08 · 31 · 18

FICM Opens Its 16th Edition with the Mexican Premiere for First Man

By: Azul Ramírez @azulartx

The Morelia International Film Festival (FICM) opened its 16th edition with the Mexican premiere of First Man (2018), directed by Oscar winner, Damien Chazelle, present during the ceremony along with Josh Singer, screenwriter of the movie.

Inauguración 16 FICM

Alejandro Ramírez, Damien Chazelle, Josh Singer, Daniela Michel, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel.

The president of FICM, Alejandro Ramírez Magaña, thanked Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel, vice president of the festival, and Daniela Michel, founder and general director of FICM, for 16 years of festival and referred to Morelia as a place for discovery, experimentation and the reinvention of a cinema that emerges and reappears with increasing force. “Morelia continues and will continue with this dream of promoting the best cinema in our country, of screening its creators internationally and seeing them succeed, of taking the name of Mexico as a country that builds visionary, talented and creative people,” added.

Daniela Michel took advantage of the occasion to express her gratitude to “the friends of the festival who come for the first time and to those who have come for years and continue with their support”.

Damien Chazelle and Josh Singer, director and screenwriter of First Man, appreciated the invitation to the festival. “It is an honor to be here and present the film outside of my country, since it is a story that presents universal things, I hope it is an inspiring and revealing film for those who see it,” Chazelle stressed.

The gala that took place in Cinépolis Centro was conducted by the actress and producer Johanna Murillo and was attended by the Municipal President of Morelia, Raúl Morón Orozco, who welcomed the festival’s organizing committee, as well as the artists, producers and directors that will be part of this edition. He stressed the importance of strengthening cultural events such as the festival and said he was willing to participate in future editions.

Pascual Sigala, Secretary of Government of Michoacán, congratulated the organizing committee on behalf of Governor Silvano Aureoles Conejo, for endeavoring to ensure that the festival reaches a national and international level. “The festival has established itself as a platform for Mexican cinema in the creation of categories that encourage and promote the participation of feature films and short films produced by distinguished Mexican filmmakers,” he added. He also wished the festival a long life, since he is convinced that the festival benefits Michoacán and Mexico.

At the end of the ceremony, Chazelle unveiled the 2017 FICM commemorative plaque with the names of the winners of the last edition.

Damien Chazelle, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas.

Damien Chazelle, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas.

On the red carpet, Scottish director and screenwriter Lynne Ramsay, who this year presides over the jury of Mexican Feature Film; Charles Tesson, artistic director of the Cannes Critics’ Week, the French filmmaker Nicolas Philibert; the Mexican actors Leonardo Ortizgris, José María Yázpik and Diego Luna; the Mexican director Manolo Caro; the president of the Culture Committee, Sergio Mayer; Damien Chazelle and Josh Singer, director and screenwriter of First Man, among others.

This year the Official Selection of the festival consists of 59 short films, 11 documentaries, 12 works from Michoacan and 11 feature films by filmmakers from different states of the Mexican Republic. In total there will be more than 100 Mexican filmmakers presenting their work.

For the fifth consecutive year, the festival presents the Online Mexican Short Film Selection, which is made up of more than 23 short films from the Official Selection of the 16th FICM. These titles will be available online and free from the 20th to the 26th of October. The short film that receives the most votes by the audiences will be awarded the Online Mexican Short Film Selection Award, granted by Cinépolis KLIC, consisting of a diploma and $50,000 pesos in cash.

As of this year, FICM is part of the newly created Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival List of the Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), so the winning feature documentary will be considered eligible for the Oscar® nomination. As well as the winning short films in the categories of Fiction, Animation and Documentary that since 2008 are officially recognized by the United States Academy.