Mexican filmmaker Alejandra Márquez Abella will visit IU Cinema this week to attend screenings of her and director Lucrecia Martel’s films Thursday and to give a talk Friday.
Abella’s visit is a part of the IU Cinema series “Filmmaker to Filmmaker: Conversations from the Director’s Chair,” where two directors present and discuss each other’s works. Originally, Abella was meant to have her works paired with Argentinian filmmaker Martel, but she had to cancel her appearance. Screenings of three of Martel’s films have been canceled, but one will still be shown.
“Scheduling one filmmaker to come to Indiana is sometimes difficult enough, but scheduling two to have their schedules lineup is often pretty challenging,” IU Cinema director Jon Vickers said.
Martel’s visit and film screenings have been rescheduled to September.
“The Good Girls,” directed by Abella, will screen at 7 p.m. Thursday. The movie is about a woman in the Mexican economic crisis of the early 1980s doing as much as possible to keep her place in society. The film is in Spanish but has English subtitles.
“The Headless Woman,” which will screen at 10 p.m. Thursday, is directed by Martel. The film follows a woman who thinks she may have killed someone after running them over and explores the ideas of class and women's roles in a male-dominated society.
Abella only has two feature films and when asked by the cinema to choose to program a film by someone she admires, she coincidentally chose Martel. The second screening Thursday is Martel’s film presented by Abella.
The idea of this series came from Vickers and donors Roberta and Jim Sherman.
“We had a couple of donors who were really interested in filmmakers being on campus, but filmmakers being here in conversation with each other,” Vickers said. “I don’t know where the idea came from other than it came out of a conversation organically between myself and our donors.”
Abella is a writer and director from San Luis Potosí, Mexico. She studied filmmaking in Barcelona and is now based in Mexico City working in film and television.
“Last year she was named by Variety magazine as one of 10 new film directors to watch,” Vickers said. “She was in the same category as Olivia Wilde and Bradley Cooper, both being new film directors.”
Part of the decision to bring Abella to IU Cinema came from the IU Arts and Humanities Council. The council-run Global Arts and Humanities Festival’s theme this year is "Mexico Remixed," and Abella is a Mexican writer and director whose two feature films have premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The IU Cinema has partnered with the Arts and Humanities Council before, including having other directors and movie screenings this year related to Mexico Remixed.
“We’ve partnered on all of the Remixed series so far so we knew it was happening and were consciously looking at Mexican filmmakers,” Vickers said. “We also hosted about a week ago Carlos Reygadas so we were very conscious about trying to find a filmmaker from Mexico.”
The screenings are free but ticketed. Tickets are available online or at the door. Abella’s talk Friday is free and unticketed.