You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mexico: Up Next! Karina Garcia

Garcia’s feature doc debut “Juanicas” competes at Mexico’s Morelia

Garcia’s powerful feature doc debut, “Juanicas,” is not only a portrait of her dysfunctional Mexican immigrant family, but a penetrating look at the mystery of mental illness. Shot over 10 years, Garcia, who is based in Montreal, started working on her docu when her mother was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder in 2004. Filming began in earnest when Garcia’s brother, the titular Juanicas who suffered from the same disorder, returned to Montreal after living in their native Mexico.

Making this documentary was “a personal necessity,” says Garcia who is married to film composer Olivier Alary who provided the music and even shot some of the scenes. “Filming my mother and brother helped me to process what happened in my childhood and to make sense of my relationship to them,” she said. “It was a healing, cathartic process.” Co-producer EyeSteelFilm boarded the docu in the eighth year.

Its impact on auds is such that people have come to her in tears, relating similar experiences in their lives. “After hearing their stories, you realize you’re not alone,” she muses.

While it examines mental illness, docu also deals with the issues of parental alienation, abandonment and the immigrant experience.

“Juanicas” has won a string of awards since it debuted in the Montreal Documentary Film Fest (RIDM) in 2014 where it won two special jury mentions. While still at a rough-cut stage, “Juanicas” won the Doculab 1.0, a competitive rough-cut lab of the Guadalajara Int’l Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Prior to “Juanicas,” Garcia made two shorts, “The Great Thinkers” (2009) and “Disown, Delete” (2007), which also garnered awards, and have been broadcast as well as screened in numerous films festivals and institutions.

Garcia taught herself the art of filmmaking but her studies in Philosophy and English literature at Montreal’s McGill University, as well as her graduate studies in Communications at Concordia University, Montreal have informed her body of work.

While she’s now working on a few ideas for her next docu, she would like to explore the fiction format next. “My [5-month old] baby is now my fulltime occupation but my family is a theme I will continue to explore for many years.”

More Film

  • Black Panther

    'Black Panther,' 'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Westworld' Among Costume Designers Guild Winners

    “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” walked away with top honors at the 21st annual Costume Designers Guild Awards Tuesday night, the final industry guild show before the Oscars on Feb. 24. “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” are up for the Oscar this year, along with “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” “Mary Poppins [...]

  • WGA Writers Contract Talks

    Talent Agents, WGA Achieve Progress in Second Round of Talks

    Hollywood talent agents and the Writers Guild of America have achieved some progress at their second negotiating session over agency regulations, according to sources close to the talks. The two sides met Tuesday, two weeks after their first meeting resulted in both sides criticizing each other, followed by the WGA holding a trio of spirited [...]

  • Aaron Paul

    Film News Roundup: Aaron Paul Honored by Sun Valley Film Festival

    In today’s film news roundup, Aaron Paul is honored, Bruce Berman is re-upped at Village Roadshow, and Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher get a book deal. FESTIVAL HONORS The Sun Valley Film Festival has selected Idaho native and three-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul as the winner of its Pioneer Award, presented by Variety for his [...]

  • Olivia Munn]EMILY'S List Pre-Oscars Brunch, Inside,

    Olivia Munn Says Brett Ratner Called Her Before His 'Howard Stern' Apology

    Olivia Munn is setting the record straight about standing up to “Rush Hour” director Brett Ratner, whom she alleges sexually harassed her over a decade ago. During a panel discussion at the Emily’s List pre-Oscars brunch at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills Tuesday morning, Munn revealed that Ratner called her in 2011 after he denied [...]

  • Flesh Out review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Flesh Out'

    Ignore the awful English-language title: “Flesh Out” is an emotionally rich, sensitively made film about a young woman in Mauritania forced to gain weight in order to conform to traditional concepts of well-rounded beauty before her impending marriage. Strikingly registering the sensations of a protagonist living between the dutiful traditions of her class and the [...]

  • Marighella review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Marighella'

    Does Brazil need a film that openly advocates armed confrontation against its far-right government? That’s the first question that needs to be asked when discussing “Marighella,” actor Wagner Moura’s directorial debut focused on the final year in the life of left-wing insurrectionist Carlos Marighella during Brazil’s ruthless military dictatorship. For whatever one might think of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content