Press Release October 2018


Gender-bending Mexican Film Premieres at Portland Film Festival

Portland, Oregon – October 9, 2018

“We don’t know why men began dressing up as women,” says Gerardo Madrigal, as he looks out over the river running through his hometown in Mexico. He is one of thousands of men who undergo stunning transformations during a traditional festival held every year, known simply as the Fiesta Grande. Later, his wife puts the finishing touches on his makeup before he steps out into a cheering crowd.

Those gender-bending dancers call themselves the Chunta, and they’re the subject of a new documentary film premiering at this year’s Portland Film Festival. Local filmmaker Genevieve Roudané directed The Chunta after moving to Mexico and searching for fellow members of the LGBT community.

Surprisingly, gay and transgender dancers in the Fiesta Grande are often met with rejection, and sometimes violence. Most Chunta dancers are straight men who take their tradition very seriously, and not everyone welcomes outsiders. “I get a lot of criticism because I allow gays in my gang,” says Esther Noriega, the leader of a rival group of dancers, known locally as “gangs.”

Through the eyes of dancers in both gangs, we begin to see just how much is at stake. Anger flares as men race to prepare their hand-embroidered dresses and delicate paper crowns. Ultimately, the story is a funny, joyous celebration of outcasts finding their chosen family and daring to be themselves, even in the face of bigotry.

Following celebrated screenings in Latin America and Europe, The Chunta will open the Portland Film Festival on October 23rd. Director Genevieve Roudané will be in attendance, and will also present on an October 26th panel beside other female filmmakers creating new work in the Pacific Northwest. For more information, visit the Portland Film Festival’s website at



Genevieve Roudané

Director, The Chunta


More information:

Title: The Chunta

Genre: Documentary

Duration: 61 minutes

Language: Spanish with English subtitles

Facebook and Instagram: @thechunta

Film FAQ:

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