THE PROGRAM OF THE NATIONAL AUTONOMOUS UNIVERSITY OF MEXICO RECEIVES IN ITS 10TH ANNIVERSARY THE PEPE ESCRICHE AWARD FROM HUESCA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
ITS COORDINATOR, MARIANA GÁNDARA, ALSO UNDERLINES THE CINEMA’S CAPACITY AS ‘KNOWLEDGE GENERATOR’ DURING THE VIRTUAL AWARDING
The Bergman Chair of the National Autonomous University of Mexico stands out the role of culture on current society, confirming that at times like the ones we are living through across the globe, ‘it is also a way to preserve health’. The statement of the coordinator, Mariana Gándara, is to be framed within a virtual talk on the occasion of the program obtaining the Pepe Escriche Award from 48 Huesca International Film Festival. The first of a collection of audio-visual pieces denominated ‘(Cyber) Evenings of the Festival’ integrated by Huesca Festival within an extensive online programme via its website.
Along the debate, moderated by journalist Adela Mac Swiney, Gándara also points out to the outstanding role the seventh art has as ‘knowledge generator’ and the necessity of ‘taking your time’. Two ideas that perfectly match with the very foundation of the Chair as a space to reflect on creation. After a decade counting on distinguished personalities such as Terry Gilliam, Juliette Binoche, Guillermo Arriaga, Geraldine Chaplin, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Lucrecia Martel or Huesca-born Carlos Saura, the confinement has rediscovered new connection possibilities for the activities that are being developed; ‘if we are working remotely and online, frontiers disappear’, declares the head of the program.
The award encourages the whole team and endorses the importance of ‘thinking together, as well as that which can be discovered in films’. The close link of the Upper Aragonese event across the Atlantic and the importance of having bridges thanks to culture brought to light Iberoamerica’s increased awareness as community. This understanding is increasingly supported by a collaborative net that generates a way of thinking as region (without losing every country’s particular flavour) as Gándara explains; all this empowerment is giving the whole industry the chance to gain important access to screens across the globe.
Nowadays, present and future of the Chair is faced with optimism, but with a clear critical spirit to analyse and delve into terms as important as equity or integration while standing up for art as a universal right.
A LABORATORY ON THINKING
The Ingmar Bergman Extraordinary Chair on Cinema and Theatre is the most important contemporary discourse program on Cinematography and Performing Arts of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). It is aimed at socializing the hidden motives that stimulate these disciplines through collective learning experiences. These activities boost the artistic community and bring undergraduates closer to models of contemporary creation, while fostering connection, reflection and meeting.
Since its creation in 2010, the Bergman Chair has completed half a thousand projects. They include hundreds of activities such as lectures and master classes, workshops, seminars, experimental internships, round tables, film seasons, theatre seasons, exhibitions, publications and tributes; reaching over 70,000 attendees for almost ten years. Bergman Chair’s constant and attractive offer has positioned this program as a prestigious space for reflection, training and meeting around cinema and performing arts. The excellent learning and bonding opportunities generated by this program, translate into a profound impact on its audiences, made up of the university community and art professionals, as well as everybody who finds in these disciplines a reflection of themselves and the present time we are living in.
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