Tribute to Women in Film

“I love my job, I’m very happy doing it, I’m very excited for us.”

– Mariestela Fernández

Yesterday at noon at the Cervantes Theater, the Women in Film and Television tribute by the Guanajuato International Film Festival took place.

This honor was bestowed upon Mariestela Ferández and Anna Roth, two great women have made Mexican cinema proud, thanks to their magnificent costume designs and productions respectively.

The ceremony began with a welcome speech from Anabel Pulido López, director of the Institute of Women of Guanajuato, who then gave the microphone to Sarah Hoch, executive director of GIFF, who spoke of how when she started the festival 20 years ago, it was a difficult time for the Mexican film industry and that she as a foreigner was struck by the lack of trust and communication that existed among filmmakers and people in the industry, and this motivated her to take steps toward the development of Mexican cinema.

In 2001 she called the first meeting with Women in Film and Television in Latina America and this year they celebrate 15 years since important Association was formed. Besides looking to shape creativity, a coincident factor in all women, she exalted the energy they put into being incorporated into the industry and to be recognized with justice. The support is crucial to pave the way and to compete in the media’s mainstream. Thus, from its beginnings, Women in Film and Television seeks to highlight all who work in different areas in the audiovisual industry: producers, screenwriters, directors, composers, cinematographers, editors, actresses, makeup artists, costume designers, art directors, cultural promoters and sound designers among others.

This link with the Guanajuato International Film Festival has strengthened both nationally and internationally. Sarah Hoch pointed out the importance of strengthening the work of all of them and mentioned that the statistics of women who work in the Mexican film industry is much higher than in other countries like the United States, for example, compared to Mexico, 35-40% of directors are women and producers more than 60%.

They began with the tribute to Mariestela Fernández, who, after witnessing her tribute video, was granted the Muse, an important award that recognizes the fulfillment of goals in a career, apart from receiving the Silver Cross from GIFF. Mariestela thanked Sarah Hoch and the Association of Women in Film and Television, as well as her family and friends; she also thanked Tita Lombardo, the friend who opened the doors to cinema for her, expressing that for her it is an honor to receive this recognition for her years-long passion, but that she felt the it went beyond herself for recognizing this part of the industry that should be considered more important.

This was followed by the video presenting Anna Roth, who unfortunately couldn’t make it. Her son Jan and grandson Eli took the stage to receive the Muse and all other recognitions. Anna, who had a fleeting step as an actress in the industry, soon discovered that her true calling was behind the scenes, making sure that the production of a film is prosperously constructed.

Producers like Anna Roth have proactively brought film projects to Mexico and she especially has generated jobs for many on countless occasions, even during difficult times for the film industry. “Today, she is a pillar of Mexican cinema”, said Sarah Hoch.

Also present in this tribute were important personalities such as Daniel Díaz Martínez, Guanajuato’s Secretary of Health, Pilar Flores, Tourism representative in Houston, with whom there’s an important alliance through GIFF, and Érika Arroyo, Deputy of the State. Also, Rosa Adela Zuckerman, president of Women in Film and Television, who also congratulated Sarah Hoch for 20 years doing the Festival and she reaffirmed: “The film industry is rough and demanding and one needs a vocation to be free to fight for what one’s passionate about, like these two women, Mariestela Fernández and Anna Roth.”

Everyone present supported the empowerment of women in the Film and Television industries, recognizing the important parts that these two personalities have played in Mexican cinema.

Written by