THE DOCUMENTARIES OF MARY JIMÉNEZ
Mary Jiménez (born in Lima, Peru, in 1948) obtained her degree in Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Lima and later studied Film at ISAS in Brussels. “At that time, in Peru, I didn’t consider film as art” she said, “nor as moving images. There was nothing but American cinema, things the likes of that. Not art. It’s funny, because at that time art was supposed to be like that.”
Her career as film-maker ran parallel to the one as film-maker. She teaches “Film Production” at the Film Schools in Cuba and Switzerland, and at ISAS. Her 1981 feature film 21:12 Piano Bar won the Prix de la Confédération du Cinéma d’Art et d’Essai. In 1989, her L’Air de Rien won the Best Direction Award at the Barcelona Film Festival.
“We are compelled by writing (being film-makers in Europe means to be screenwriters too, we write stories) to rub shoulders with the infinite.” Her bordering on the infinite was acclaimed by critics also when it applied to documentaries. The wonderful Du verbe aimer (1984) is considered one of the highest examples of autobiographical film. Later on, Loco Lucho (1998) won the Best Direction Award at the Taiwan International Documentary Festival. On the occasion of the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, she experimented with the potential of Internet uploading 35 1-minute short films on the website Icuna.be, that she designed on her own, presented at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs. Later on, her documentary La Position du lion couché won the 2006 Intercultural Prize at the Brussels Film Festival Filmer à tout prix.
From 2013 through 2014, along with co-director Bénédicte Liénard, Mary Jiménez received several awards for the documentary Sobre las brasas: First Prize at the Poitiers Film Festival “Filmer le travail,” Jury Prize at the Festival Internacional de Documentales de Santiago (FIDOC), and Jury Prize at the TIDF. With Face Deal she was in the 2014 International Selection of the Nyon Film Festival Visions du Réel. According to a statement to be found in cinergie.be (Belgium cinema website, “I found out that I wanted to be a film-maker in a dream. […] A woman answered my question about the meaning of life by moving quietly, as in slow motion. I was able to decrypt the mystery of the dream a few weeks later. It said that with film you meet the infinite.”
Mary Jiménez is the Filmmaker in Focus at 56 Festival dei Popoli.
IMAGES OF THE VERB TO LOVE: THE DOCUMENTARIES OF MARY JIMÉNEZ