When most people think of the film industry, their minds travel to Hollywood, America’s film production hub. But other countries have their own cinematic capitals, and Mexico is no exception. Unfortunately, much like the United States film industry, Mexico’s filmmakers are predominantly male. Even as recently as fifteen years ago, there were very few female directors and producers in the mainstream industry, and male filmmakers rarely wanted to hire female cinematographers on their sets.
Now, thanks to the work of feminists in the 1970s and beyond, new films are being produced and directed by women more than ever before. Female filmmakers like Fernanda Valadez and Tatiana Huezo are finally flourishing within the industry, winning awards at both independent and mainstream film festivals. For aspiring filmmakers, the recent success of women in film is an inspiration to create even if the odds seem stacked against them.
Contributing to the Arts
Women in Mexico have been contributing to the arts for longer than they’ve been receiving awards in the arts. Several actresses and singers in the early 1900s attempted to break into filmmaking, often starting their own production companies. Despite putting out notable films such as Mimi Derba’s The Tigress, few of these companies saw the same longevity and success as those run by men.
Though women have been marginalized within the Mexican film industry, their presence in theaters can be felt by the culture that consumes their work. The women of the past who put out incredible work and saw little recognition paved the way for people like Fernanda Valdez to win awards today, continuing the legacy of strong female filmmakers in Mexico.
Continuing the Trend
Female filmmakers are beginning to see the success in the industry that they deserve, but there is still more work to be done. Highlighting women across the arts and showcasing their contributions is not only beneficial to the richness and beauty of Mexican culture, but it helps to empower women for generations to come.
If you’re interested in learning more about the impact of women on Mexican art, there are a variety of films and novels about Mexico that describe those stories. You may also consider perusing the works of current and historic female filmmakers, whether they come from Mexico or your hometown. Female voices are emerging in the mainstream all over the world, and it’s important to continue that trend.