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Mexico City Chicago Cinema Exchange: a film series on the nuances of displacement

Written by on June 12, 2023

This week, Mexico City Chicago Cinema Exchange —an initiative developed by film programmer Raul Benitez in 2020, and now a series of in-person screenings presenting filmmakers from Chicago and Mexico City— brings an inclusive and well-curated program of feature lenghts and short films exploring the nuances of displacement (desplazamiento) at Gene Siskel Film Center, Facets and 18th Street Casa de Cultura from June 12th to June 16th.

Listen to the conversation on Spotify or Apple | Escucha la conversación en Spotify, Apple o aquí.

Rocío Santos of Domingos en Vocalo spoke to filmmakers Otilia Portillo Padua (director of Birders), Erika Valenciana (director of La mitad del mundo), and film programmer Raul Benitez, about this annual exchange that seeks to elevate the narrative vision of independent filmmakers who are working together in both cities to build relationships and experiences to diversify the film industry.

From left to right: Raul Benitez, Erika Valenziana and Otilia Padilla Padua.
From left to right: Raul Benitez, Erika Valenziana and Otilia Padilla Padua at Vocalo studios.
We have to acknowledge the work of independent film programmers who are constantly battling these hegemonies where specific content is seen (...), and so the programmers are rescuing the multiple cinematographic forms and content to give spaces [for these films] to be seen and discussed together.
Tenemos que reconocer el trabajo de los programadores independientes que están constantemente batallando con estas hegemonías de dónde se ve el contenido específico (…), y entonces los programadores están rescatando las múltiples formas cinematográficas y contenidos para darles espacios para que se vean y se discutan en conjunto.
Otilia Portillo Padua, director of Birders

Check out the Mexico City Chicago Cinema Exchange programming: