Our take: While Morelia is one of the most beloved festivals in North America, it rarely screens many (any) English-language docs. But they more than make up for that with Ambulante, the traveling documentary festival they co-founded with Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna a few years ago. Essentially taking documentary to the people in every region of Mexico, Ambulante is a visionary experiment in what a documentary festival can be. In addition, the programming team has a curatorial vision - the docs they program are artistically brave and show a diversity of subject that's unique in Latin America.
The downside: The Morelia slots are few and far between, at least for their North American neighbors. The traveling aspect of Ambulante means that you may not be with that many other filmmakers.
Selection of films screened at 2009 Ambulante: BURMA VJ, ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD, STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE, GOGOL BORDELLO NON-STOP, THE ENGLISH SURGEON, THOSE WHO REMAIN, SOULWAX: PART OF THE WEEKEND NEVER DIES, UP THE YANGTZE
Selection of films screened at 2009 Morelia: EL GENERAL, SOUNDTRACK FOR A REVOLUTION
Our coverage of Ambulante here.