Mexican sociologist, professor and researcher Carlos Martínez Assad presented his book Lebanese in Mexican Cinema at Mesón de San Antonio. He was accompanied by Ernesto Herrera, GIFF co-founder and president of Fundación Expresión en Corto, and Jorge Atala, representing Sushi Roll —sponsor of this special edition. The audience included His Excellency, Sami Nmeir, the Lebanese Ambassador in Mexico.
Before beginning the presentation, GIFF founder and executive director, Sarah Hoch offered some introductory words with which she thanked the audience and the panelists for their work and participation.
In his book, Martínez Assad proposes a look through the contributions of the Lebanese diaspora in developing the film industry in our country. Intimately casual and drenched in the encyclopedic knowledge of the author, the book shines a light on the diverse stages of this migratory flux of Mexican cinema, such as the assimilation of several generations of artists and technicians of Lebanese descent in building our collective imaginary.
Ernesto Herrera recognized and thanked everyone who made the book possible, including institutions such as the UNAM Filmoteca, the Liban Cinema Foundation and people like Jorge Atala, Toufic Makhlouf, Mariana Yazbek and the author himself.
Martínez Assad said that this book was the fruit of his interest in researching cultural aspects of Lebanese immigration. He highlighted the enormous figure of Miguel Zacarías: prolific director, writer, editor and producer who was a pioneer of many areas of film development in Mexico and the one who discovered figures like María Félix and Libertad Lamarque. Other figures that were mentioned include Gaspar Henaine “Capulina”, Mauricio Garcés and Salma Hayek among the many names listed in the book.
By the end there was a Q&A session for the audience to express doubts and concerns. Lebanese in Mexican Cinema will be distributed in different cultural and film institutions in Mexico and Lebanon.