Guadalupe Ferrer – Profile
KEEPER OF THE FILM MEMORY
How does one begin to write a profile for Gudalupe Ferrer? A simple question that finds a slew of answers, thanks to her long trajectory. You might think that, being her daughter, I would have all the details on her curricula, but I don’t. I knew some things- the ones that stand out. But I felt I was missing out on the rest, so I asked my mother for her extended CV, and boy, was it a surprising read!
It wasn’t easy to summarize the 16 pages that enlist her long trajectory and her commitment to her work, both professionally and academically, which is the way I remember her from my childhood: A working independent woman, committed above all to her work, whichever it may have been. It also isn’t easy to preserve the audiovisual memories of an entire country, an extraordinary and never-ending task of cataloguing our cinematic information and preserving it as a legacy, and our heritage.
She is Guadalupe Ferrer, the great promoter of our country’s Film library and Industry, a woman committed to preserving our cinematographic heritage. She was born in Mexico City to a Mexican mother and Catalan father. Her infancy was spent in the port city of Veracruz, her teens in the town of Orizaba. She returned to Mexico City to study Journalism and Mass Communications at the Political and Social Sciences Faculty at the National University (UNAM), from which she graduated with full honors.
Her widely successful career began as a Research Assistant, and later Academic Technician, at the Documentary Research Center at her Faculty in UNAM. She was the head librarian at the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (Center for Film Training, CCC); the Coordinator at the Center for Documentary Research at UNAM; the Under-director of Training for the Mining Promotion Commission at the Energy and Mining Minisstry; Director of the Cineteca Nacional; General Director of TV UNAM, Director for Cultural Film Promotion at the Mexican Institute of Cinematography (IMCINE); design and organization consultant for the UNAM’s Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos (University Center for Film Studies, CUEC)>
She was a professor at the Political and Social Sciences Faculty at UNAM for over 33 years, with her lectures always being some of the most popular among students, and a fundamental part of her personal and professional growth. Teaching has been one of the most cherished responsibilities to her. She feels reinvigorated by her contact with students and by the opportunity to help build new realities.
In 1994 she was awarded the Knight of Arts and Letters distinction by the Government of France. She has been a jury and examiner in close to 26 commissions of all types, including her time as a Member for the Deciding Commission at the Political and Social Sciences Faculty and at CUEC; a jury at the National Award for Youth and Journalism; Nominating agent for the McArthur Foundation and for Rockefeller Foundation’s film, video and multimedia scholarships. She was president of the Mexico chapter of the Ibero American Educational Television Association, and a Member of the Awards Commission at the Mexican Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences.
Now, starting in 2008, she is the General Director for Film Activities at the UNAM’s film archive, where she has a chance to demonstrate her passion for preserving and disseminating the cinematographic history of our country. She is also a Deputy at the International Federation of Film Archives, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Ingmar Bergman Chair at UNAM, as well as being part of the Directors Council Board at the Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG).
The magnitude of this task, of recovering and restoring a country’s film heritage, presents an enormous challenge. It will take many people to follow Guadalupe Ferrer’s example in her commitment to her labor. What can I possibly feel for my mom, other than pride and admiration? Other than to point out that, beyond her impressive professional career, her most important achievement has always been to be a wonderful companion, friend, teacher and mother.