No Manches Monday Leads to Many Film-Oriented Paths Part I

screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-7-53-38-amIt truly was a No Manches Monday.  Mondays are hard as it is, but, with the help of an amazing library cadet, the typical Monday was thrown out the window this past week.  In working with library cadets, often you face the same stereotypes – library- a book depository, and maybe a little more – yet, when you peek inside and see what is happening, you realize that libraries, and the individuals who support them, can be the key to unlocking door never thought to be opened.

Meet Sarah, new to our school this year and obviously full of potential, and Monday was proof of that. Through several weeks of planning, Sarah made the correct contacts to invite the producer of a current film, Mauricio Arguelles, No Manches Frida, as well as an actress and former Repentino. PR staff member, Pamela Moreno  (both ASF alumni to our school on Monday, October 10th.  Just as we are often fooled by the word library into thinking what a library stands for, both Mr Arguelles and Ms Moreno helped us see what goes on behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera.

I fall into the trap of thinking that everything I see on the screen, is a product of what comes from the heart and soul of the actors, actresses, as well as producers.  Not necessarily true and often, scenes and moments lead you into the paths of being taken away from the reality of the business.  Mr. Arguelles was able to define the ground rules of how films do work and often from a producer’s perspective as well as from an actresses.

Seeing the film industry, from a Mexican perspective in the United States reflected totally different appreciations for films on behalf of individuals from Mexico IN Mexico itself, loyalties to Mexico from abroad often affected the numbers of individuals seeing No Manches Frida – depending on where you were viewing this film from.  Never thought about that.  

Based on the German film Fack ju Göhte, Lionsgate did take a risk, but a successful one in taking on this venture, as well as the producer and actors themselves.  Over the Labor Day Weekend, numbers highly supported the evidence Marguelles demonstrated of viewers that have a different sense of loyalty that tie films to Mexico, from individuals not necessarily in Mexico.  Lionsgate showed that No Manches Frida “…scored solidly with $4.7 million at 362 locations in the U.S. for an impressive per-screen average of $12,845 for the Labor Day weekend.   Also, “it’s the second biggest opening after 2013’s “Instructions Not Included,” which grossed $7.8 million in 348 theaters and totaled $44.4 million, setting a record for a Spanish-language movie in the U.S. market. Pantelion also opened “Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos” with $3.4 million at 395 locations on the same weekend last year with the comedy winding up with more than $9 million by the end of its run” (

At times in your face, rough, and sometimes portraying the worst of what “that class” can present to a student body, as well as to teachers, and to other students, when I viewed No Manches Frida the first day it opened in Mexico, yes, there were likes and unlikes on my side for sure. I found myself laughing out loud, loving the soundtrack song, as well as moments that not necessarily aroused my interest and thought overdone.  Yet, the IDEA, the idea of the misadventures that involve a high school, students, teachers, and the dilemmas, both rowdy, conservative and more, they were all there.   In meeting the talented producer Mauricio Arguelles and Pamela Moreno who played Cuquis in the film, I was able to make the connection that yes, sometimes you take on films because there is a success rate and you have partial views to taking on a project due to its success, not necessarily a film you will hold close to your heart, but also giving a chance for the members of that film for a new opportunity.  

Being given a different perspective is what films, as well as education is all about.  Often we do not get the chance or opportunity to do so, and Sarah was able to work very diligently over a few weeks to being that opportunity to ASF.  As the ASF alumni representative, Mauricio Arguelles was a welcome window to the film industry, as well as Pamelo Moreno of what students involved in an international education, as well as Repentino. then film, can go on to do, and to express to a viewing public.  I realizing that no one was asking me to LOVE No Manches Frida, but to play closer attention to what the production, involvement, and presence of a Mexican – based  language film can have on publics outside of Mexico and on an international scale.  That developing a new perspective is a value that goes beyond what the film makes at the box office.  Thank you Sarah and ASF for allowing this opportunity to flourish!  To see more of that question and answer session, please check out Repentino.’s coverage of the Q& A with Mauricio Arguelles and Pamela Moreno here – Part I, Part II, and Part III.  Thank you ASF Foundation, Film Club, Upper chool Library, and Repentino. for allowing and supporting an event that allowed an opportunity to see what goes on, on and off the screen.


Next up, the first initial look at how the current newly opened DocsDF Documentary Film Festival is having on Mexico.






About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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