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Dedicated to the Memory of Ernesto Herrera

Films are a way of remaining forever.

The director called out in a booming voice, Cut! And immediately, a steep pile of anecdotes had lined up, ready to take up an immovable position in any memory that should happen by. Across his gaze one could discover more than wishes and intentions, but also countless challenges and feats, the calculations of those few handfuls of people who can learn to forge a name in the heat of the fire and in the virtues that reward their flights of fancy.

So many years at the helm of a troupe of creative types, who now honor the beautiful complicity revealing that, this time, the cut would take us to a new frame, unedited and complex, seemingly unreachable, somewhat divorced from the fades and reverse shots that absence tends to avoid. The life and works of the renowned director gave way, leading to the next sequence now being drawn as a composite of his legacy, as a particular manifestation of memory that freely imagines him to be still somewhere nearby.

If we consider that the design of time, space, and the human form all obey certain profound and malleable laws in the language of Film, then the notion of an ideal transition merely harks to our preferred form of punctuation. Here, time does not exist, but is created by us. But take care, as there may be transitions that distort the image, that soften its focus, that break with the axis of the action, harm the Point of View, or tint a new color… Therefore, always keep your caution and your wits about you as you take the next step.

Film is just like life: wherever an episode ends, another instantly begins, rising up as an immense collection of frames coming one after another, a sort of gallery of the imagination where we store the memories that make a deep mark. The global pandemic brought us the most devastating of Fades to Black, a darkness on the screen that forced us to reconsider our path towards understanding, and to restructure a now confusing future ahead. Let us open our eyes once again, firm in our intention to reemerge and reconnect, to feel joyful in having pulled through the cuts and obstacles between the frames, aware of our responsibility to give new meaning to the reality now before us.

The coming edition of GIFF is dedicated to the memory of our co-founder, and the 24 years of unforgettable scenes he left behind. We will hold tight onto his narrative and defend his ongoing path, because…

We are the Guanajuato International Film Festival!
A history that transcends 24 editions in a lifetime,
A reality that, in this plane or the next,
never ceases to call out – More films, please!
We are now part of Ernesto Herrera’s legacy,
A new meaning to the scenes that bear his memory.
Because, indeed – Films are a way of remaining, forever.

We wish to thank the close collaboration of all those individuals and institutions who have contributed to this homage. The program includes a Gala night on the Festival’s inauguration, as well as a photo exhibition showcasing brief episodes from his artistic career. A moving light show called ‘El Bosque’, created by Victor Zapatero; an immersive Virtual Reality experience by Visual Prophet N3O; a video-mapping show; and a selection of Ernesto’s favorite short films round out the events. Likewise, the Theatre Department at the National University (UNAM) will present their production of ‘Mensajes’ by Francine Alepin, in remembrance of Ernesto’s work as a stage designer and co-founder of the Luna Negra theater troupe.