Text by Alberto Torres | Photography by Ángel Torres
Juarez´ film maker feels connected to every atmosphere and story he tells throug cinemma his greatest passion.
“All of my domumentaries mark some stages of my life and they are existencial motivations.”
The internationally known documentarian Ángel Estrada Soto, a graduate of the University of Ciudad Juárez, is one of the artists that has made efforts to show to the world the true face of his hometown and the stories of its people.
With a calm but firm voice, he tells that at thirteen he had his first approach to images when he made an internship at Televisora Nacional (now Channel 44). He grew fond for art and literature, and at 19 he felt the need to speak his mind to the world about the border social problems, especially on the issues of marginalized groups and public security: “My camera was my tool. It was so easy to use it as a discursive instrument.”
When violence against women was unleashed, many documentarians came to Juarez. Estrada felt the need to say something about it, but “from within”. The influence of several thinkers and filmmakers has allowed him to mature his ideas and present his work in international film festivals, where he has been recognized.
At 25, he projected his first film: “Tierra Prometida” (Promise Land, 2003), on this film Estrada shows the story of a low-income family. In 2007 he premiered “Mago… El Misterio de la Vida” (Mago, the Mystery of Life), where he tells the story of Border Muralist Mago Gandara. The film was nominated for the Ariel Awards in 2008, this launched his career to more ambitious projects.
“Escenarios de Guerra” (War Scenarios, 2010), “Me llamaban King Tiger (They Called Me King Tiger, 2017) and other documentaries gave Angel Estrada more than ten awards in film festivals in The United States, Mexico, Argentina, and Cuba. To produce a short can take months, Angel explains, and to produce a feature film can take years, so it must be a story that he is passionate about.
Described as a restless pursuer and explorer of new paths, Angel is now working on new eye-opening projects that hopefully will provoke a change of mind. Estrada Soto is an active member of a number of organizations and is true with his convictions. He steps aside from the spotlight because what he wants is that his stories contribute to the city wellness and that the needs of marginal groups may be attended.