Morelia International Film Festival

Morelia International Film Festival

The Morelia International Film Festival (FICM) was founded in 2003 in the city of Morelia, Michoacán, México. It is an annual event that takes place during the second week of October.

FICM emerged as a need to create a unique meeting point in México for the cinematographic community, the people of Michoacán, and international filmmakers. The festival's goal is to establish a forum to promote up-and-coming Mexican cinema talents, to create incentives and cultural opportunities for the Mexican and international public, and to display the cultural richness of the state of Michoacán [1].

The festival has achieved notable prestige and prominence in Mexico as a result of its outreach and growth. It is rapidly becoming known in other parts of the world for its uniqueness and quality. Film critics and the public in general like the festival because of its selection of films and variety of themes [2].



The Morelia International Film Festival (FICM) was founded in 2003 by Alejandro Ramírez Magaña, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel and Daniela Michel, current directors of the festival. The idea of the festival developed from a discussion between Cuautémoc Cárdenas and Alejandro Ramírez Magaña when they ran into each other in the parking lot at the Casa de Gobierno in Morelia in 2002.

The festival is organized by a non-profit civil association and receives funding from both public and private institutions. From the very beginning, the festival was supported by the different levels of government, primarily the Michoacán state government, headed at the time by Governor Lázaro Cárdenas Batel, who was an important promoter of culture in the state.

From the start, the festival has been sponsored and supported by Cinépolis.

FICM continues the tradition established by the Mexican Short Film Forum (Jornada de Cortometraje Mexicano), which began presenting works by Mexican filmmakers at the Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City in 1994. Each year, the Morelia International Film Festival supports Ambulante, the first national documentary tour created by Canana, the production company of Mexican actors Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal.


Alejandro Ramírez Magaña is the president of the Morelia International Film Festival and director of Cinépolis, founded in Morelia by his grandfather, Enrique Ramírez Miguel. Alejandro Ramírez Magaña has a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's in business administration from the University of Harvard. He has worked at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., and for the United Nations Development Program in New York. In 2005 he was selected to be one of the Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Cuautémoc Cárdenas Batel is vice president of the Morelia International Film Festival. He is an architect who studied at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Metropolitan Autonomous University ([UAM]). Since 1994, he has been the director of the Foundation for Democracy, Alternative and Debate, A.C., an institution dedicated to the study and elaboration of public policies. Since the 1980s he has been involved with diverse cultural initiatives and projects in the area of visual arts, music and cinema. He is a member of a family with a long tradition of political involvement. He is the grandson of Gen. Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, ex-president of Mexico; son of political leader Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano, ex-governor of Michoacán, ex mayor of Mexico City, and three times candidate for president; and brother of Lázaro Cárdenas Batel, former governor of Michoacán.

Daniela Michel has been the director of the Morelia International Film Festival ever since she founded the festival in 2003. She received a bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), while attending the CCC film school. She has written on cinema for El Economista, Viceversa, Somos, Cine Premiere and El Financiero, and since 1994 has hosted film programs for Televisa and Channel 11. Michel has organized film festivals since 1994, when she began co-directing the Mexican Short Film Forum (Jornadas de Cortometraje Mexicano) at the Cineteca Nacional. She has been a jury member for the Rockefeller Foundation Audiovisual Scholarships, the Fulbright-García Robles Film Fellowship and the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding. She has also been a member of the jury at numerous international festivals, including Sundance, the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA), the San Francisco International Film Festival and the Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF).


The festival is a non-profit civil association supported by federal, state and city institutions, as well as private sponsors and the media.


During the week-long festival, the majority of the activities take place in the "Cine Morelia," now called "Cinépolis Morelia Centro." This venue is located in the Historic Center of Morelia and was founded in 1957 by Enrique Ramírez Miguel.

The festival is also held at the Cinépolis Las Américas and diverse venues in the city, including theaters, auditoriums and public plazas. In the Historic Center, there have been events at the Plaza Valladolid, the Cerrada de San Agustín, the Plaza Benito Juárez, the Plaza de Armas, as well as the Teatro Melchor Ocampo, the Conservatorio de las Rosas and the Casa Natal de Morelos. Special functions, like the inauguration, are held at the Teatro Morelos, as well as the Emperador Caltzontzin Theater in the city of Pátzcuaro.

