06 · 20 · 17

XV years, 15 editions: FICM 2003, 1st edition

The first Morelia International Film Festival (FICM) was held from October 3 to 10, 2003. The inauguration was held at the Morelos Theater of the Convention Center in Morelia. After a few words from the then governor of Michoacán, Lázaro Cardenas, and the directors of FICM, there was a screening of Nicotina (2003) by Hugo Rodríguez, starring Diego Luna.

This was the first inauguration of FICM, with a red carpet nourished by the two Special Guests, Werner Herzog and Fernando Vallejo, part of the jury, the competing filmmakers and a festive spirit and joy to officially mark the commencement of FICM. For the first time, Morelia was a meeting ground for short filmmakers, documentary filmmakers, renowned directors, producers, promoters and lovers of the seventh art, who enjoyed a week of cinema.

At the dawn of the 21st century, the Mexican film industry resurfaced after a difficult run, the production of feature films was scarce and young filmmakers needed a space to showcase their work. After several editions of the Mexican Short Film Forum at the Cineteca Nacional, the need to make a festival dedicated to Mexican cinema was born. Daniela Michel, founder and general director, wrote in the first FICM catalogue: “A festival celebrates the spirit of community. Gathered at the first FICM, we are pleased to recognize ourselves as a developing community. We share an affinity that comes from what we have been working on for a long time: supporting and promoting the work of young Mexican talent.” FICM’s creation was made possible thanks to the efforts and enthusiasm of many people whose main interest was to support national cinema. Michel added in the same text: “Those of us who have worked on presenting this festival have enriched ourselves with the labor of many colleagues whose efforts and creations have contributed to its realization. The months of preparation that have led us to this point demonstrate, not for the first time, the enormous artistic potential that exists in the Mexican film community”.

The competition was, and continues to be, solely Mexican from the start. It consisted exclusively of short films and documentaries during its first edition. To support local talent, 92 minutes of short films made by filmmakers from Michoacán were projected. This was the origin of what came to be known as the Michoacán Section.

Additionally, a tribute was paid to Miguel Contreras, a Mexican film pioneer born in Morelia in 1899. His extensive filmography ranges from film documents about the Carrancista revolution to fictional feature films.

The presence of great international personalities such as the directors Werner Herzog and Barbet Schroeder, the distinguished writer and filmmaker Fernando Vallejo, as well as the talent, beauty and glamour of the actresses Julia Ormond and Salma Hayek, made the first FICM a unique event. This first edition remains in the memory of all the attendees who, without being certain, had a feeling that many equally memorable editions would follow.

If you want to know more about the 1st FICM, click here

Lázaro Cárdenas, Daniela Michel, Alejandro Ramírez

Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek

Werner Herzog, Barbet Schroeder

Werner Herzog, Barbet Schroeder

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel, Julia Ormond

Barbet Schroeder, Alejandro Ramírez, Daniela Michel, Fernando Vallejo

Winners of the first FICM

Closing ceremony