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The FICM opens its 17th edition with the Mexican premiere of Young Ahmed by the Dardenne brothers

The Morelia International Film Festival (FICM) opened its 17th edition with the Mexican premiere of Young Ahmed (2019), directed by Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne. The ceremony was attended by Luc Dardenne; Daniela Michel, director and founder; Alejandro Ramírez, president; and Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel, vice president of the festival.

Luc Dardenne

Alejandra Frausto, Federal Secretary of Culture, was also present and stated that “this festival has allowed to know more about world cinema and has become a hotbed of talents,” and she thanked Daniela Michel, Alejandro Ramírez and Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel for this 17 years of the festival. Also, she recognized the FICM as one of the most important in the world. Silvano Aureoles Conejo, Governor of the State of Michoacán, joined this recognition.

During his participation, Alejandro Ramírez stressed that the festival began with the purpose of becoming a space where filmmakers could see their works and the diversity of national and international cinema. He thanked Daniela Michel and Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel for the years of work shed in this shared dream. Also, to all the institutions that have collaborated with the festival for the realization of special programs, as well as to the BBVA Foundation for its support for the project FICM Presents and FilmWatch grant, awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of the United States, for their contribution to the forum “Mexican Indigenous filmmakers: identity and new narratives.”

The gala, which took place in Cinépolis Centro, was conducted by actress and producer, Johanna Murillo and was also attended by the Municipal President of Morelia, Raúl Morón Orozco, who stated: “To talk about Morelia is to talk about culture and art. The FICM is already recognized as an expression space for directors, screenwriters, producers and everyone who enjoys the magic of cinema”. He also invited the attendees to “fall in love with every corner of the city of pink quarry.”

Before starting the screening, Belgium director Luc Dardenne said: “I am honored to have been invited to the biggest festival in Mexico, the Morelia Festival, and I want to tell all my colleagues, the Mexican filmmakers here, that I am in solidarity with you.”

About Young Ahmed, he added: “We tried to talk about something that occurs in our country, not only in Europe, which are the Islamist attacks, and it is a reality that seems new to us. My brother and I try to make films that understand what happens in the world.”

Prior to the inauguration screening, Charles Tesson, artistic director of the Cannes Critics’ Week; actress Sofía Espinosa, director Jorge Michel Grau, Hugo Villa, general director of Cinematographic Activities of UNAM; nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Marina de Tavira; art director Eugenio Caballero, Lila Avilés, winner of the Ariel 2019 for Best Directorial Debut and the Ojo for Mexican Feature Film at the 16th FICM for The Chambermaid; great Mexican actress, Diana Bracho, French producer Rosalie Varda; José María Prado, former director of the Spanish Film Library, among many other prominent personalities of the film industry, walked on the red carpet.

Alejandro Ramírez, Diana Bracho, Daniela Michel, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel

Alejandro Ramírez, Diana Bracho, Daniela Michel, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel

This year, the Official Selection of the festival is made up of 94 films: 14 works in the Michoacán Section, 60 titles in the Mexican Short Film Section (12 animation, 14 documentary and 34 fiction), 11 titles in the Mexican Documentary Section and 9 titles in the Mexican Feature Film Section, by filmmakers from different states of the Mexican Republic. In total there will be more than 100 Mexican directors presenting their work.

For the sixth consecutive year, the festival presents the Mexican Online Short Film Selection, which is made up of more than 26 short films from the Official Selection of the 17th FICM. These titles will be available online and free from October 18 to November 10, 2019. The short film that receives the most votes from the public between October 18 and 24 will be awarded the Mexican Online Short Film Selection Award, given by Cinépolis KLIC, which consists of a diploma and $50,000 pesos in cash.

We thank Chanel for the beautiful dress Daniela Michel wore during the ceremony.