×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mexican Revolution: Betzabé Garcia

In an ongoing series, Variety profiles 10 emerging Mexican women filmmakers.

Putting Betzabé Garcia on a list of up-and-coming Mexican female directors is problematic. Garcia doesn’t identify as or believe in the binary gender system used to qualify such a list, but here we are, and it would be criminal not to recognize the filmmaker simply because of an issue with pronouns.

Garcia started working in short films, but truly broke out with the 2015 documentary “Kings of Nowhere” (“Los reyes del pueblo que no existe”). The feature, which tells the story of three families holding out in a village that is slowly drowning as a nearby river has its course changed, was an international festival hit, racking up awards at Zurich, SXSW and Morelia.

This year Garcia returned to Morelia with the short, “The Girl with Two Heads,” which nabbed the award for Best Short Film in competition. The black and white film turns on a young woman named Anne, an avid martial artist who dismisses archaic societal standards of femininity, standards which her mother is struggling to conform to as time changes her.

“A Berlin photographer who was a fetishist fighting [fan] was brought to my attention, but the photography was completely not beautiful, and showed more about how the two fighters become one body,” Garcia told Variety of the film’s early inspirations.

The director shows no signs of conforming to any one style of filmmaking. While “Kings of Nowhere” was a relatively straight-forward documentary and “The Girl with Two Heads” is a classic arthouse short, Garcia’s next project, currently in development, is something altogether different.

“#Micky” is an over the top, hyper-stylized documentary which peers into the life of  Garcia’s roommate, the now-famous YouTuber #Mickey, who at the age of 11 started making videos as a way of dealing with the intense homophobia present in her community. The project took part in Los Cabos Goes to Cannes and has secured funding through Kickstarter.

A collection of viral-looking emoji-filled videos, dramatic reenactments of moments in #Micky’s life and interviews with friends and family, some more accepting and understanding about what #Micky is doing than others, the project is scheduled to go into production in the coming months.

“I’ve been Mickey’s stalker for the last 10 years through social networks before we even decided to live together. I made a short film with #Micky’s footage and included my own videos,” said Garcia, adding, “That is how we have been filming. It’s this process of living together, video reactions and building us up on the internet.”

In spite of the typically serious nature of the content Garcia chooses to discover – displacement, identity issues and homophobia just to name a few – the director’s films are always playful and allow the players to show off their humor. Laughter is common in Garcia’s films as well as in the audiences watching them.

In “Kings of Nowhere” the humor comes from the villagers and has a humble, honest feel to it. In “The Girl with Two Heads,” Garcia plays with camera angles, mirrors and lenses to examine the way people see themselves. And anyone who has seen any of #Micky’s videos will have no doubt about the playful nature a feature about the viral sensation must display.

Each of Garcia’s films was produced by the filmmaker’s own production company Venado Films, and it’s possible that in the near future the company could start producing for other filmmakers.

“I would like to open it up to other directors at some point. Now, for example, I am teaching filmmaking in Aragón,” said García.

It’s that openness to others, their stories and their worlds that makes Garcia a documentary filmmaker fans of good cinema won’t want to take their eyes of.

More Film

  • Hugh Jackman Sings Happy Birthday to

    Hugh Jackman Leads Massive One-Man Show Crowd in 'Happy Birthday' for Ian McKellen

    Hugh Jackman may have had to skip Ian McKellen’s birthday party to perform his one-man show, “The Man, The Music, The Show,” but that didn’t mean he couldn’t celebrate his “X-Men” co-star’s 80th. Jackman took a moment at the Manchester Arena Saturday to lead the sold-out audience — some 50,000 strong — in a rendition [...]

  • Netflix, Shmetflix: At Cannes 2019, the

    Netflix, Shmetflix: At Cannes 2019, the Movies Needed Every Inch of the Big Screen

    In the May 24 edition of The New York Times, there was a column by Timothy Egan, entitled “The Comeback of the Century: Why the Book Endures, Even in an Era of Disposable Digital Culture,” that celebrated those things that come between two hard covers as a larger phenomenon than mere nostalgia. The column keyed [...]

  • Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Dominates International Box Office With $121 Million

    Disney’s “Aladdin” is showing plenty of worldwide drawing power with $121 million overseas for the weekend, opening in first place in nearly all international markets. The reboot of the 1992 animated classic has received strong family attendance with a significant gain on Saturday and Sunday. China leads the way with an estimated $18.7 million for [...]

  • Aladdin

    Box Office: 'Aladdin' Taking Flight With $105 Million in North America

    Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” is flying high with an estimated $105 million in North America during the four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend. It’s the sixth-highest Memorial Day weekend total ever, topping the 2011 mark of $103.4 million for “The Hangover Part II.” The top total came in 2007, when “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” [...]

  • Agustina San Martin Talks Cannes Special

    Agustina San Martin Talks Cannes Special Mention Winner ‘Monster God’

    CANNES – An exploration of the ramifications of God, “Monster God,” from Argentina’s Agustina San Martín, took a Special Mention – an effective runner’s up prize – on Saturday night at this year’s Cannes Film Festival short film competition. It’s not difficult to see why, especially when jury president Claire Denis own films’ power resists [...]

  • Atlantics

    Netflix Snags Worldwide Rights to Cannes Winners 'Atlantics,' 'I Lost My Body'

    Mati Diop’s feature directorial debut “Atlantics” and Jérémy Clapin’s animated favorite “I Lost My Body” have both been acquired by Netflix following wins at Cannes Film Festival. “Atlantics” was awarded the grand prix while “I Lost My Body” was voted the best film at the independent International Critics Week. The deals are for worldwide rights [...]

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content