FICUNAM arrives to its third year of life encouraged by an audience thirsty for contemporary cinema, an audience that approaches films with a playful attitude and sees them in their relation with other arts and particularly with the cultural and social contexts. In just two editions, this festival has managed to make filmic entertainment pass through cognitive and existential stages within its viewers, furthering respect towards all the different stations in this craft.
In 2013, the FICUNAM offer remains within the same ideological coordinates, but it also expands disciplinary- and geographically-wise (in the following months a selection of films will visit some Mexican cities such as Monterrey, Oaxaca, Morelia, Colima, Chihuahua, and Coahuila). The development of young critics —and the motivation to write promoted in earlier editions through film critic contests— represents one of the flags of the Festival as it struggles to establish more determinant inflection points in the map of cinema in Mexico. To this we can add the book editions on classic and contemporary cinema promoted by FICUNAM as well as the academic background offered by UNAM and the Bergman Chair; and, above all, the opportunity to establish during the days of the Festival a closer relation between filmmakers and the audience, between the media and the organizers, all reunited to celebrate a cinema which is mysteriously familiar to the collective imagination.
Forming fresh points of view in the new generations gets consolidated as the main call for FICUNAM, attending the demands of an ever more educated and exigent audience whose love for cinema follows diverse roads due mainly to the saturation of information. Cinema as a social phenomenon wins more spaces every day and thanks to the massive access to its production this complex creature of language grows new heads. In Mexico, the proliferation of festivals and other related efforts have contributed to an overwhelming offer of all kind of films in the programs of cultural circles. Almost all festivals devote a section to new film tendencies and there are new festivals being born every month! There are now specialized channels in television, and multiplex theaters open spaces specially devoted to the other cinema; more independent distribution companies are being born, and open-air spaces such as drive-in cinemas feature artistic proposals; there are film societies and the Internet Empire surely offers vast doses of confusion: a window into anarchy.
This generalized mess may be helping for the “bum-rush” colonization of new audiences, since important films get through —for the most diverse reasons— amid the enormous flow of industrial cinema and unto the ultimate goal: the mind of the viewer. In this panorama, the Festival fosters a parallel evolution of its environment going one step ahead of the “industry” of art cinema and festivals, using cultural promotion as a way to fence off ideological whims and to guide —without following dogmas— the viewer to a complete enjoyment of cinema as an art.
If the message conveyed in the first edition was clear, it should be more so in the third: to live a filmic experience, to watch a film together with friends and strangers represents a vital event worth being enjoyed with good films… the FICUNAM Third Edition, of course, won’t be missing on that.
Maximiliano Cruz – Programmer