En Nepantla [working title]
A film by The Collective En Nepantla
This is a full-length documentary, currently in pre-production, about reproductive rights access on the Mexico-US border. We are focused on elevating the lived experiences of ordinary people, and we will interweave a selection of these stories to highlight the various obstacles—legal, economic, and often absurd—that abortion-seeking women encounter, regardless of which side of the border they find themselves.
About The Collective: En Nepantla, the working title of our film and the name we have adopted for our collective, is a term popularized by Gloria Anzaldúa, the queer Chicana author and activist, to refer to a state of being between multiple worlds, occupying the space in between. Migrants, travelers, and those who live in border communities in the shadow of the wall often find themselves “in Nepantla.” Those of us who feel like we do not belong in a particular way of life, those of us who live in a way that does not conform, who challenge the social or legal status quo—we are also in Nepantla. Our collective's mission is to tell stories from this place, this in- between, and to not shy away from the nuance found in these limbos, these gray zones.
Ana Gutiérrez Salgado (Co-Director) is a Mexican documentary filmmaker. She completed her undergraduate degree at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and received a post-graduate degree in Documentary Film from the Documentary Film School in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Ana’s documentary productions and collaborations examine diverse social issues of her country, from ex-convict’s reflections on a society that rejects and stigmatizes them, to the history of the lesbian feminist movement in Mexico. Since 2015 she has collaborated on different projects generated by the women’s collective La Sandía Digital. She has helped produce documentaries such as “Era yo, otra vez” and “Aborto y punto,” whose scripts were developed and inspired by conversation and workshops with abortion-seeking women of various generations.
Ethan Bien (Co-Director) is a documentary filmmaker and journalist from Maine with a Master’s from the documentary film program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. His interest in this issue and his desire to find different perspectives on this perennial topic first brought him to Mexico in 2014, where he was surprised to find that the American anti-abortion movement was in the midst of exponential expansion throughout Mexico and South America and made this movement the subject of his thesis film at Berkeley. While in high school in rural Maine, he volunteered as media intern for an abortion clinic, and his experience there behind the scenes, with the wry, funny staff of women stuck with him, and he is eager to recreate or capture this tone in a documentary context. He has produced and co-produced documentaries on a variety of subjects.
Zoé VanGelder (Producer) is a researcher and activist who specializes in participatory ethnographic methods. She weaves real-life narratives into her empirical research as a means of moving policy- makers and citizens to work collectively for a more just and equitable society. Her research and advocacy are transdisciplinary and examine gender equality, climate change, and democratic governance from a queer, feminist perspective. Most recently she’s been the lead researcher on a project with the Mexican feminist organization, the Simone de Beauvoir Leadership Institute where she designed and led participatory research with women and youth in rural and indigenous communities throughout Mexico and Central America. No stranger to documentary film, she produced a short film on the Mexican defense of native corn and has consulted on “Our Land,” a web documentary series on the US food system. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.