"33 and Me" Film Project: Mexico

"33 and Me" is an international travel documentary television series, which follows 33-year-old American film director Stephanie Gardner as she travels to over 33 countries around the world to meet and engage with other film directors in their thirties, to explore their lives, careers, and cultures.

Each episode of "33 and Me" features a specific country and introduces audiences to the current generation of cinematic storytellers who are dynamically challenging the status quo of the world today.  "33 and Me" explores the past, present and future of cinema in each of the 33 featured countries Stephanie visits.  

"33 and Me" is "Parts Unknown" meets the "Up Series" with a hint of "Side by Side."

The Mexico episode introduces you to 33-year-old filmmaker from Mexico City, Atzin Ortiz Gonzalez. We explore Mexico City and Puebla through the eyes and experiences of Atzin and get to know his home, his culture, his stories, and his films. We also explore the cinema culture of contemporary Mexico as well as the history of the Mexican Golden Age of cinema.

  • Stephanie Gardner
    Director
    The Mezcal Trilogy, If I Had A Piano (I'd Play You The Blues), And If I Stay, The Sonnet Project
  • Duprelon "tizzz" Tizdale
    Producer
    various films and TV shows as IATSE Union professional
  • Atzin Ortiz Gonzalez
    Key Cast
    "as himself"
    #Hashtag, Post Mortem, Ana y Eme / Eme y Ana, Viceversa, Permanencia Voluntaria
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Television
  • Genres:
    International Travel, Docu-Series
  • Runtime:
    23 minutes 27 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 30, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    22,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Mexico
  • Language:
    English, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Stephanie Gardner

Stephanie Gardner, Creator, Director and Host is a multi-award winning filmmaker who has written, directed, and produced over 20 short films, including "If I Had A Piano (I’d Play You The Blues)" and "Para Todo Mal...Para Todo Bien: A Mezcal Trilogy.” An MFA graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts, she studied in Singapore under the tutelage of Oliver Stone, Todd Solondz, Richard Wesley, and Sabrina Dhawan. Stephanie has a B.A. from The George Washington University in Dramatic Literature, Music and Creative Writing. She resides in Taos, NM.

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Director Statement

On my 33rd birthday (November 12, 2018), I set out on a multi-year journey to travel to 33 countries around the world to meet and interact with 33 filmmakers who are all (approximately) 33 years old. Along the way, I decided to film a documentary, and the "33 and Me" Film Project was born, consisting of 3 facets: a feature documentary film, a documentary TV series, and a traveling film festival, where we will showcase the films of the 33 filmmakers we feature.

I want to travel, learn, explore, and create art that connects people. I wish to seek out creative individuals that innovate, inspire and challenge the status quo. A large part of why I make films is to connect with and connect to other human beings. This is why I am compelled to make "global films,” so as to connect across cultures around the globe in a shared experience. I believe that communicating with others around the world; in expression, in thought, and in shared empathy is incredibly important to a happy, healthy, peaceful society.

The art of cinema is my love and passion. Travel is how I find knowledge, inspiration, and connection: combining these two endeavors can only lead to magical, meaningful, inspirational moments. Perhaps, through the “33 And Me” Film Project, I will learn a bit about life, love, cinema, history, others, and me.

At the age of 33, I am not super young anymore, nor am I even remotely old. I have significant creative and professional accomplishments under my belt, yet, I still have my whole life ahead of me; a lot of aspirations to make in my career as a filmmaker, and hopefully, many exciting adventures and inspiration ahead.

As I continue my journey as a filmmaker, I realize that I am coming from a very specific perspective: I am a single, Millennial, American woman, who has managed to produce works of theatre and film since I was in my teens. I am engulfed by a strange and surreal world, where we are bombarded by messages to “fear the other” and to isolate ourselves into our own increasingly nationalistic society where the idea of a free press is being unravelled.

Much of the world appears to be embracing extremism and choosing isolationism over globalism. I choose globalism, and I feel very strongly about this. Don’t get me wrong, I feel very fortunate to have been raised in an American democracy under the freedoms and ideals that were fostered, including, “Freedom of Speech,” “Freedom of Religion,” and “Pursuit of Happiness.” I value this and may not be doing what I am today without the influences of these powerful and liberating ideals. I am also fortunate enough to have lived and worked in other countries around the world that do not extend these ideals to their citizens. I do not wish to take “Freedom of Expression” for granted, and this is one reason I am compelled to embark upon this “33 And Me” journey. I truly believe that we as individuals need to connect with the entire planet, to better understand ourselves and our place within it, and for our societies to survive.

Thus, I endeavor to discover what other 33 year-old filmmakers around the world, who are at similar stages in their lives are experiencing creatively, professionally, and personally. What types of films are they making? What stories and themes are they exploring? What genres and visual styles are they drawn to? How do they perceive themselves in their lives and careers? What are their hopes, dreams, and desires? In this process, I plan to foster connections around the world amongst talented, intelligent, and creative individuals; to form life-long friendships and future collaborators; and to help promote the empowering expression of cinematic arts.