MEXICO CITY (The New York Times) — As a young girl growing up in 1980s Mexico, the idea of becoming a filmmaker was almost unthinkable for Fernanda Valadez. Other than a movie club at the local university, there were no cinemas in her hometown, Guanajuato, and films made by women were few and far between.
“The dream of making cinema was something far away,” she recalled recently. “We grew up with the feeling that making films was very difficult.”
Some 30 years later, however, that dream has become very real. Valadez’s debut film, “Identifying Features,” won two top prizes at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020, and this year it won the best picture, director, and screenplay, among other prizes, at the Ariel Awards, Mexico’s equivalent of the Oscars.
After decades of fighting for recognition in an industry dominated by men, women filmmakers like Valadez are setting Mexican cinema ablaze, not just releasing more work but also gaining the critical success and major awards that were long restricted to their male peers.