Film selection

A variety of Mexican and international films are carefully selected to participate in the festival. A special emphasis is given to interesting works in the area of culture, alternative film, and controversial themes of public interest and social criticism. There is also a commitment to selecting films about the cultural and social demographics of Michoacán and Mexico, including indigenous peoples, history, traditions and migration. From its beginning, FICM has shared an ongoing partnership with the Critics' Week section of the Cannes Film Festival, which presents a selection of the winning films at FICM each year, while films from Cannes are shown at FICM.


The festival has four official sections in competition: Mexican short film Mexican documentary Mexican feature film (director's first and second works) Michoacán section (includes shorts, features and documentaries by Michoacán filmmakers) There is also a short film screenwriter's competition for Michoacán or Michoacán resident authors, in addition to conferences, discussions, forums and workshops related to filmmaking. The Morelia International Film Festival also organizes open-air screenings, special tributes to distinguished invited directors, retrospectives dedicated to outstanding figures in Mexican cinema, an exhibit in honor of an outstanding Michoacán figure in cinema, short films for children, premieres of Mexican and international feature-length films, expositions and different activities related to cinema. Together with the support of the Mexican Film Institute, the festival conducts the Morelia Lab, a workshop for young Mexican and Latin American filmmakers that focuses on film production. Throughout the year, the festival organizes film cycles, workshops, courses and conferences given by professionals in the film industry. Some of these activities are carried out in the installations of the festival in Morelia.

Distinguished guests

FICM invites prominent figures from the Mexican and international film world to attend the events, red carpets and press conferences of the festival. Throughout the years, the festival has been privileged to host renowned invited guests such as:

Actors and actresses

Tommy Lee Jones, Salma Hayek, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Martha Higareda, Cecilia Suárez, Luis Felipe Tovar, Juan Manuel Bernal, Camila Sodi, Ana Claudia Talancón, Plutarco Haza, Kate del Castillo, Demián Bichir, Bárbara Mori, Ana de la Reguera, among others.

Director and producers

Werner Herzog, Gus Van Sant, Quentin Tarantino, Guillermo del Toro, Terry Gilliam, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Alfonso Cuarón, Bruno Dumont, Fernando Eimbcke, Manoel de Oliveira, Doris Dörrie, Arthur Penn, Fernando Trueba, Nicholas Philibert, Cristian Mungiu, Steven Soderbergh, Bertrand Tavernier, Gerardo Naranjo, Gerardo Tort, Carlos Reygadas, among others.


Pablo Fendrik, Jukka-Pekka Laakso, Scott Foundas, Lucrecia Martel, Gustavo Sánchez Parra, Nick Roddick, Nicolas Philibert, Eugenio Polgovsky, Carlos Taibo Mahojo, Luis Mandoki, Gabriel Orozco, Peter Brunette, Julia Ormond, Mike Hodges, Fernanda Solórzano, Armando Casas, Carlos Bonfil, Diana Bracho, Carlos Carrera, Juan Carlos Rulfo, among others.

Other attractions

During the week of the festival, visitors can also enjoy the cultural richness and attractions of Morelia. The Historic Center has colonial architectonic jewels like the Cathedral of Morelia and the Aqueduct of Morelia, in addition to plazas, museums, palaces and mansions (many of which have been restored). These monuments are gloriously illuminated at night. The state also offers the visitor wonderful traditions, delicious food, picturesque towns, crafts and surprising natural beauty, found in places like the neighboring city of Pátzcuaro, Michoacán.

Coverage and outreach

The festival is open to the public and it welcomes visitors from Mexico and the world. The Morelia International Film Festival is one of the most important in Mexico, and its prominence continues to grow because of its quality and prestige. FICM serves as an important platform for new creators, and the winning films at the festival have gone on to receive awards in other festivals around the world. One example is the short film by Elisa Miller "Ver llover," which won an award in Morelia in 2006, and in 2007 won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, or Tin Dirdamal's film "De nadie", which won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006. The festival has also substantially boosted tourism in Morelia. It attracts a great number of visitors as well as actors, actresses, producers, screenwriters and film directors from Mexico and around the world. The festival is an opportunity for the public to interact with artists and filmmakers, and it is well covered by local, Mexican and international press, in specialized areas such as culture, society and entertainment.

Winners 2003-2010

To consult the winners and the previous editions of the festival:


External links

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