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News

Viviana Garcia Besne Interviews with I See a Dark Theater

April 10, 2019

Read Viviana's interview with I See a Dark Theater, a Los Angeles based website focused on classic film. She discusses the midnight screening of Santo vs. el Cerebro de Mal at the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival

Permanencia Voluntaria to Present at the AMIA Conference

November 09, 2018

The world famous AMIA (Association of Moving Image Archivists) annual conference, held in Portland, OR from November 28 - December 1, will feature the Permanencia Voluntaria Film Archive. On Friday, Nov. 30 at 11:00 am, Viviana Garcia Besne, Peter Conheim, and Sean Savage will discuss Permanencia Voluntaria's efforts to preserve popular Mexican cinema. At 5:30 pm that same day, will also be a screening of Santo contra el Cerebro de Mal.

Founder of Permanencia Voluntaria Interviewed by Argentine Film Journal

November 09, 2018

Viviana Garcia Besne, the founder of Permanencia Voluntaria Film Archive, was recently interviewed by the Revista de la Asociacion Argentina de Estudios de Cine y Autovisual (or IMAGOFAGIA). In the interview, Viviana discusses the importance of the work done by Permanencia Voluntaria, how it was started, and the difficulties that come with preserving and restoring popular films.

Cine Fantastico: Celebrating the Restoration of Santo contra Cerebro del Mal

October 18, 2018

The new restoration of Santo contra Cerebro del Mal will have its Texas premiere at the historic Plaza
Theatre in downtown El Paso, on Thursday, November 1st at 7pm. The screening is free of charge and
open to the public. Doors will open at 6pm. A private fundraiser for the Permanencia Voluntaria Film
Fund will occur prior to the screening by invitation only. Special Guest Viviana Garciá Besné,
granddaughter of the film’s producer, will introduce the film, discuss the restoration and her work
preserving popular Mexican films through her Permanencia Voluntaria Archive.
The screening spotlights the work of the Permanencia Voluntaria Archive and celebrates the first film
starring the famed Mexican wrestler, El Santo, and the wildly popular series of Luchadore films which
followed. The event will also announce the establishment of the Permanencia Voluntaria Film Fund at
the Paso Del Norte Foundation and build awareness for the ongoing preservation work of the Archive.

Morelia Film Festival to pay tribute to Alex Phillips and Ricardo Montalbán with Sombra Verde

October 18, 2018

With the support of Permanencia Voluntaria, the 16th Morelia International Film Festival (October 20-28) will honor photographer Alex Phillips and actor Ricardo Montalbán. The event will involve a retrospective of Phillips's films from 1931 to 1973 as well as the exhibition "Alex Phillips, constructor de atmósferas". Included in the retrospective is Sombra Verde (1954), a film restored by Permanencia Voluntaria and the UCLA Television and Film Archive with support from Jan Christopher Horak. Filmed by Phillips, Sombra Verde was Montalbán's first Mexican film following his success in Hollywood.

Special Screening at Holywood Chinese Theatre!

June 24, 2018

This Sunday there is a special screening of Santo contra "Cerebro del Mal" at the Chinese theater in Los Angeles. Don't miss the opportunity to see and listen to our Mexican super hero like you have never experienced before!  The screening of Santo vs The Evil Brain (1961) is a partnership with the Academy Film archive and marks the West Coast premiere of the restoration.

UCLA Film and Television Archive continues its support of Permanencia Voluntaria

June 21, 2018

UCLA FILM AND TELEVISION ARCHIVE will help Permanencia Voluntaria preserve 20 films by providing them them proper storage at their state of the art facilities at Santa Clarita.

Academy Announces 2018-2019 FilmCraft and FilmWatch Grant Recipients

June 20, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the recipients of its 2018 FilmCraft and FilmWatch grants.  In addition to the 51 FilmCraft and FilmWatch grants awarded, the grants committee set aside $15,000 to help with the recovery efforts at three international archives devastated by hurricanes and earthquakes in 2017, including Permanencia Voluntaria. This funding is in addition to support and expertise that is already being provided by the Academy Film Archive.

In addition the Academy Film Archive continues its support for Permanencia Voluntaria in its cataloging rescue efforts and film preservation. We are also in conversation with Anne Coco from the library of the Academy to discover better ways to preserve and share the paper collection in Permanencia Voluntaria. 

Carita de Cielo goes to Bologna

June 23, 2018

June 23-July 1 is the annual international film festival II Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, Italy. And the recently restored film Carita de Cielo will be shown as part of their golden age of cinema screenings.

