Producer Mariana Méndez Alejandre Riding New Wave of Brilliant Young Mexican Filmmakers, Inspired by Oscar Winners Cuarón, Iñárritu & del Toro

Image for post
Image for post
Producer Mariana Méndez Alejandre at work with big dreams
Image for post
Image for post

“There is a new boom in the Mexican film industry with a record 175 films made here last year. And, Hollywood’s proximity is definitely an advantage. Then, people like Oscar-winning directors, Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro G. Iñárritu, and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezkihave helped open the door for young Mexican talent like the Latino cast in Oscar-nominated animated Pixar film ‘Coco,’ which openly celebrated Mexican culture. Generally, Mexicans like to take risks and I think that’s palpable in the careers of all the Mexican talent at home and in Hollywood. I also think that we like to push the limits as a society and that’s exactly what we’ve done with the film industry.” — Mexican documentary and feature producer Mariana Méndez Alejandre

Feature, documentary and commercial producer Mariana Méndez Alejandre is from Guadalajara, the same hometown as Guillermo del Toro. As a Jury Coordinator for the Guadalajara International Film Festival, she notes that del Toro was the festival’s recent guest of honor, describing the Oscar-winning director for The Shape of Water as “a great and humble guy.”

Inspired by the fact that Mexican directors have won four of the last five Best Director Academy awards, Alejandre is one who’s now emerging from this exciting and growing talent pool. She’s jazzed about her recent projects, including: being producer on Viva el Rey (2017) and on OverAgain and Zero Hour, written by Guillermo Arriaga; and, also on upcoming features, Noemí Gold, a US-Argentine production, and Inzomnia, which hails from the same team as Viva el Rey, and which she says “will make history as the first stop-motion feature being shot entirely in Mexico.”

Making history and shaking things up, is what Alejandre’s company, Mindsoup Entertainment, is all about. Mindsoup, which includes partners Rodrigo Courtney and Donald Brownlow, handles a lot of “fast turnaround production” projects like commercials and music videos in Mexico, while Alejandre, 25, has been focusing more on long-term projects.

Image for post
Image for post
Mindsoup Entertainment — “Creativity has no limits”

Overall, Alejandre enthuses:

Spellbinding storytelling is at the heart of what excites us as viewers. And, as a kid growing up in Guadalajara, Alejandre admits she watched loads of movies and TV shows. But what really fascinated her with DVDs was the featurettes after the movie. She recalls:

Alejandre has always been passionate about putting herself in other people’s shoes and learning about new cultures and ways of life. So, she traveled as an exchange student to Italy and then did high school in Switzerland. Along the way, she went to school for Film and TV production and was plunged into producing right from the start. The go-getter produced her first short three months into her first semester:

Image for post
Image for post
Cuarón, Iñárritu & del Toro — inspiring young Mexican fllmmakers like Alejandre

And that impact by filmmakers is evident by Mexican films winning more than 100 international awards in 2017. For example, those Oscar-winning movies like — Birdman, The Revenant, Gravity, and The Shape of Water — were all unconventional, and representative of a Mexican sensibility, even if not about or even set in the country. Alejandre explains:

As evident by producer Mariana Méndez Alejandre’s infectious attitude and ambition, the sky’s the limit.

Check out Mariana Méndez Alejandre on IMDB, and drop in on Mindsoup.

Written by

Award-winning journalist-author-blogger for Playboy, TO Star, Movie Entertainment, HuffPost, Hello Canada & my novel REJEX (Pulp Hero Press) is on Amazon.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store