San Fernando is no ordinary prison. In Mexico City’s most notorious juvenile detention centre, boys between the ages of fifteen and eighteen are serving sentences for serious crimes. When they are released after many years they have their whole lives ahead of them—but what then? “In my community and throughout Mexico,” says Cholo, “even around the world, as an artist I want to be known, not only as a thief and a loser.” As part of a film and photography workshop organised by the film-makers, the juvenile inmates’ hopes and dreams are artistically reflected in short stories, sculptures, songs, poems, and films. They tell of their experience with violence and crime but also of dealing with each other and the importance of friendship. ■ Directed by Adrián Arce. ■ Running time: 37 minutes.
In the style of a bootleg VHS, Smolt is a unique portrayal of an eventful few days in the lives of Darren and Leon, two Irish lads who generally have to fend for themselves. While killing time selling second-hand cigarettes, the boys run into some trouble with a girl, a gun, and a shipment of counterfeit football jerseys. Twisting from cinema vérité to improvisation to scripted lines, Smolt offers an intimate, visceral slice-of-life of two young lads in the concrete playground that is Dublin. ■ Directed by Michael Higgins. ■ Running time: 36 minutes.
Dáithí Mac an Mháistir gives an interview to Citywide about the Progressive Film Club.
Submit your films
Independent film-makers are invited to submit their films. If they are suitable, we can organise a showing in the New Theatre, together with publicity.
The Progressive Film Club is affiliated to Cinema Politica, an international network of community and college clubs that screen independent political films. Based in Montréal, Cinema Politica operates an alternative distribution and exhibition network, run entirely by volunteers and financed by donations and by support from the Canada Council for the Arts.
The Progressive Film Club is also affiliated to Access Cinema, the resource organisation for regional cultural cinema exhibition in Ireland. Access Cinema books and despatches films on behalf of its member-groups. It gives its affiliates the opportunity to see a range of world cinema not usually available on commercial cinema screens, and also supports the work of Irish filmmakers.
The Progressive Film Club receives assistance from Dublin City Council.