Mexican short film on violence against women wins Student Academy Award

The Student Academy Awards were established in 1972 to provide a platform for emerging global talent

Mexican short film on violence against women wins Student Academy Award
Crescendo premiered at the Morelia International Film Festival in 2019 - Photo: Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica via AP
English 23/09/2020 12:17 César Huerta Mexico City Actualizada 15:51
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In the midst of the federal proposal to cut the budget to the Cinematographic Training Center (CCC) for 2021, a short from that film school has won a Student Academy Award, a competition that includes productions from different countries.

Crescendo, directed by Percival Argüero Mendoza and that addresses the abuse of power suffered by a woman in Mexico, won the award in the Narrative category of the International Film School.

The Student Academy Awards is an annual competition in which more than 1,400 students participated this year.

“It is definitely worrisome that culture has been so hard hit for so many years, particularly the CCC which is the institution I love and to which I owe everything I have; it‘s a film school that gives us the capacity to learn by making films, education for creators is crucial and we must defend it,” said the filmmaker.

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The story, co-written with his sister Hipatia Argüero, follows a young violinist (Sofía Sylwin) who, in order to join a strings quartet, must face a teacher (Jacobo Lieberman) who has sexual intentions with her,

Crescendo is Percival’s thesis project for the CCC, a school the Finance Ministry is planning to give MXN $26 million for 2021, five million less than the current year.

For the filmmaker, along with the prize, the most important is the topic and to make violence against women in Mexico visible.

“I think we did a film with a delicate subject that is already being addressed after being ignored for a lot of time.

“We are not discovering anything new, it is to each collaborate from their front to express our support to make this visible; there are women fighting and demanding and requesting the government to acknowledge the seriousness of the problem,” he stressed.

He received the news from the award via Zoom by filmmaker Lulu Wang, who is nominated to the BAFTA for Best Foreign Language Film for The Farewell.

The virtual awarding ceremony will take place next October 21.

“I couldn’t imagine, not even when they told me they had this special guest; I could not believe it; I told the team and the couldn’t either,” he remembers.

The CCC has given Mexico three Student Academy Awards with The Last New Year (1991) by Javier Bourges and El ojo en la nuca (2001) by Rodrigo Plá, shorts starred by Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal, respectively.

Crescendo hopes to keep being invited to international festivals. It premiered in the Morelia International Film Festival in 2019 and participated at Polland’s International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography Camerimage and was recently featured in Short Mexico.

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