Made in Mexico: Documentary Filmmaking

Mount Royal’s Communication Field School in Guadalajara

This site features the projects of students at Mount Royal University (MRU) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and students from TEC De Monterrey, Campus Guadalajara – Guadalajara, Mexico.

Since 2002 Mount Royal communication students have traveled to the heart of “the real Mexico” every two years or so to learn about the people, the culture and rich history of the region. The MRU contingent works in small production teams with students from TEC to produce authentic stories of life in Mexico. Mexican and Canadian classmates form close bonds sharing in the creativity and deep sense of accomplishment that comes from producing high-quality documentary films. Over the years students have told the stories of luchadores (the often masked Mexican wrestlers), punk rockers in Guadalajara, Mariachi music, graffiti, and the pepinadores, people who make a living picking recyclables out of landfills. Films from the 2015 and 2017 projects are available to watch on this web site. The program has earned a lot of accolades, most notably from the Government of Alberta which recognized the Mexico field school for excellence in international education in 2007.

*Applications for Mexico 2019 are being accepted right now! Click here for more information or contact Brad Clark at bclark@mtroyal.ca.

For the Mount Royal students the experience extends well beyond the classroom and production schedule. They also typically enjoy side trips to Tequila, Puerto Vallarta and picturesque Guanajuato, a city well known for its history and gorgeous architecture. They also study Mexican history and culture in a three-credit course offered by TEC.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE? Check out this student’s story in The Calgary Journal: A first-person account of how filming in a Mexican landfill fed a journalist’s adventurous soul

Here are what other MRU students have said about the field school:

“… this international experience challenged me more than any class ever has … the friendships made and the joy that radiated my heart from the sites I saw are priceless. The campus is amazing and the people here are beautiful inside out… If I had the chance to go back in time and reapply, I would in a heartbeat.”

“I would definitely recommend this field school. Generally, I think people have a predetermined idea of what Mexico is like. It follows such a tourist preconceived notion, and it’s really too bad because this place has such an authentic culture. The history is more than interesting, and the simple values that can be lost in the everyday hustle and bustle of home can definitely be rekindled. From the side trips to class time – it all added to this amazing experience.”

“I would definitely recommend this course to other students. It was the perfect amount of time to travel. Short enough you don’t need to put a hold on life back home. I loved the content and the freedom to do these films with the knowledge we already had. There was a perfect amount of lectures the first week to get us started and ready to go. It was such a good experience getting to choose our own topics and making our visions come to life on screen.”