In Memoriam: Lourdes Portillo

We are deeply saddened to share that longtime WMM filmmaker Lourdes Portillo, a cherished member of the Women Make Movies family, passed away over the weekend at the age of 80. A Mexican-born documentary filmmaker whose work explored Latin American social issues, Lourdes directed influential and acclaimed works such as LAS MADRES: THE MOTHERS OF PLAZA DE MAYO (nominated for an Oscar in 1986), THE DEVIL NEVER SLEEPS (selected by the Library of Congress for the National Film Registry In 2020), CORPUS: A HOME MOVIE FOR SELENA, AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE, and SEÑORITA EXTRAVIADA, MISSING YOUNG WOMAN.

“Lourdes was an inspiration and a role model to a generation of filmmakers, especially Latinx filmmakers. Our four decade long relationship with her extends back to her first film, AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE, part of Women Make Movies Punto de Vista Latina, an important traveling exhibition of Latin and South American films in the 1980s. We are honored and proud to distribute her films to this day, and she will be deeply missed,”  says WMM Executive Director Debbie Zimmerman.

Women Make Movies extends heartfelt condolences to her family and loved ones. We celebrate her remarkable contributions to cinema and are profoundly grateful for her lasting impact on the WMM community. Lourdes’s vision and voice will be dearly missed but her legacy will continue to inspire.



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