The root and the harvest/La raiz y la cosecha


The State Theatre #1 Wed, Mar 22, 2023 9:00 PM




Pickle Fort Film Collective

Curated by Raul Benitez and Tzutzu Matzin

Using found footage, animation, and personal videos, these films from Mexico and Chicago speak to each other through long-term experience and using identity as a way of expanding time, connecting desperate times with images, and opposing the immobility of the past. The program highlights both places and how artists from each place use the medium to talk about past events and how they affect the present. These works are ritualistically heightened, using urban video, the flickering of colorful projections, and dialogue which is reminiscent of an image of aspirational wealth. These works are a visually pleasing, humorous hallucinatory montage consisting of concrete realities which is reminiscent of formal precision and tenderness.


Utilizando metraje encontrado, animación y videos personales, estas películas de México y Chicago hablan entre sí a través de la experiencia a largo plazo y utilizando la identidad como una forma de expandir el tiempo, conectando tiempos desesperados con imágenes y oponiéndose a la inmovilidad del pasado. El programa destaca a ambos países y cómo utilizan el medio para hablar sobre eventos pasados y cómo afectan el presente. Estas obras se realzan ritualmente, utilizando videos urbanos y el parpadeo de proyecciones coloridas que consisten en un diálogo que recuerda una imagen de riqueza aspiracional. Estas obras son un montaje visualmente alucinante, humorístico, de realidades concretas que recuerdan la precisión formal y la ternura.

La mano tendida

Jael Jacobo

Mexico City, Mexico | 2018 | 6 | 35mm to Digital File

Work made with footage of the documentary El Grito by Leobardo López Arretche, that analyzes the symbol of the hand and the fragmentation of history through time. The images in this short film were light printed from a 16mm to 35mm contact print.


The Reversal

Jennifer Boles

Chicago, IL | 2020 | 11 | Digital File

The Reversal animates a collection of thousands of glass plate negatives with an original sound composition, evoking the reverse engineering of the Chicago River and the haunted past and present of our capital-driven infrastructures and landscapes.


Karina Rodríguez

Mexico City, Mexico | 2021| 4 | 16mm and Video to Digital File

What is defined as indigenous and what as Mexican? How does racism operate through condescending discourse? This piece of found footage intervenes newscasts, reality show scenes, and movies to be critical with those categories.

Inventario Churubusco

Elena Pardo

Mexico City,  Mexico | 2018 | 7 | 16mm to Digital File

The historical Estudios Churubusco lab, where golden era Mexican films were processed in the 1950s, is still running, pretty much unchanged. This film is a desperate and loving attempt to preserve the memory of the people, knowledge, and objects coexisting in this space that risks closing at any time. Lab workers participated in filmmaking as animators, actors, and technical advisors.


Kera MacKenzie

Chicago, IL | 2021 | 12 | Digital File

Boundarymind is an electroacoustic sound piece and aggregating installation that explores and transgresses the geographical, cultural, psychological, and musical boundaries that impact how we share our past, present, and future selves with others.

My cell phone

Annalisa Quagliata

Mexico City, Mexico | 2022 | 2 | 16mm to Digital File

The cell phone schemes behind their users’ backs to jump into their skin and turn them into prisoners of light.


Martin Mulcahy

Chicago, IL | 2017 | 7 | Digital File

An experimental animation exploring memory and nostalgia through the voices and tools of early avant-garde filmmakers, viewing the world as if we are living inside a movie set.

Ñores (sin señalar)

Annalisa Quagliata

Mexico City, Mexico | 2018 | 3 | 16mm to Digital File

The central focus is the multi-homicide of photojournalist Rubén Espinosa, activist Nadia Vera, Alejandra Negrete, Yesenia Quiroz, and Mile Virginia, an iconic event that exemplifies the growing violence in the state of Veracruz. A story that repeats itself over and over again.

Dance of the Black Racer

Jimmy Schaus

Chicago, IL | 2020 | 5 | Digital File

An abstract video study of interior and exterior, inward and outward, domestic space and nature beyond the cracks in the blinds. A mother dances as her shadow, a black snake, writhes in the backyard.

El árbol de la noche victoriosa

Annalisa Quagliata

Mexico City, Mexico | 2020 | 1.5 | 16mm to Digital File

Five hundred years ago the Spanish had already committed the bloody massacre of the Great Temple and were entrenched in the palace of Axayacatl, after Mexican warriors killed hundreds of Spaniards and their Tlaxcalan allies. They say that when he arrived in Tacuba on June 30, 1520, Cortés began to scream in this tree.

Mer Depré

Margaret Orr

Chicago, IL | 2016 | 6 | Digital File

A journey through the mind of a depressed individual using abstraction.

Tigre del Carbón

Azucena Losana

Buenos Aires, Argentina / Mexico City, Mexico | 2022 | 5 | Super 8mm to Digital File

Tigre del Carbón is an imaginary place on the map of affections, where hawthorn, orange, and plum trees coexist. An island and a valley which climbs stairs of all ages.

La vida de un soldado

Adriana López Garibay

Estado de México, Mexico | 2018 | 5 | Digital File 

13 Palemon has been a soldier all his life. A life of the same image.

Press Pound to Connect

In Competition

Alexander Fingrutd

Chicago, IL | 2019 | 3 | 16mm to Digital File

This film was hand processed, shot on 16mm film, and created using a masking technique and appropriated images. The nine equal parts reference the pound symbol on a telephone keypad. Here, it is used as a symbol for connection. We are connected to more than what is immediately around ourselves: to each other, the planet, and the farthest galaxies. What distant things are having an effect on us and what are we non-visibly affecting?

How to Stage a Fight

Danny Carroll

Chicago, IL | 2019 | 3 | 4K Video

Two lovers wrestling.                                                       

You Are Here

Dena Springer

Chicago, IL | 2020 | 2 | Digital File
You Are Here is an experimental animation that plays on the idea of an instructional video. Through a series of montages, the film breaks down ideas around success and identity between Eastern and Western perspectives.

Raul Benitez is a film programmer based in Chicago with over 15 years experience. Raul is currently the After Dark and Shorts programmer for the Chicago International Film Festival and is the Senior Programmer for the Midwest Film Festival. Raul also programs for Comfort Station Logan Square, The Nightingale Cinema and Full Spectrum Features. Raul is an esteemed Artist Grant winner for the Department of Cultural Affairs for the City of Chicago in 2022.

Tzutzu Matzin is an audiovisual archivist and film programmer based in Xochimilco, Mexico City. She has been part of the programming committee of the Ambulante Documentary Film Festival since 2018. Tzutzu also promotes and collaborates with other initiatives that program renegade archive material and film works with found footage.