 Carita de cielo is a singular comedy of errors, the main purpose of which is to take advantage of the leading actress' previous success in Doña Bárbara (Fernando de Fuentes, 1943). Even if the comedy filmed by José Díaz Morales is occasionally absurd, the movie's cast elevates it to a classic of its time. Fernando Soto Mantequilla, who appears in certain moments in a role reminiscent of the great Cantinflas, confirms scene after scene his status as one of the great supporting actors of Mexican cinema. In Carita de cielo, the comedy of manners transcends all its limitations as soon as Ninón Sevilla appears onscreen. The producer, Pedro Calderón, added her to a plot that was already farfetched, attracted by the beauty of this showgirl who had just arrived from Cuba. The producer decided to include her in the cast with two musical numbers that have no connection to the plot, and the gamble paid off as Ninón Sevilla’s charisma and magnetism keep the eyes of the spectator focused on her. This was not just the beginning of a long film career for the Cuban actress and dancer; it was also the first appearance of the Caribbean music legend Benny Moré on the big screen.

El Santo goes to Brasil!

June 06, 2018

El Santo vs The Evil Brain will be continuing its travels and sharing with the world a piece of Mexico's history in Brasil as part of the International Festival of Curitiba. The Olhar de Cinema - Curitiba Internacional Film Festival was founded in 2012 as an independent international festival event that take places every month of June in the city of Curitiba.

Baticine's Birthday

May 25, 2018

Baticine will have it's 2nd anniversary and we want you to come and celebrate with us! Starting at 6pm on May 25th, we will be celebrating 80's style complete with costumes and karaoke! Please come and we want to see  Prince, Michael Jackson, Pimpinela, Yuri, Amanda Miguel, Timbiriche, Parchís, Madonna, Bon Jovi, Chavelo, Deff Leppard, Cepillín and many more at our party! Feel free to send your song requests so you can belt out your best.

If you are able and willing, we are in urgent need of a new projector for Baticine and Permanencia needs more cabinets for the paper archive. Please contact us if you can help us purchase our birthday gifts for Baticine!

The Republic of Light Presents ONI at Baticine

May 16, 2018

REPUBLICA DE LUZ showed their first feature-length film, ONI at Baticine on Wednesday May 26th. There was a great turn out and we already had a full house before the show even started. After the projection there was a gathering with the film makers and participants and great discussion was held about the content of the film. We are fulfilling our dream of hosting important events and helping communities come together in conversation through film.

Oni is the first chapter of the psycho-magic documentary trilogy To the Origin focusing on the deep relationship between Sacred Plants, indigenous healing rituals and Universal Consciousness. This series pollinates ancestral knowledge and contemporary perspectives to awaken a transpersonal understanding of Human Nature.

Permanencia Voluntaria in dialog with Ambulante

May 11, 2018

The movie that gave name to Baticine- The Bat Woman- will be participating in the 1968 special program of Ambulante. For three days Ambulante will be hosting screenings and forums all about the 1968 olympics, the Bat Woman, Martin Luther King, Vietnam, and the Horrible Human Beast. We are thrilled to be part of this forum with the passionate subject of archives that were, archives as they are today, and what we need them to become. This particular forum with be at 12:30pm Saturday May 12th in the Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City.

Aldea Mundial in Baticine

May 09, 2018

REPUBLICA DE LUZ showed their first feature-length film, ONI at Baticine on Wednesday May 26th. There was a great turn out and we already had a full house before the show even started. After the projection there was a gathering with the film makers and participants and great discussion was held about the content of the film. We are fulfilling our dream of hosting important events and helping communities come together in conversation through film.

Oni is the first chapter of the psycho-magic documentary trilogy To the Origin focusing on the deep relationship between Sacred Plants, indigenous healing rituals and Universal Consciousness. This series pollinates ancestral knowledge and contemporary perspectives to awaken a transpersonal understanding of Human Nature.

El Santo vs The Evil Brain goes to the American Film Institute in Maryland, U.S.

May 04, 2018

In the lead-up to the 2018 edition of the AFI Latin American Film Festival (September 13–October 3), Santo vs The Evil Brain- the first film featuring the legendary Mexican luchador El Santo- will be presented as one of seven recent restorations of classic films at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. Other films featured include Argentina's 1986 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award® winner, THE OFFICIAL STORY; two crime thrillers by Mexican master of melodrama Roberto Gavaldón — including LA OTRA starring Dolores del Río; and a new 4K restoration of Tomás Gutiérrez Alea's 1968 Cuban classic MEMORIES OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT. Huge thanks to the AFI for supporting film restoration and celebration!

