The Monterrey International Film Festival presented the members of the jury for its thirteenth edition. The jury of Mexican Feature Films in Competition consists of Amber Dawn, Kees Brienen and Pau Montagud; while the jury of Short Films in Competition are Erika Avila, René Villarreal and Samara Ibrahim.

Jurors agreed that it was a great experience to watch so many films and work as a team to select the winning films. Likewise, they shared their perspectives on Mexican and international cinema.

One of the highlights of filmmaking in the country is that, as time goes by, it focuses on other stories that are not related to violence. According to Montagud, this theme has already been explored by Mexican filmmakers: “Mexican cinema is being de-cast once and for all. Speaking of Mexican films it was to speak of immigration or jail, we have been like this for many years. It was a shame, because here in Nuevo León and in México there is a lot of talent and is diversified. Mexican cinema is at a very sweet moment, “he explained.

As for the cinema of Nuevo León, the jurors had different opinions.

On the one hand, Villarreal highlighted the tendency of young filmmakers to film outside the country, seeking to portray other cultures. However, Monterrey projects need to be more adventurous in terms of their work: “From the cinema of Nuevo Leon I was struck by the fact that there was a tendency to go outside, to be counting things from the perspective of another country, sometimes very distant countries. What does that mean? I feel it is an interesting step, but there is one more important step in the Nuevo León cinema that is a little more daring thematic”, he said.

On the other hand, Ibrahim, warned that in some of the short films from the state they could observe prejudices of all kinds. This does not benefit cinema at all, since it is not intended to judge, but to empathize: “Something that worries me and leaves me restless is the prejudiced way in which sociocultural issues are reflected in the state of Nuevo León. Cinema does not judge, it is not racist, elitist, or homophobic. Cinema is a weapon for the public to draw their own conclusions. It’s empathizing and not judging, and I felt a lot of prejudice in the things I saw”, the filmmaker noted.

In the same way, Ibrahim urged emerging filmmakers to be genuine in their film projects, to find their own way of doing things and not letting themselves be prejudiced to cut through the cycle of violence “… motivate future filmmakers not to talk about their acquired prejudice, but to begin to find their voice, to travel, to read and not to judge, because if we continue judging, then it continues the apology to violence”, she said.

Finally, Dawn stressed the importance of good stories in cinema. These must be original and genuine. To develop an interesting story it is necessary to be in touch with independent and art cinema, which is difficult to access, because films made in Hollywood are very accessible, but repetitive: “There are many ways to make stories, but Hollywood cinema is repetitive, is the same story, the same shots of photography. They really are not good at telling stories. To be a good filmmaker it is necessary to travel and watch independent cinema to know yourself as a filmmaker”, the writer said.

The winning films will be announced at the Awards Ceremony, which will take place today, at the Theater of the Center of the Arts, at 20:00 hours.