On Latinx Culture In Film And Her Showcase Femme Frontera: Angie Reza Tures
Angela "Angie" Reza Tures will be screening her own short Memory Box at BABES FEST during our film showcase on August 31, 2018 at the Austin School of Film. She is also the founder of Femme Frontera Film Showcase, an exhibition based in El Paso, Texas.
Interview conducted by #bbatx committee member Cristina Flores
Let's start with Femme Frontera. What led to the creation of the showcase?
In the summer of 2016, I had just completed my narrative short called Memory Box and wanted to premiere it for friends and family. I called a few local filmmaker friends and asked if they’d be interested in screening their films alongside mine. Thankfully, they all agreed and we had a successful first screening which we called the Femme Frontera Filmmaker Showcase, a celebration of women filmmakers from the U.S.-Mexico border region of El Paso, TX, Las Cruces, NM and Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. From there we decided to form a collective with the goal of demystifying the border and creating a space for female voices in the region.
Tell us about Memory Box. What inspired you to write the narrative for Julieta? Do you have a personal relationship with Dia De Los Muertos?
For me, Dia De Los Muertos is very much about feeling the presence of those who have passed. I've always imagined family members standing around the table and interacting with their ofrendas [offerings]—eating, drinking and playing with the items on their altars. When I lost my uncle suddenly in 2014, I wanted to create a film that would allow me to celebrate his life and memory. Memory Box was created out of grief but also became a part of my healing process.
In Memory Box we see a theme of “mariposas,” or butterflies. Can you speak a little more to that?
As part of the Day of the Dead ceremony, butterflies are what spirits grab onto when traveling from the afterlife back to this world. I wanted to begin the film with Julieta's journey back into the reality that she sadly was no longer a part of.
How would you describe your the intersections between your Latinx heritage, upbringing on the border and interests as a filmmaker?
Latinx culture is so beautiful and vast. It is made up of so many different countries, languages, traditions, and experiences. I get to share my experience specifically from the El Paso-Juarez U.S.-Mexico border. There is so much false information right now about immigrants, most especially those coming across the border and now, we have separated so many children from their parents. Monstrous. My job, as a filmmaker, is to share my own perspective of what life on the border is really like and begin to challenge some of those perspectives about life on the border, immigrants and Mexican-American culture.
What is your current perception of gender equality in the film industry?
I think that women in general, and most especially minorities, are not offered the majority of above the line, or below the line, jobs in the film industry. Thankfully, I think that movements like #metoo and Time's Up are spotlighting these issues and that things are slowly changing for the better. More prestigious independent film festivals are beginning to accept more women and minorities into their programming. My advice is for women to find allies to work with and become advocates themselves to hire and empower other women filmmakers.
What are some ways you keep yourself moving and inspired in your art?
Lin-Manuel Miranda said that he gets to "fall in love for a living" because he's always working from what inspires him the most. I'm lucky that I get to do the same thing with my films. I'm not always inspired by films. A book, a play, an article, a piece of music—all of these have inspired me to create or write another film. I like finding inspiration in many different places because it's fresh and exciting!
You provide lots of filmmaking courses and opportunities for the community. What are some ways people can become involved with Femme Frontera?
Whoever would like to join our team can contact us through our website or our Facebook page. If filmmakers would like to submit films, they can find the Femme Frontera Filmmaker Showcase on Withoutabox.com for an opportunity to screen their next film with us. We're also a traveling showcase so we premier the films in El Paso and then take them around the country the following year.