children’s Cinema, Culinary Film, Film 4 Climate, Restored Images, Sound of Movies, Industry, Portraits, and the International Panorama. All of these sections introduced us to the objective of expanding the frame on Mexico’s national cinema while also heightening awareness of other national cinemas.

The so-called Mezcal Jury was the most important of the juries at FICG32, since it was made up of 30 students from different cinema, communications and audiovisual schools in Mexico, the United States, and Central and South America. This year’s Mexcal Jury included a representative from Germany, the guest country of the Festival. The jury is designed to be a stimulus for young aspirants who will become the directors, screenwriters and/or audiovisual media professionals of the future.

Children’s cinema had its section, which animated cinema language, just as the culinary cinema has treated the origins of certain foods in thematic documentaries and the ingestion of insects in countries such as Japan and Mexico.

The study, dissertation and deconstruction of documentary films already in postproduction was given a vigorous push toward completion in Guadalajara’s DocuLab, now in its ninth edition, which supports the progress of the documentary form world-wide.

Guadalajara Construye 11: Works-in-progress focused on seven fiction features at the post-production stage that were selected for their great quality and their new looks at Latin American cinema. In the Industry section, and opening to the international market, the Film Market has hosted the 13th Coproduction Encounter, facilitating a series of planned co-productions among Latin American countries such as Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic, completing the 34 selected projects out of the 208 received.

Global environmental concerns were explored in an exhibition of socio-environmental cinema, a section that has been composed by students of environment, who point out that we live in a situation that is critical and that may be irreversible. Thanks to the World Bank, which launched an initiative that sought to make an impact in this area through audiovisual resources, this section, entitled Film 4 Climate, was created. It was led by specialists in the subject, who sparked a discussion on the urgency to modify, among other things, the policies of extraction of raw materials and industrial consumption.

Intolerance is always repressive and drives xenophobia—as well as homophobia. That is to say that, returning to the beginning of this article, cinema can be an indispensable tool to shepherd the spectator toward reflecting on something as basic as the evil of intolerance. In this sense, one of the important prizes at the FICG is the Maguey Award, which recognizes films bearing a message of social awareness of the harassment and acts of injustice against transgendered children and adolescents forced to endure transphobia, bullying in schools and sexual abuse in the family. The denunciation of all manifestations of trans-homo-lesbophobia, and the heralding of LGBTIQ stories was the common thread linking films considered for the Maguey Award.

Yes, the cinema definitely can and should act as a tool against intolerance.

Edited by José Teodoro