Ambulante – Breaking Borders and a Model of Transmedia

The 7th Ambulante Film Festival, which was recently bestowed with Washington’s (WOLA) Human Rights Award for using documentary as a tool for change, launched its spring tour by debuting in Mexico City February 19 and will go on until the 23, before it continues its celebrated pilgrimage to Guerrero, Veracruz, Puebla and a dozen other Mexican cities.  The 2012 edition of the passionately led, itinerant film organization will screen 81 titles from 24 countries, and will have visited over 28 cities and towns by end of the year. Born during the 2005 Morelia International Film Festival by Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal, Pablo Cruz, lead by Executive Director, Elena Fortes, and Programming Director Ricardo Giraldo, the pioneering non-profit which also brings and produces film workshops as part of its community outreach program, has already expanded and announced more plans to further its mission abroad and within the U.S.

Just this past week Ambulante capped off a successful partnership with Cinema Tropical on MOMA’s documentary fortnight in New York.  Ambulante will also have a presence at the upcoming Tucson Cine Mexico, showing four documentaries by female directors.   And in October, Ambulante will be hosting a screenings’ series here in Los Angeles (stay tuned for more details).  Ambulante has previously partnered with LA film organizations before, notably Film Independent’s Los Angeles Film Festival, which in 2009 offered an Ambulante spotlight.  Ambulante’s expansion is testament to its success at presenting an intervention type of programming focus, and screening international documentaries in regions where it would otherwise never be shown, and in this latest edition, spearheading forums in which to address Mexico’s social issues such as the persecution of journalists, migration, drug and arms trafficking.

Showing his support at the premiere of De Panzazo!, a documentary about Mexico’s public school system, Gael Garcia Bernal expressed his deep belief of using film as a tool for social responsibility.

Below are just a few of the highlights of this tour:

VIVAN LAS ANTIPODAS by Vincent Kossakovsky  a quirky documentary that compares four pairs of locations on exactly opposite sides of the globe- Catch this at the upcoming SXSW festival!

REPORTERO – World premiere from Bernardo Ruiz, a Sundance Institute and Cinereach supported documentary profiling the fearless Tijuana weekly, Zeta.  It will be broadcast on POV in the fall.

UTOPIA IN 4 MOVEMENTS by Sam Green and Dave Cerf – the incredibly unique and live musical accompaniment documentary experience.

PINA in 3D by Wim Wenders, the Oscar nominated documentary about legendary dancer, Pina Bausch

The People Vs. George Lucas by Alexandre O. Philippe – the festival favorite documentary where the public who made the blockbuster franchise what it is today, get their say and take the series into their own creative hands.

Go to Ambulante’s website to see more info on films, interviews and photos.

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