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Border Film Week Goes To Tijuana

Still image from the documentary "Kings of Nowhere."
Venado Films
Still image from the documentary "Kings of Nowhere."
Border Film Week Goes To Tijuana
Border Film Week Goes To Tijuana GUESTS: Ev Meade, director, Trans-Border Institute Betzabé García, producer and director, "Kings of Nowhere"

this is KPBS Midday Edition, I am Maureen Cavanaugh. The Mexican border has become a hot political topic as -- is an understatement, a film festival in San Diego this week takes us beyond the politics and aims to help us we think the debate over the order through the art of cinema. The transporter institutes 11 annual border film week will screen films focused on regional issues from immigration to human rights and the environment. Joining me is-- executive director of the transfer me Institute of the University of San Diego. And joining us on the on is -- Garcia producer and director of the award-winning film -- or kings of nowhere. Welcome. Thank you so much for in writing me. Border week is now in its 11th year. I'm curious of the more intense political debate over the order change your approach to this year's event. This early felt a special responders the lady on one hand -- the lady on one hand to really get to make this much broader. Not just deal with the issue we expect on the border into look for a phenomenon that are eager than the politics of the moment. So the ocean, water and human suffering, notions of beauty, a sense of twice. We also, but we would try to blow up the Jon Rahm little bit is always been a documentary film Festival it's the list, but this year we have a classic film from the Mexican cinema from the 1940's, we have an animated film, we have feature films we have -- we have experimental films about migration. So really tried to make this a lot water and played a lot of different places for people to think about the border in ways that transcend the politics that divide us right now. Betzabé García, your feature-length documentary kings of nowhere is screening tomorrow at the film festival about the rural town in Mexico that was submerged by a flood in three families who decided to stay behind, what appealed to you about this -- appeal to you about this story ? I am from Sinaloa, by Mazatlán. I was living there for five years. It got conflict completely floodedby the dam. Three families are still living there. There making to tears every morning and going to -- the whole town by themselves. It's a very intimate portrait of the three families. And how they deal with living there and fighting against the water. As you say, this town was submerged by the construction of the dam which rerouted the waters andflooded the whole town. What do you think this film has to say to us and -- a San Diego audience. It's an important moment in Mexico and we try to focus on what's happened in the mountains of civil -- Sinaloa. These towns are completely abandoned by the -- it's an important -- to talk about in a film festival. As you said there's a classic 1940's film. What is it about and what it included . It's Maria Cogdill area, the first of action to the con film Festival, a winner -- the winner in 1946, we want to celebrate the cinema for two the two countries and to bring in a cause -- classic film because of the FEMA water, at the also the theme of plays that are forgotten, of an indigenous community and how about politics of of a mob, what happens when you listen to motions more than rational politics. Punish them for reputations more than they were actually do. And it will steal's nicely -- feels nicely with the film which is a place about Sinaloa while which we know about drug trafficking outside of Sinaloa and people have more to tell us in the film gives us an intimate portrait of people who are just trying to hang onto that all -- on to the all -- only precip really not. The classic film -- classic star, Dolores del Rio. A star for the whole world in 1940's. The one thing that speaks to the present controversy over -- a documentary called Mexican dream. That's wonderful plan -- Alex is in UC San Diego alarm and we are happy to show -- we're happy to show it because it's about undocumented immigration and town in Minnesota , but it's about the old talk about the issue is about the issue itself. It's mostly interviews and ordinary reasonable people who have very, very different opinion about it and it's -- and it's really important for people to come listen to what they have to say. Take it in and then afterwards we will have a terrific public forum where we have local experts come from UC San Diego, from the -- that journalists in LA, all about who have written about migration. What can we dowith these disparate opinions of people who love them right next door to each other and depend on each other . This border full film week is going to 21 oh wise that important to take that to -- Tijuana ? , first of all, our partner has been a great job she raked -- rate the festival for years and we want to give them a showcase it's more than that, it's about who was behind this film? It's important signal back here at this moment when it seems like the relationship between the US and Mexico or -- are -- is so uncertain and our rhetoric -- in our metrics become so harsh, that both governments are helping to sponsor a filmfestival together. The US consulate here in St. Louis up into support the no chit many, which is tomorrow night in the US Council -- consul NT one -- in Tijuana is helping to sponsor the event in Tijuana and in symbolic level that's really really important because it tells us that there are serious questions that divide us, but there's also a whole lot that we have in common and there's -- and there's a whole lot is take. In access to look at this in a more thoughtful way. The board the films will be -- the films will be screened tonight until Friday. And at -- in Tijuana. I've been speaking with Ev Meade and Betzabé Garcia reducer and director of the film kings of nowhere, thank you both very much a.

Border Film Week

When: Tuesday-Friday

Where: Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, Peace and Justice Theater

Cost: Free and open to the public

For the first time since it started 11 years ago, the Trans-Border Institute's annual tribute to border cinema will take place on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Border Film Week gets underway Tuesday with four days of films and panel discussions at the University of San Diego campus and in Tijuana. The films showcased will touch on a variety of topics from immigration to violence, human rights and the environment.

Opening Border Film Week is the short documentary “Juan Perros.” The film follows a man in the Coahuila desert as he fights to survive off the waste left behind by his own community.

Mexican director Betzabé García will be in San Diego Wednesday for the screening of her feature documentary film "Kings of Nowhere," which won the 2016 Global Audience Award at SXSW. "Kings of Nowhere" tells the story of a flooded rural village in Sinaloa, Mexico, and the three families that stay behind.

On Friday, Border Film Week moves to Tijuana for its closing ceremony and reception.

At a time when the U.S.-Mexico border has become a hot political topic, the film festival aims to help the public rethink the debate over the border through the art of cinema.

Ev Meade, director of the Trans-Border Institute, and Betzabé García discuss the power of film amid the current political climate, Tuesday on Midday Edition.

KINGS OF NOWHERE | Official Trailer