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Press Releases Acclaimed Director Natalia Almada Travels to Walker Art Center to Present Her Short Films and Premiere of El Velador

Events Are Part of Walker’s Filmmakers in Conversation Series

Minneapolis, September 25, 2012— Natalia Almada, a dual US/Mexico citizen, is renowned for documentaries that transcend the mythical border between these two nations, delving into their nuances and gray areas. Three of Almada’s films, including the regional premiere of her new film El Velador (The Night Watchman) screen at the Walker Art Center on Thursday September 27 and Friday, September 28.

Al Otro Lado (To the Other Side) with All Water Has a Perfect Memory
Thursday, September 27, 7:30 pm Free
Introduced by director Natalia Almada
Almada’s exploratory short films widen the scope and understanding on her observational style and personal subject matter. All Water Has a Perfect Memory (2001, video, 19 minutes) is a documentary that ruminates on the reverberating effects of personal circumstance and collective memory. Inspired by an essay written by Toni Morrison, this experimental short film incorporates the Super-8 footage of Almada’s family and the narration of her mother, father and brother. Al Otro Lado (2005, video, 70 minutes) examines the prevalent choice that faces many in Mexico: sell drugs or make the dangerous journey to the U.S. But 23-year–old Magdiel also has dreams of becoming a corrido composer, chronicling the trials of immigrant life and the travails of the narcotics underworld.

El Velador (The Night Watchman)
Friday, September 28, 7:30 pm $9 ($7)
Introduced by director Natalia Almada
Set in Culiacán, Mexico, ground zero for the drug war where there have been over 35,000 deaths since 2006, El Velador follows the quiet and cautious night watchman responsible for standing guard over the ever expanding graveyard of fallen capos and soldiers. Although Almada’s gentle documentary focuses on the more peaceful moments of the cemeteries’ narrative, the undercurrent of violence is omnipresent. As the news reports on the innocuous and the horrifying play in the background, we are left to read between the lines of the massive mausoleums, effigies of a disturbing past, present, and future. 2011, DCP, 72 minutes.

Recipient of the 2009 Sundance Documentary Directing Award for her film El General, Almada’s El Velador premiered at New Directors/New Films and the Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight. Almada’s films have screened at The Sundance Film Festival, The Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum and The Whitney Biennial, and all three feature documentaries have broadcast on the award-winning series POV. Almada is a MacDowell Colony Fellow, a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow, a 2010 USA Artist Fellow, and a recipient of the Alpert Award. She graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and currently lives in Mexico City. The Walker Art Center first hosted Almada and her film El General in 2010 as part of the series Women With Vision.

The Walker Art Center’s Filmmakers in Conversaton series is made possible by generous support from Michelle and Bill Pohlad.

Al Otro Lado (To the Other Side), Courtesy Altamura Films