Newsletter No. 1

Newsletter No. 1

2 de February de 2023 | Ivan Menendez | Newsletter

Welcome to Mexico!


Although women have been an important subject in cinema throughout its various stages, we know little about the change in its representations and the role they have played in the history of safeguarding, preserving and rescuing its images.

The discussion on how cinema and the film archives of the 21st century can promote gender equality is the central issue of this FIAF symposium in 2023, which will be hosted by the Casa del Lago UNAM. “Women, cinema and film archive” is the title with which we return after the pandemic to this important international meeting and we do it with a theme that permeates a historically patriarchal industry.

In this 2023 we want to review the work of women who paved the way in film collections, such as: Elena Sánchez Valenzuela, Mimí Derba, Adela Sequeyro, Gloria Schoemann, as well as Adriana and Dolores Ehlers, to mention a few.

We also seek, through academic reflection, to vindicate the work of women in industry and film collections, understanding them as active people who dedicate their profession to different film institutions; and review current practices in the film industry, specifically in film archives, to chart different and necessary routes leading to the post-patriarchy.

At the closing date of the call more than 115 proposals were received from countries such as Colombia, Sweden, Italy, Korea, India, Ireland, France, Chile, Brazil, Germany, Australia, England, Holland, Romania, Hungary, Switzerland, Ecuador, United States and Mexico, among others, which allows us to value the importance of a subject like this and that crosses all the film archives of the world. The scientific committee, formed by women film managers from around the world, will analyze the proposals and determine which ones can be carried out this coming April at Casa del Lago.

For all these reasons, and within the framework of the reflection that the Department of Cultural Affairs has made on the post-patriarchy, I am pleased that the FIAF has decided to trust the National Autonomous University of Mexico to organize its 2023 congress.


Rosa Beltrán Álvarez

Coordinator of the Department of Cultural Affairs – UNAM


We are very happy that the Filmoteca of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) will host the congress of the International Federation of Film Archives in 2023. As you know, in 2020 we would be the hosts, but everything had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, three years later and with an almost post-pandemic panorama, it is a great honor that the FIAF has once again looked and trusted Latin America to organize its annual congress and symposium with such a necessary theme as “Women, cinema and film archive”.

On behalf of our Rector, Dr. Enrique Graue and Dr. Rosa Beltrán, Coordinator of Cultural Affairs, I warmly welcome you. I am sure you will enjoy your stay in Mexico and your participation in this congress that will have the Casa del Lago UNAM as its main venue, located in the Bosque de Chapultepec, the largest green lung in Latin America.

The largest University of America welcomes you and wishes you a great stay in which we will learn and exchange knowledge and experiences.

Hugo Villa Smythe

General Director of Filmoteca UNAM


For Casa del Lago UNAM, it is a great honor to host an important part of the activities of the 2023 edition of the congress of the International Federation of Film Archives, which will receive in our country prominent exponents from diverse backgrounds to review a topic that concerns us as a society, as a university space and, of course, as reader-spectators: the archival recovery and re-reading of film documentation to rethink them in our present context.

In the cross reading of images, texts, sound and movement, and in the imbrication and resonances that only cinema knows how to produce between these languages, the reading of our being in the world, of our conception of time and imagination as a creative and, beyond, vital motor is at stake. The fact that this congress occurs in the Mexican and university contexts is therefore no less: the commitment to the sustainability of cultural production in our country has become urgent and requires attention from communities willing to protect and recover what constitutes us politically and poetically.

We thank Filmoteca UNAM, as well as the UNAM Ingmar Bergman Chair in Film and Theater, along with the other participating bodies, for their confidence in developing this initiative at Casa del Lago, which is also a center that recovers, due to its history and vocation, the experimental capacities of various cultural memories in Mexico. We hope that your experience in the congress will be completed in a very positive way in this privileged space located in the heart of the Chapultepec Forest in Mexico City, and that the resonances will be enhanced in this meeting.

Cinthya García Leyva

Director of Casa del Lago UNAM

Host: National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) was founded on September 21, 1551 under the name of Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico. It is public and secular and is the largest and most important university in Mexico and Latin America. Its primary purpose is to be at the service of the country and humanity, to train professionals useful to society, to organize and carry out research, mainly on national conditions and problems, and extend the benefits of culture as widely as possible.

It has played a leading role in the history and training of Mexico and serves more than 350,000 students, including high school, undergraduate and postgraduate students, with a staff of 41,000, and offers 128 courses in all disciplines.

In the academic world it is recognized as a university of excellence. It is a space of freedom. Academic freedom, respect, tolerance and dialogue are practiced daily.

The UNAM responds to the present and looks into the future as the most important cultural project in Mexico.

Its central campus in Ciudad Universitaria, was declared as Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2007, since it has a unique architecture, made with works by the important muralists: Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Juan O’Gorman and Francisco Epens, among others.

The Filmoteca UNAM

With more 60 years of existence, the UNAM Film Archive, has focused its activities on rescuing, restoring, cataloguing, preserving and promoting moving images, as well as their sound elements, written and iconographic documents, and cinematographic devices. This ensemble forms the national and international film heritage protected by the University, which makes it one of the most important film archives in Latin America.

Throughout this time it has managed to be a reference in terms of knowledge about film restoration and preservation, and to handle its collection with international standards, so it has screened in our country and around the world the richness of its archive, after significantly improving the condition of the tapes.

It protects more than 46,000 film productions in 15 vaults designed to guarantee adequate temperature, humidity and safety conditions to conserve film material: eight vaults are for storing acetate tapes and seven for the demanding nitrate film guard. It also has a Documentation Center with important collections of printed materials, iconographic and historical documents, which it classifies and catalogs under international standards.