Viviana, founder of Permanencia Voluntaria interviewed for Cinema 20.1

May 03, 2018

Throughout the history of Mexican cinema, there have existed families who dedicated their bodies and souls to the cinema. The dynasties of actors, directors, and producers have left their mark on national film and the memories on generations of spectators.

Viviana García Besné comes from one of these families so deeply embedded in cinema and she made a rediscovery of her roots through her creation of the documentary Perdida. She has dedicated her efforts to rescuing film materials with the creation of Permanencia Voluntaria Cinematographic Archive.

Roberto Fiesco, with TV UNAM, interviews Viviana about the archive, her family, and the importance of preserving the film memory of popular cinema.

Cinema Planeta in Baticine

April 24, 2018

This year Baticine is the official location for the Cuenca branch of Cinema Planeta and for four days it will be a celebration for our planet with all the directors present. The functions are free and will be open air showings!

The International Festival of Film and Environment of Mexico, "Cinema Planeta", is a civil organization created in 2009. It's objective is to promote the protection of the environment in Mexico through film, art, and science.

As the most important cinematographic initiative in Mexico that promotes environmental protection, each year it organizes a film festival in diverse spaces. The festival visits distinct regions of the country and throughout the world for environmental education and to promote national cinema.

March 22, 2018

The newly digitally restored Santo vs Evil Brain continues its tour and will be making its next stop at the Fox Theater for the film festival in Tuscon, AZ which is the longest-running festival of contemporary Mexican Film in the US. It will once again be accompanied by Viviana Garcia Besne who will be presenting the film.

El Santo goes to Guadalajara

March 11, 2018

After having been shown at Berlin, El Santo vs. Evil Brain is next headed for FICG, the Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara as one of the restored classics. 

Carita de Cielo goes to Guadalajara

March 09, 2018

This recently restored beauty makes its debut at the Festival Internation de Cine en Guadalajara, Mexico. This Calderon film was restored through the efforts of the Cinema Preservation Alliance, Peter Conheim, Cineteca FICG de la Universidad de Guadalajara and Permanencia Voluntaria.

 

The film tells the story of Lupe (Maria Elena Márqués) who is detained after being caught stealing at the market. The police send her to a renowned forensic doctor (Antonio Badú), as a subject of his research into genetic differences in the criminal underworld. The doctor does not know that Lupe is not really a thief, but is merely posing as one in an attempt to infiltrate a criminal cell that is threatening her father. Despite her personal background Lupe, colluding with the doctor’s sister, gains a foothold in the house, where she is employed as a maid. Social conventions marginalize her, but soon her secret will be revealed.

February 22, 2018

February 15-25th is the 68th International Film Festival, Berlinale in Berlin, Germany. Not only will they be showing the newly restored film, Santo Contra Cerebro del Mal (Santo Vs. Evil Brain), but Viviana, one of the founders of Permanencia Voluntaria has been invited to speak at the Think Film No.6: Archival Constellations panel discussion. She will be speaking in partnership with Ayumi Hata from the 311 Documentary Film Archive, Yamagata in their presentation of "Tremors, Repairs And Ruptured Narratives: Post-Earthquake Film Archives in Mexico and Japan. Vivi will be discussing in part the heavy damage the archive received in the September 2017 earthquake and the archive's treasures including numerous films built around the ever popular, El Santo.

February 20, 2018

Santo contra Cerebro del Mal is one of the first films in which Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta alias El Santo appears. In this film he was still referred to as ‘El Enmascarado’. Rendered compliant by a scientist and his gangsters via a serum and mysterious rays, he is forced for the opening act to be a henchman for the evil forces who want to take over the world. The film has great historic value, due also to its impressive exterior shots of pre-revolutionary Cuba.

 

The Permanencia Voluntaria Film Archive, where many copies of the popular luchador films are held, was heavily damaged in the massive earthquake that struck Mexico in 2017. This film has not been available in any acceptable quality prints since initial release.  In 2017, the Permanencia Voluntaria archive’s Viviana Garcia Besné in Tepoztlan, Mexico, working in collaboration with Nicolas Winding Refn and the Academy Film Archive, set out to completely restore the film from its rapidly-deteriorating original camera negatives. Indeed, the ravages of time and poor storage had taken a toll on the 35mm materials, requiring a great deal of careful repair and cleaning before scanning (at Illuminate Studios and Post-Production in Studio City, California). Ross Lipman, former Senior Preservationist at UCLA Film and Television Archive, supervised the many hours of color correction and digital repairs, with the whole project overseen by Cinema Preservation Alliance’s Peter Conheim. The result is stunning new 4K digital restorations of  ‘El Cerebro del Mal’ premiering at Berlinale in February, 2018. 

