The UNAM International Film Festival was born in 2011. It is devoted to the exploration of new tendencies in contemporary cinema and the scholarly reflection on it; thus, it expands the film community beyond that of cinephiles. Its program is made up of works—of difficult access in Mexico—made by young talents and renowned directors. These are avant-garde works beyond the limits of commercial cinema.
FICUNAM is specially interested in the formal aspect of films and its convergence with other artistic disciplines, which is reflected in its editorial contents. Also, cinema’s heritage is rescued by the discovery of forgotten filmic corpuses and, thus, the Festival contributes to building filmic memory.
FICUNAM is also conscious of cinema’s relevance as an educational agent, of its impact and influence in the community. Paying attention to that, the Festival reaffirms its mission to promote a cinema which leads to reflection and, in this sense, generates a new kind of education.
Using widely spread technological forms, FICUNAM sees itself as Mexico City’s own festival, a festival in line with its city—multifaceted, complex, and rich; a festival that, above all, is also in line with the educational task of its home: The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
Since 2011, Eva Sangiorgi became the founder of FICUNAM (UNAM International Film Festival). With undergraduate studies in Communication and a Master’s Degree in Art History, during the past ten years she has collaborated as a guest programmer and curator for various festivals such as FICCO (Mexico City), Iberoamericana (Italy), Wekleiz (Germany), and Los Cabos (Mexico), among others.
It defines the Festival’s editorial line. It includes films from diverse origins and it brings together renowned directors and emerging talents with the intention of offering an innovative panorama of contemporary cinema.
The International Competition offers two main awards: The Best Film Silver Puma and the Best Director Silver Puma, which include a Silver Puma statuette designed by Mexican artist Martín Soto Climent and $100,000.00 MXN each.
MEXICO, RIGHT NOW
It only shows quality Mexican works. This section has become a space for the Mexico City premiere of independent Mexican films, as well as a ring of debate for Mexican filmmakers. Mexico, Right Now allows us to know the new tendencies in Mexican cinema; short films, medium-length films, and feature films coexist in a single section.
Mexican films participating in the Mexican Competition can be found in both the International Competition and the Mexico, Right Now section. These works compete for the Mexico Puma Award for Best Mexican Film, which also include a Silver Puma designed by Mexican artist Martín Soto Climent and $100,000.00 MXN.
FEATS. INTERNATIONAL FILM SCHOOLS GATHERING
This is a gathering space devoted to film school’s students and professors from all the region of Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. Here, young filmmakers can exchange their experiences as they begin their way in the filmic industry and school representatives can promote the creation of networks. During the gathering, works selected by FICUNAM are screened and, then, the various participating schools participate in a space for debate, teaching, and learning.
The Best Short Film Award for this section comprises a Silver Puma Medal and $35,000.00 MXN for the director of the winning short film.
It offers a panoramic outline of international auteur-film creation, showing the work of great filmic masters and the aesthetic politics of contemporary cinema, according to FICUNAM.
These are refreshing propositions of different length which defy, renew, and explore the languages and codes of the filmic medium.
A tribute to great classic directors and still-active creators.
It delves into the UNAM Filmic Archives (Filmoteca) and into those of various international institutes searching for forgotten films which are part of our cultural heritage.
A space to screen restored copies of some 20th century classic films.
PThese screenings, at the University campus and public spaces in Mexico City, highlight cinema’s social-cohesion power.
We complete our programming with activities of the Ingmar Bergman Chair in Film and Theater as the Critics Forum a space for debate around film criticism, and the Master Classes given by our special guests.
FORUM OF PERMANENT CRITICISM
For five consecutive years, FICUNAM and the Ingmar Bergman Chair in Film and Theater open a space for film criticism through discussion tables and seminars around contemporary criticism and cinema, where both general and specific topics are explored. "What you see on the screen is put to discussion."
Among the vocations that FICUNAM shares with the Chair is the convergence of disciplines for the creation and construction of ethical and aesthetic discourses. This is the case of the master conferences that are organized within the framework of the Festival: while the Chair facilitates the possibility of conversation with the filmmakers, FICUNAM projects its work in cinemas."