Its work has also been marked by the promotion of national cinema beyond our borders, participating in retrospectives by providing copies of its collection to festivals, universities, various institutions and representations of Mexico abroad, as well as iconography and materials for research and publication.

For all this, the UNAM Film Archive has obtained the recognition and confidence to serve as a depository of important collections of both public institutions and private collectors, and a prominent place among the film archives of various latitudes.

Principal venue: Casa del lago UNAM

Since its foundation, Casa del Lago UNAM has become a landmark for the Mexico City art scene. Juan José Arreola, founding director, was responsible for bringing together a number of artists and writers who shook the cultural landscape of the time. In its various spaces, they experimented, broke with the dominant forms of art in its various disciplines and often risked to new limits, making the Chapultepec University Forum a reference for emerging art and a space for training and information on what happens in art in other countries.

It was in 1906 when they began the work of beautifying the Forest of Chapultepec to turn it into a public park with lakes, in commemoration of the Centenary of the Independence that would take place in 1910. On one side of Lake Maggiore began the construction of the Automobile Club, a French-style building that today occupies the Casa del Lago. The land was rented by the members of the Automobile Club, whose honorary president was José Ives Limantour; the construction was carried out according to the budget and plans approved by the Ministry of the Interior.

In 1911, with the triumph of the Mexican Revolution, the government of President Francisco I. Madero decided that the construction should become property of the Nation and was named Casa del Lago. The Automobile Club continued under a rental regime and acquired the commitment of good maintenance of the property and gardens.

It was until 1959 that the Rector of the UNAM, Nabor Carrillo, and Jaime García Terrés, director of the UNAM Department of Cultural Affairs, proposed to establish in the building the first cultural center outside the walls of the University, keeping the name of Casa del Lago. The writer Juan José Arreola was appointed its first coordinator and began functions on May 10 of the same year. The formal inauguration took place on September 15, with an important celebration and cultural activities. An exhibition was inaugurated with works from the private collections of world-renowned artists (Durero, El Greco, José de Ribera “El Españoleto” and Pisanello); a folkloric ballet and mariachis were presented on a floating platform on the lake, as well as recitations by Juan José Gurrola and Juan José Arreola himself in the same panga.

Currently Casa del Lago UNAM is one of the most attractive university venues for its architectural beauty and its magnificent view towards the Alcazar of the Castle of Chapultepec. Its mission is to be one of the nerve centers of contemporary art and culture in Mexico and Latin America, maintaining an interdisciplinary and transversal offer that establishes bridges of (re)knowledge between diverse audiences, that involves multiple modes of thinking, critical reflection and the interweaving between languages, generations of creators and interinstitutional dialogues.

Other venues

Cineteca Nacional and Museo Nacional de Antropología

For Filmoteca UNAM, it is an honor to establish alliances with the Government of Mexico in this upcoming FIAF Congress, specifically with the Ministry of Culture and two of its most important venues: the National Cinematheque and the National Museum of Anthropology and History.

The Cineteca Nacional de México is an institution dedicated to rescuing, preserving, conserving, increasing and cataloging the film and non-film collections that make up Mexico’s cinematographic memory. It seeks to promote and disseminate the most outstanding works of national and international cinematography, as well as the organization of educational and cultural events, with the purpose of stimulating the development of cinematographic culture.

The first Cineteca Nacional, designed by the architect Manuel Roch, opened its doors on January 17, 1974 but suffered a fire in 1982. After the accident, that same year, the Pro-reconstruction and Recovery Board of the Cineteca was established, headed by the cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa and by the actor Mario Moreno ‘Cantinflas’. The Cineteca Nacional that is known today was designed by the architect Manuel Rocha and was inaugurated on January 27, 1984.

In 2011, the modernization and expansion of the Cineteca facilities was promoted, which currently has 10 conventional movie halls and the open-air hall ‘Gabriel Figueroa’, as well as a digital restoration laboratory, a video library, nine vaults, a gallery for exhibitions, administrative offices and businesses such as shops, bookstores and restaurants.

Meanwhile, the current headquarters of the National Museum of Anthropology (MNA) was inaugurated on September 17, 1964 and, for more than five decades, has fulfilled the mission of researching, preserving, exhibiting and disseminating the most important archaeological and ethnographic collections in the country. The largest museum in Mexico has 22 rooms and more than 45 thousand square meters of construction, a space designed to be, more than a repository, a space for reflection on the rich indigenous heritage of our multicultural nation.

It is in this enclosure where important archaeological and anthropological testimonies forged by multiple cultural groups during hundreds of years of history are housed; at the same time, it pays tribute to the indigenous peoples of Mexico today through a rich collection that rescues the uses, representations, expressions, knowledge and traditions that are the intangible heritage of the nation and a legacy that belongs to all humanity.

The National Museum of Anthropology and History and the National Cinematheque are institutions in charge of safeguarding the country’s cultural heritage, a task also carried out by Filmoteca UNAM in preserving the film heritage. Therefore, it is an honor to have these two venues as headquarters associated with the Congress of the International Federation of Film Archives to continue seeking synergies in favor of conserving, preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of Mexico and the world.

Save the date!

April 16-21, 2023

Mexico City, Mexico


Program of activities

Opening night
General Assembly
Executive Committee Meeting
Commission Workshops and regional group meetings
Cultural programs

Check all the activities of the 2023 FIAF Congress here:



Exhibitor / Sponsor Payments

Accommodation booking support

FiAF Symposium 2023

Web site