Thu 16 Apr, 7pm
In the first of two programmes of her distinctive documentary essay works on Mexican lives that are disenfranchised, marginalised or discriminated against, Eva Aridjis introduces Chuy, the Wolf Man, following an extended family who suffer from ‘werewolf syndrome’: a visually arresting and engaged work of witness.
Jesus “Chuy” Aceves and a dozen members of his extended family suffer from the very rare condition of congenital hypertrichosis, or “werewolf syndrome,” meaning they were born with excessive hair on their faces and bodies. Due to their appearance, they suffer from discrimination in all areas of their lives. This moving and visually arresting documentary is a portrait of Chuy and his relatives and examines their struggle to find love, acceptance and employment. With an original score by JG Thirlwell.
Eva Aridjis was born in 1974 and grew up in Mexico City. She attended Princeton University, where she received a B.A. in Comparative Literature, and then went into New York University’s M.F.A. program in Film and TV. While there she wrote, directed, and edited four short films: “The Collector” (1996), “Taxidermy: The Art of Imitating Life” (1998), “Billy Twist” (1999), and “The Passenger” (2001). Her shorts have screened at the Sundance, Edinburgh, Huesca, Sao Paulo and Clermont Ferrand film festivals and have won Warner Brothers Pictures Film Production and Screen Gems Awards.
After NYU she made a feature documentary entitled “Children of the Street”, about four street kids living in Mexico City. “Children of the Street” was nominated for 2 Mexican Academy Awards and won the Best Documentary Feature prize at the Morelia International Film Festival in 2003. Eva completed her first narrative feature, “The Favor”, in 2006.
Eva’s second feature documentary, “Saint Death”, is about a religious cult in Mexico. The film is narrated by Gael García Bernal and premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2007. The film is being distributed by Seventh Art Releasing and received a prize at the Trieste Latin American Film Festival.
Eva has also directed several music videos, and taught Screenwriting at the Graduate Film and TV department at New York University from 2007-2009.
Sat 18 Apr, 2pm
Aridjis introduces and discusses her investigation of the growing Mexican cult of ‘Saint Death’, a female grim reaper worshiped by those with traumatic lives, and follows four children living on Mexico City’s challenging streets.