Being cornered after a screening and told your film must be seen by everyone is a good experience.This past week, our documentary film, ‘The Way to Kevin’ had two screenings at the MICGenero Film Festival in Mexico City. As filmmakers, we always held the view that Kevin’s story is one that everyone should see. Having our desire mirrored by audiences in another country is a testament to the universal messages within Kevin’s journey.
The MICGenero Film Festival’s aim is to bring Gender Studies, specifically Reproductive Health and Gender Rights issues, to a wide and diverse audience that may not be familiar with these subjects through the medium of film. Currently in their third year, the festival has ambitiously expanded since its inception. Starting with a three week run in Mexico City, the festival will take a selection of films on tour to four other cities in Mexico for another 5 weeks. We were honored to learn that ‘The Way to Kevin’ has been selected for the extended tour.
As co-directors of ‘The Way to Kevin’, Erin and I had the pleasure of being on site to represent Reel 9 Productions and Kevin’s story. From the audiences to the festival producers, the people we met at the MICGenero Film Festival are passionate about film and its power to educate and open peoples minds and hearts to new ideas and points of view. Both screenings of our film took place at the Mexican cineplex chain Cinamex. It was bizarre and rewarding to see ‘The Way to Kevin’ screening alongside mainstream films in current release like ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ and ‘Hercules.’
Our trip was short so we packed in as much site seeing and as many festival events as possible. Mexico City, the largest city in the world with a population of 22 million, has a rich history thanks to the intersection of ancient indigenous cultures and the expansion of the Spanish empire. For example, in Mexico City’s main square, The Zocalo, the ancient Aztec temple Templo Mayor was discovered alongside and partially beneath the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, the largest cathedral in the Americas.
Some of our festival highlights include attending MICGenero’s GenderLab award ceremony where two filmmakers from a pool of ten finalists were awarded post-production funding for one short and one feature gender-conscious films. We had the pleasure of meeting Dan Hunt, the director of the documentary feature film ‘Mr. Angel’ which had its world premiere at South by Southwest in 2013. Buck Angel, the star and subject of ‘Mr. Angel’ will be attending the remaining screenings at MICGenero. Go see it if you can! It was excellent. We were moved by how much Kevin’s and Buck Angel’s stories mirror one another. (If you can’t attend a screening in Mexico City, catch it right now on Netflix.) Mr. Hunt brought another provocative work to the festival, the art installation ‘Full Body Contact,’ a second testament to Mr. Hunt’s creativity and boundary-pushing social commentary. http://www.micgenero.com/en/index.php/actividades/instalacion
These are just a few of the multitude of excellent films and programs being offered at MICGenero. After meeting and raising glasses with the extremely motivated and talented team producing the festival, it’s of no surprise that this young festival meets and exceeds the expectations one would have for a seasoned film festival. Reel 9 is honored to have been included in their journey to make the world a more accepting, loving and fair place to live.