Diego Luna, Elena Fortes
Elena Fortes, Diego Luna | Photo: Julieta Cueyas

TIJUANA, Baja California - Ambulante Border, a new film series that takes place simultaneously in Tijuana and San Diego, wrapped up this week after a triumphant four days filled with panel discussions, outdoor and indoor documentary screenings, and a series of dinners and events designed to encourage communication and debate on three issues that are critical to the well being of Mexican and US Citizens alike: Gun trafficking, freedom of the press, and detention of migrant children on both sides of the border.

The series is a project of Ambulante, the non-profit organization founded in 2005 by Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Pablo Cruz. Under the direction of its dynamic 31 year old director, Elena Fortes, Ambulante has spent the past seven years bringing its carefully curated documentary catalogue to the mountains of Chiapas, the jungles of Campeche, to remote villages El Salvador and Nicaragua, and now, finally, with the introduction of this latest series, to the very wall that divides Mexico from her Northern neighbor.

I spoke with producer-director-actor Diego Luna, in Tijuana to help launch Ambulante Border, about the organization's critical mission, the current state of Mexican cinema, and the process of editing his most recent directorial effort, a biographical feature film based on the life of Cesar Chavez.

Al Otro Lado screening
Al Otro Lado outdoor alley screening | Photo: Armando de La Cruz