On Sept. 1 the opening of the Shorts Mexico 2016, International Festival of Mexican Short Films took place in the Vasconcelos Library in Mexico City. Shorts Mexico, now in its eleventh year, will run from September 1-8 and showcases some of the country’s most important filmmakers. The festival will screen films in locations all over the city, including the Cineteca Nacional, Cinemex, the Museo Nacional de Arte, and the Museo Soumaya.
The festival opened with two shorts, ‘Stutterer,’ the Oscar nominated short film by Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage, and “Causas Corrientes de un Cuadro Clínico” (“Common Causes of a Clinical Profile”) by Julián Hernádez. “Common Causes” explores the anxieties caused by state violence through the relationship of a pair of actors. The Mexican filmmaker Hernández is best know for “A Thousand Peace Clouds Encircle the Sky,” which has won awards at film festivals around the world, including Best Feature Film at the Berlin International Film Festival.
However, the festival also features filmmakers early in their careers. A last-year student at the Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematograficos (CUEC), Patricio Solórzano Ruiz de Velasco, entered his film Ecos into the category Best Short Film – Fiction.
“Ecos is about a woman who loses her partner. We accompany her through her grief, pain that every human being has felt,” he said.
Solórzano Ruiz de Velasco filmed the short in March 2014 and the it debuted last month at the Intravenosa Film Festival in Cali, Colombia. It will also be screened at the 2016 State of Mexico International Film Festival in November.
Solórzano Ruiz de Velasco, who took a year to study writing at the Vancouver Film School, will start filming his thesis in early 2017. He said that his next project is a film adaptation of the book “Calladita te ves más bonita” written by Margarita and Laura Ruiz de Velasco Padierna and winner of the 2006 Juan Rulfo Award.
The festival’s program includes 126 films, 62 of which were made in Mexico, and 33 judges, including Alejandro Cantú, Beatriz Novaro, Andrés Almeida and Mónica del Carmen among other prominent filmmakers and actors. Accompanying the festival will be an academic forum called “Shorts Mexico Academy” in which 12 conferences will take place.