April 25, 2011                                                                   

AMHERST, Mass.—On Thursday, April 28, at 4 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium, Amherst College will host a screening of the new Mexican film Revolución and panel discussion about it with two of the film’s directors, Mariana Chenillo and Amat Escalante, and Amherst faculty members Rick Lopez, associate professor of history, and Javier Corrales, professor of political science. Both events are free and open to the public.

Audience participation in the discussion—which will be moderated by Corrales—is encouraged. Mexican tapas will be served.

Featuring 10 short films from ten of the country’s hottest young directors, the yet-to-be-released Revolución marks the centenary of the Mexican revolution. It is produced by Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna who also each direct segments.

“Tonally and in subject matter, the vignettes in Revolución run the gamut,” reads an article on the film in The Los Angeles Times. “Some have the rounded coherence of short stories. Others are more like dreams (or nightmares) than narratives, registering as impressionistic snapshots or tone poems. Some bristle with caustic humor and bitterness. Others ache with nostalgia, expressed in images of the country’s rugged, sweeping landscapes and its stoic, resilient populace…. Collectively, the films raise many unanswered and perhaps unanswerable questions about where Mexico has been and where its people, politics and culture are headed.”

The college will host an additional screening of Revoluciónas part of the Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival on Wednesday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. also in Stirn, with Amherst’s Ilan Stavans,Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture,moderating a Q & A afterward. This event is free and open to the public as well.

Both screenings will be introduced by Roger King, Copeland Fellow at Amherst, and Cathy Portugese, director of the Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival.

Revolución director and panel discussion participant Chenillo graduated from the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC), the film school in Mexico City, where she specialized in directing. She then worked as script assistant, first assistant director and production manager and went on to produce, write, edit or direct several different titles. In addition to Revolución, she directed the television series Soy Tu Fan and films Sucedió, Nora’s Will, Mar Adentro and En Pocas Palabras. Nora’s Will was a particular success, winning seven Ariels (considered the Mexican Oscar), an unprecedented achievement for a woman and for a first film.

Fellow Revolución director Escalante studied motion picture editing and sound in the Centro de Estudios Cinematograficos de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, and the Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television in Cuba, and has since worked as assistant director, cinematographer, editor, producer, writer and director on a number of projects. In 2002, Amarrados, his first short film won the best short film and best director awards at the Newport Beach International Film Festival and the first place at the Voladero Film Festival, Monterrey, Mexico. It was also presented at the Cambridge Latino Film Festival. In 2003, he received the award of the Berlin Film Festival, also thanks to Amarrados. Other films he has directed include Los Bastardos and Sangre

The screenings are sponsored by Amherst’s Copeland Colloquium in collaboration with the Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival, with the support of Amherst College English/film and history departments. It is also funded in part by Amherst’s Corliss-Lamont Lectureship for Peace.