California State University, Northridge and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) have joined forces to throw the spotlight on the next generation of filmmakers in the United States and Mexico with a virtual, international student film festival that runs through June 3.
The free festival highlights the work — 20 short films — of some of the most promising filmmakers coming out of programs at both universities. On Thursday, May 18, the festival will host a virtual panel discussion with the four winners of the event’s “Stella Award,” or award for best film.
“This festival truly represents the best of both programs,” said CSUN communication studies professor Daisy Lemus, faculty liaison for the CSUN-UNAM partnership. “The U.S. students say the Mexican films are wonderful and are masters of telling a story through cinematography and visuals. The Mexican students are equally impressed with the U.S. films, saying the dialogue is developed and sophisticated.
“This is really a nice way for both groups of students to see how storytelling and cultures come together to tell stories of grit, resilience and survival,” Lemus said. “Each film is unique and fascinating to watch.”
For information about the virtual film festival visit https://csununamfilmfest.org. The May 18 virtual event will include filmmakers and faculty from both schools, UNAM’s Escuela Nacional de Artes Cinematográficas (ENAC) and CSUN’s Department of Cinema and Television Arts.
The movies by UNAM students featured in the festival include “Cascajo,” directed by Santiago Bonilla; “Donde el Frío Quema,” directed by Pau Verdalet; “El Puente De Los Niños Traviesos,” directed by Fabián León López; “El Último Truco,” directed by Darío Celestinos; “La Edad de la Decencia,” directed by Pablo Camberos S.; “Llamar a la Puerta,” directed by Pablo Camberos S.; “No Seré La Vida de mi Recuerdo,” directed by Isabela Ripoll; “Qualia” directed by Valeria Díaz; and “Rondó Por El Placer,” directed by Laura Miranda.
The films by CSUN students include “A Beautiful Sin,” directed by Ahmad “Jack” Almazeedi; “A Mas No Poder,” directed by Ruben Fuentes; “Cuffed,” directed by Parker Caston; “El Mozote,” directed by Jasmine Galdamez; “Hot Latin Nights,” directed by Franco Vidal; “Jack and Me,” directed by Sean Boring; “Relevé,” directed by Desiree Castro; and “Take My Hand,” directed by Lauren Gullion.
UNAM is one of the most recognized universities in Latin America. It is internationally recognized for its publications and journals on a variety of topics, including mathematics, physics, history and Latin American studies, and is home to Latin America’s leading film program.
Since 2013, CSUN and UNAM have been collaborating in a partnership to develop binational initiatives, foster faculty and student exchange and offer programming that celebrates the blend of ideas and efforts between the two institutions. CSUN’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences has consistently partnered with UNAM-LA to co-sponsor educational and cultural programs related to the region, including art exhibits, musical and dance performances, lectures and the CSUN-UNAM Student Film Festival, which is being co-sponsored by CSUN’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication, home to the Department of Cinema and Television Arts.