Congratulations to the 2023 winners of our VC Mexico Nun & Duss production grants, which support emerging Mexican documentary filmmakers and the production of their short films. Now in its second year, this grant is made possible by the Norman J. Fisher and Doris Fisher Foundation.
"Las tripas de doña Tagle" tells the possible stories of a woman, based on fragments of photos, letters and diaries found between the pages of books that reach the hands of three writers who own a used bookstore in Mexico City.
Mariana Mendivil is a Mexican filmmaker and collage artist. She studied filmmaking at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Cinematográficas ENAC-UNAM and scriptwriting at Bande a Part in Barcelona. She is a fellow recipient of the Sonora State Fund for Culture and the Arts Program and the National Fund for Culture and the Arts for Young Creators in Mexico.
Lilian Mendoza is a filmmaker from Guadalajara, México. She is the founder and co-director of the art production company Acantilado Lunar. "Home Again, Volver a Casa" tells the story of Rolland, a 70-year-old French Canadian man, exiled by his family due to his sexual orientation. Rolland makes peace with his past by finding himself in a small ghost town, San Sebastián del Oeste, located in the western part of Jalisco, México. Almost 40 years later, he wants to go back to his hometown, regain his daughter’s affection, and be a part of his granddaughters' lives.
Dano's project, "La Antena", is a documentary short film that tells the story of Walamo, a town in Sinaloa, where the community knocked down an ionic antenna. During the midst of the pandemic crisis, a company installed ionic antennas in the region of Sinaloa in Mexico. These antennas have the ability to absorb moisture and induce rain only within the area where they were placed, creating severe drought in the neighboring communities. Now the residents of Walamo want to share their knowledge on how to dismantle these antennas with the other affected communities of the region.
Victor is from the city of Puebla, México. He graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Artes Cinematográficas UNAM-ENAC as a documentary filmmaker and sound designer. His interest as a filmmaker lies in the intimate exploration of human emotions, as well as the interconnectedness of identity, belonging, and memory. "Las montañas que nos miran" ("The mountains that watch us") tells the story of Don Leoncio, a violinist who travels the mountain roads of Ixtacamaxtitlán, Puebla, reminiscing about his past as a muleteer and traveler in the Sierra Norte. As he progresses, his melodies resonate among the mountains, serving as a guide to Agustín, a migrant returning home after a long absence in the United States. Through music and their encounter, the stories of these two men intertwine in a journey that explores the meaning of belonging, roots, and home.
María del Rosario Robles Martínez is a Mexican filmmaker. She graduated from Law School and was selected in 2018 as a documentary training fellow by Ambulante Más Allá. During her fellowship, she directed the short documentary, “Everything possible”, which screened in several national and international festivals, and won the Jury-Prize at Doqumenta 2020. She's also the winner of the PECDA 2023 audiovisual fellowship. "Prison visitations, kids games, protest marches, and meetings are the memories that remain of the relationship with Anselmo, my father, who was unjustly incarcerated for eight years after participating in a protest. After he was released, our relationship changed, never to be the same again." This is the topic I explore in my film "Forced Absences."
Karla is a Mexican producer whose recent work includes "The evaluation" (2022, directed by Diego Osorno) and "In broad daylight: The Narvarte Case" (2022, directed by Alberto Arnaut, an original production for Netflix). Karla primarily engages in documentary projects with a focus on social and emotional impact, which are distributed in theaters or on platforms with an independent perspective. Her current work as a freelance professional reflects her versatility and unwavering commitment to creating meaningful audiovisual content. Karla's project is "Forajida, la mujer de las bestias heridas."
Miguel J. Crespo is a journalist, photographer, and documentary filmmaker. He graduated from the Carlos Septién García School of Journalism. His works have been published in VICE, Aristegui Noticias, Yaconic, Animal Político, El Universal, Fusión, Emmequis, Brut, PlayGround, Russia Today, among others. He was awarded the 2018 Walter Reuters German Journalism Prize for the documentary "They say about me: The story of Mijis".
Miguel's project is "No necesitamos permiso para ser libres" ("Freedom does not ask for permission"), with Yulia, below.
Aura Benavides is a documentary filmmaker from Colima in Mexico. Her film, "El Romper de las Olas," is the story of a community's silence before, during, and after the femicide of Fabiola Morales, a highly admired basketball player in the coastal city of Manzanillo, Mexico. She was tragically murdered by her ex-partner in broad daylight at one of the busiest local markets, in front of a large number of passersby.