Competition: US & Canada
Alexandra Cuesta’s films and videos combine experimental film traditions along with documentary practices, and investigate the reciprocity of the gaze in time based representation. Some of the ideas she explores include the construction of place, instances of displacement, and social structures. Her images often depart from the public sphere, and highlight the poetics of the common experience. As film scholar and critic Nicole Brenez states, Cuesta’s cinema has the capacity to unveil, within Merleau-Pontian terms, “the astounding ‘gloria’ of the ordinary”. She received her MFA in Film and Video from the California Institute of the Arts and her BFA in Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design. In 2018 she was awarded a MacDowell Colony Fellowship and residency.
Territorio (2016), her first feature length film, premiered in the Official Selection of the FID Marseille Film Festival in France in 2016. It has screened in a number of festivals, museums, and cultural institutions, including the Viennale International Film Festival, The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles MOCA, First Look Festival at the Museum of the Moving Image, BAFICI, Bienal de Arte Contemporáneo de Cuenca, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and the III Fronteira Festival Internacional Do Filme Documental E Experimental in Goiania- Brazil, where it received a Special Jury Award (2017). Recently, Territorio was selected among the 25 best Latin American films of 2017 by Cinema Tropical. Her award winning 16mm films Despedida, Piensa En Mi, Recordando El Ayer, and Beirut 2.14.05, have been presented in the New York Film Festival, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Cinema Du Reel, Palacio Nacional de Bellas Artes, Habana Film Festival, BFI Film Festival, Oberhausen, Courtisane, FICValdivia International Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, Image Forum Tokyo, among others. Early in her career Cuesta was included in 25 Filmmakers for the 21st Century by Film Comment Magazine.
In addition to being a filmmaker and working artist she is also an educator, and has worked in higher education, museum educational programs, and in the non-profit arts sector. Most recently she held an appointment as a Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Cinema at Binghamton University – SUNY.
About the project
Desde Aquí (From Here) is an experimental documentary that explores the life of the inhabitants of Susudel, a small community in the Andes mountains in southern Ecuador. The film addresses the complicated post-colonial legacy of land ownership, labor, and migrations, particular to the region, while simultaneously constructing a portrait of place, which permeates between the exterior landscape and the private/ intimate scape. The film is currently in development.