This year marks the 68th anniversary of the Berlin International Film Festival. "Santo contra Cerebro del Mal" will be shown in the Forum Special Screenings which is committed to an alternative view of film historiography. The Forum section of the program is a bit more experimental and focuses on young filmmakers, filmmakers with a non-traditional background and films far off the mainstream. 

Permanencia Voluntaria and Baticine Article Published in Milenio

February 15, 2018

Miriam Canales from Milenio, a popular online news source in Mexico, published a great article about Baticine and Permanencia Voluntaria just days before the big event at the Berlinale! She discusses a bit of the history behind Permanencia Voluntaria, the difficulties we've had since the earthquake damage in September 2017, and the outpouring of help we have received. The final quote from Viviana reflects her desire for a better future for the archive, "I hope with this other institutions of Mexican cinema will stop looking at me as a curiosity and take me more seriously."

Viviana Garcia Besne interviewed for UAEM radio

February 05, 2018

In this interview Viviana discusses the first Santo film and the exhibition of popular mexican cinema.

Baticine reopens with "About Sarah"

January 17, 2018

Baticine welcomed the public inside the space for the first screening in the original screening room since the earthquake, Elisa Miller's work-in-progress documentary, ABOUT SARAH. It was a full house. Looking at the space today, you would hardly know a catastrophe had almost leveled it.
 

December 08, 2017

When an earthquake shakes your roots and damages your precious archive, sometimes all one feels like doing is writing a letter to Santa and hoping for a response. When Viviana wrote a letter to Tim Burton requesting he come and visit the Permanencia Voluntaria and lend his support, she got more than a letter back, she got Tim in person! A long time fan of El Santo, he was thrilled to see the materials we have in the archive. Upon hearing Viviana’s concern for the movies that still need preserving and restoration he responded, “We’re going to share this with the people. I will spread the word. Don’t you worry.” Thank you for the best Christmas gift, Tim!

Maura Monti is La Mujer Murcielago

November 10, 2017

To help us start off Cine por primera vez with a bang, Maura Monti, the amazing actress who plays the Bat Woman came to Baticine to sign photos which were sold with the proceeds supporting the archive, to speak before the showing of La Mujer Murcielago, and to enjoy the film with many fans. It was a magical night to spend with the very first Bat Woman!

Cine por Primera Vez

November 10, 2017

After the earthquake of September 19th, Baticine and Permanencia Voluntaria were forced to close for nearly two months as a wall was rebuilt, damages were assessed, and all parts of the archive were stored more securely anticipating possible future earthquakes. To celebrate our reopening we held a grand re-inauguration event of "Cine por primera vez" which is "First time cinema." Three days of 35mm projections on a massive outdoor screen. All of the projections were run by local projectionists, which for the most part haven't been able to practice their craft for years because of the increasing use of digital projections over film. With the films being shown in the open air and completely free of charge, many people were able to come out and see a film screening for the very first time. We opened with La Mujer Murcielago on Friday, followed by Santo y Mantequilla Napoles en la Venganza de la Lloraona, and ending with Luz Silenciosa on Sunday. Thank you to everyone who came out and shared this epic weekend with us!

El Santo Screening at the 15th Morelia Film Festival

October 28, 2017

At the 15th Morelia Film Festival in Mexico, Viviana Garcia Besné and Peter Conheim represented Permanencia Voluntaria and their new co-restoration of SANTO CONTRA HOMBRES INFERNALES, the first film starring the legendary masked wrestler, El Santo, which we are preserving from the original 35mm camera negative. This is an example of a legendary piece of "genre" cinema which has been kept safe through Viviana's efforts for all these years, and had been pulled from Permanencia Voluntaria only months before the earthquake of September 19.

The screening was a huge success, in front of a standing-room-only outdoor crowd of over 800 people in the public square,the largest audience turnout for a film at the Morelia Film Festival ever, showing that the archive is alive and well, and anxious to resume work on more projects.

