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The Founders

Viviana García Besné and Paulina Suárez have formed the most powerful superhero partnership and act as defenders of Mexican cinema and together founded Permanencia Voluntaria, along with the help of Michael Ramos. They complement each other in extraordinary ways with Paulina's academic background and Viviana's pure passion in seeking justice for the cinema. Although they are not always near each other, they continually support each other as they fight on different terrain to rewrite Mexican film history.

Viviana García Besné is our very own wonder woman who dominates the world as a filmmaker, editor, archivist and director of Permanencia Voluntaria. She has become an outspoken proponent of preserving not just her family’s films, but also the classic, genre and popular films of Mexico which remain under-protected and largely unavailable, mostly un-preserved or un-restored, and generally unavailable in home video formats of any quality. She is a tireless advocate and has become an important resource for professionals working in this area.

In the past several years, she has moved some of the Archive’s more fragile nitrate prints and negatives from Mexico to UCLA. Seeking sidekicks to assist her in her battle, she has received grants and assistance from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for help in cataloging and protecting her collection. She continues her nightly crime fighting excursions working late to set up a film fund in the US at the Paso Del Norte Charitable Foundation (based in El Paso) for charitable donations which will help support the work of the archive and help fund future restorations. In the search for more allies, Viviana has also written several articles about the collection, her family’s legacy and the work of the archive and is completing a book on Azteca Films. She has found allies amongst prominent archivists, restoration experts and filmmakers from around the world to find ways to protect Mexico’s film heritage and that of the Calderon family.

Paulina Suárez Hesketh can rival any evil genius with her powerhouse of knowledge as a researcher, writer, teacher, and film programmer. She learned her masterful ways while studying literature at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM, or National Autonomous University of Mexico), and film at New York University (NYU). With her BA from UNAM and MA from the University of Chicago, she continues her education as a doctoral candidate in Cinema Studies at NYU. In August 2016 she sealed her genius level status when she became the general director of Ambulante. She uses her knowledge for the benefit of film with research interests focused on Latin American cinema and modernity, popular film genres, and immigrant home movies.

Michael Ramos was a key player in the founding of Permanencia Voluntaria. He is a found footage enthusiast, producer and great visionary. He often finds himself wrestling against the bureaucracy in his fight for access to film archives. He continued on his path as a director of ULTRACINEMA and the archive will always remember him as a passionate fan of popular cinema.