Filmmaker Iria Gómez in attendance
Negus, Chale, Sapo, and Chata are four typical, bored, apathetic teenagers from one of the most dangerous areas in the Cuauhtémoc borough of Mexico’s Colonia Guerrero. But unlike most teens, they have decided to do something about their situation: hold up a megaplex cinema. First-time filmmaker Iria Gómez Concheiro moves the film forward beautifully—from establishing the aimless day-to-day lives of the main characters, through the planning of the heist, to the actual crime—with confident and fluid camera movement and direction. The narrative builds assuredly as the film moves from observing the self-destructive tendencies of the protagonists and the world that offers them scant opportunities to the execution of the crime that ironically gives some meaning to their lives. The Cinema Hold-Up is an entertaining critique of Mexico’s failing social system that perfectly fuses an engaging heist film with a tragic, coming-of-age slacker story.
Born in Mexico City, Iria Gómez Concheiro attended the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica, and also studied cinematography with Vittorio Storaro at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome. After completing her studies, she formed the production company Ciudad Cinema, with whom she made several film projects in Mexico and abroad. Her short film Dime lo que sientes won several awards at national and international festivals in France, Italy, Russia, Argentina, Egypt, and Israel, including the Ariel for best fiction short from the Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences. The Cinema Hold-Up is her first feature film.