Post Earthquake Progress

October 18, 2017

Thanks to all the generous donations we received, all new shelving was purchased and built, and is in the process of being earthquake-proofed in consultation with a Chilean archive, which is designing a plan with us for the future; they've provided us with the reinforcement methods for the current space. Much of the funding went towards equipment such as the shelving materials, endless amounts of cleaning supplies, paying people for their time, etc.

But the biggest and most crucial battle now is against moisture, as opposed to flooding. The rainy season took its toll on the now-damaged building, and the humidity level in the space is incredible. We are running multiple dehumidifiers 24/7 in an attempt to keep the mold and mildew under control.

We still have a lot of work ahead of us. Thanks to Estudio Churubusco and others' efforts during the past week!

Associate Professor Colin Gunckel travels to Tepoztlan to assist with Archive Recovery Efforts

October 14, 2017

For more than a week, Associate Professor Colin Gunckel donated his time and skills as an archivist to assist in saving Permanencia Voluntaria's archive. During his time here he organized our extensive collection of lobby cards, movie posters, publicity materials, and still photos to ensure that they are properly stored, organized, and inventoried. With Colin's help we were able to make massive strides in saving the archive and making it accessible to the public for study.

Water Damage

September 25, 2017

Today we experienced an unfortunate setback; the archive second floor roof/wall repairs didn't keep the rain out, and it is raining inside the space. This is a new crisis, as much of the material was moved to the second floor to keep it out of the way of the ORIGINAL water threat which was the broken water main. 

Wall repaired!

September 22, 2017

More good news. It would the collapsed wall in the second story of the archive has now been repaired and is considered rain-proofed. This is another huge step forward and a great sigh of relief, as the upstairs area houses some of the most unique and fascinating Calderon materials (1/4" master tapes, posters, scripts, files, etc.), as well as many films.

Rescue efforts!

September 21, 2017

Thanks to the truly Herculean efforts of 30 volunteers from the community, the majority of the films have now been removed from harm's way. When the water floods the building – imminently – they will not be destroyed.

But much of the archive is still in a less-than-ideal state as of this evening, as the funding from the GoFundMe projects set up by our friends in the US, couldn't possibly reach us in time to rent suitable temporary storage or a truck, so an armada of volunteers surrendered the interiors of their cars as temporary storage for the films and left them on the property for the night.

Nonetheless, it's a major step forward in the race to save these precious films, and we are profoundly grateful for the generosity you have shown in helping make this possible.

Earthquake magnitude of 7.1

September 19, 2017

On September 19th a terrible 7.1 magnitude earthquake shook Mexico City, Puebla and Tepoztlán (Tepoztlán, home of the archive, was right on the epicenter.) We are a small town, our buildings are heavily damaged and we lack the money, means, and manpower to repair the extensive damage wrought by the earthquake.

 

In the days following an engineer confirmed that the space where the archive is collated and its microcinema, our Baticine, are safe to rebuild. By order of the local government we cannot access the second floor of the archive, as a window and part of the wall are completely damaged. It will be inaccessible until we bring an engineer and a construction team to start rebuilding. This upper level of the archive houses not only hundreds more films, but the projection booth, two computers (one of which was destroyed with no recoverable data), hundreds of 1/4" master tapes of original Calderon productions' musical scores, scripts and posters and much more. To date we are unable to take photos and access the damage to the second floor. This is especially worrying because we’re entering the raining season and every passing day we will be at a risk of extensive water damage if we do not work to repair this area quickly. We need emergency assistance.

 

Another big concern is that a major water line has been compromised at this location. The pipe is not currently leaking as Tepoztlán has no running water, but when the city manages to resume water services our archive will flood. We cannot wait for the government to assist us in preventing water damage, and we currently do not have the resources to fix the crack. This is particularly alarming as 80% of our storage racks were damaged in the earthquake, and most of our artifacts ware littered on the ground at extreme risk. With the proper assistance we will be able to move the films and purchase the necessary hardware and protective materials to keep them safe. We cannot underestimate the severity of this situation. As you know, these antique film reels are irreplaceable and priceless, and with every passing moment we are at risk of losing everything.

 

Our Baticine, the community movie theater that we manage which showcases the works of local filmmakers and popular films for all audiences, has also been destroyed. We have months of work ahead of us to fix this beloved community space, but our priority is the restoration of the archive. The devastating earthquake not only destroyed the roof of the archive, but it damaged the films, which will need additional long-term assistance to be rehoused and cleaned, and has undone most of our cataloging and organizational efforts. 

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