Juan Mora Catlett (CDMX, 1949). This Mexican film director, editor and screenwriter is one of the most prominent personalities in contemporary Mexican cinema. His work of spreading the Pre-Hispanic indigenous culture is extraordinary.

Juan Roberto Mora Catlett is one of the most recognized academics in film teaching in Mexico. Since 1976 he has taught at the Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos, UNAM, where he has trained (and inspired) dozens of generations of filmmakers such as María Novaro, Alejandro Islas, Alfonso Cuarón, Emmanuel Lubezki, Fernando Eimbcke and Ernesto Contreras, to name a few.

Mora Catlett has received numerous awards, nominations and distinctions nationally and internationally.

In 1972 he received the Critics’ Award at the Krakow Film School Festival for ‘Poema mecánico’ and in 1985 he received the Gold Colón Award for Best Documentary, at the IX Festival de Cine Iberoamericano de Huelva for ‘Recuerdos de Juan O’ Gorman’.

His film ‘Retorno a Aztlán’ was awarded the Special Grand Prize of the Jury at the VII Latin American Film Festival of Trieste, Italy and is the first fiction film about the Pre-Hispanic world, spoken in classical Nahuatl, with which he inaugurates an unpublished genre in Mexican cinema by basing its content and form on the culture of our indigenous ancestors.

‘Eréndira Ikikunari’ deals with the conquest of Mexico from the point of view of the Purépecha Indians, who speak their own language. It incorporates elements of archeology, pre-Hispanic codices and indigenous popular culture. This film was the recipient of the Best Director and Best Film Award at the Annual Hispanic Film Festival in 2008.

In 2019 he wins the Teaching Excellence award granted by the International Association of Film Schools, CILECT (Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinéma et de Televisión).

Mora Catlett has been grant holder John Guggenheim Foundation as well as from the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte de México, in addition to having been recognized with the Premio Universidad Nacional en Docencia en Artes at UNAM in Mexico City.

His latest feature film ‘La Ira o el Seol’, addresses his experience as a cancer survivor, combining fiction and documentary.

Juan Mora lives and works in Mexico.


This video is part of ARCHIVO ABIERTO, a project by Atelier Romo and Arte Abierto.

Enter here if you prefer to watch the video directly on our YouTube channel.


VIDEO EDITOR > Christian Rivera

MUSIC > Máximo Hollander



Arte Abierto