In Exile: a Family Film
Directed by Juan Francisco Urrusti
The incorrectly named Spanish Civil War (1936-39) left a million dead and over 500,000 refugees. Mexico welcomed about 20,000. Among them were the filmmaker’s grandparents, parents, and some of their friends. These are some of the forgotten stories of memory and history- personal and that intertwined with the shared history of Spain and Mexico through the present.
Juan Francisco Urrusti Alonso
Born in Mexico City, in 1954. Urrusti enroled the Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia. But he stayed stayed there just for a year and a half, because he then enroled a two-year Diploma Course in Filmmaking at The London International Film School. In 2010 he gets a degree in Communication Sciences in Mexico City.
He has directed and produced documentaries, the majority of which are Ethnographic.
He was Head of the Film and Video Production Dept. at the Archivo Etnográfico Audiovisual of the Instituto Nacional Indigenista from 1985 thru 1989. There he was executive producer of seven documentaries: Xochimilco, siempre de fiesta. (Dir. Eduardo Maldonado, 1987); Tejiendo mar y viento y La vida de una familia Ikoods. (Dirs. Luis Lupone y Teófila Palafox, 1987); Atzazilitztli: una petición de lluvias nahua (Dir. Alfredo Portilla, 1987); Casas Grandes: una aproximación a la Gran Chichimeca. (Dir: Rafael Montero, 1986); Hach Winik. (los dueños de la selva). (Dir: Juan Carlos Colín, 1985); El eterno retorno (testimonios de la tribu kikapú). (Dir: Rafael Montero, 1985); De bandas, vidas y otros sones (Dir: Sonia Fritz, 1985); Danza de conquista. (Dir: Gonzalo Martínez, 1985),
He has been a teacher of Documentary at the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC) in Mexico City, since 1989, and at the Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos (CUEC/UNAM) since 2016. Urrusti has given lectures and workshops in several Mexican cities, and also in universities in Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua, Spain, and the USA. He is currently working on two documentaries about Mexican artists.
He directed the Mexico City Film Commission from 2001 thru 2005. Urrusti has been in juries of festivals such as IDFA, Chicago International Film Festial, DocsDF, Krakow International Film Festival, Innsbruck International Film Festival, and the Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara.
In 2011 he founded the ARTES.DOCS International Encounter of Documentary Films About The Arts, which has had four editions so far. He is currently working on the fifth, to take place in 2017.
In Exile: a family film, was produced in part thanks to a grant by the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte, and with funding from FOPROCINE /IMCINE.
Filmography as director:
Manuel Felguérez (médium-length documentary, work in progress, 2016), Lucinda Urrusti: artista plástica (feature-length documentary, work in progress, 2016), In exile: a family film (2016), Dando la noticia (1998 – 1999), Vivir en la lucha libre (1998), Adolfo López Mateos: historia de un seductor orador (1997), El pueblo mexicano que camina (1996), Tepú (1995), A cruz y espada (1992), Señor de Otatitlán (1990), Piowachuwe | La vieja que arde (1987), Encuentros de medicina maya (1987), Me llamo Renato (Renato Leduc) (1983), Monólogo a dos voces (Juan de la Cabada) 1983, Mara’Acame: cantador y curandero (1982), Brujos y curanderos (1981), Withdrawal (1978) , Listen i’ m going to make a poem but don’t laugh (1977) .