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Corpus, Columbus on Trial, Films Screening
Corpus, Columbus on Trial, Films Screening

Sat, Sep 09


Clarion Performing Arts Center

Corpus, Columbus on Trial, Films Screening

"Corpus: A Home Movie for Selena" is a captivating documentary about legendary life and death of singer Selena Quintanilla. "Columbus on Trial" is an irreverent portrayal of court battle between Columbus and Native American lawyer.

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Time & Location

Sep 09, 2023, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Clarion Performing Arts Center, 2 Waverly Pl, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA

About the Event

Corpus: A Home Movie for Selena (1999) explores the mass adulation and explosive posthumous recognition of Selena Quintanilla, the Tejano rock singer murdered by the president of her fan club in 1995.  Pushing beyond the mainstream media’s fascination with her violent death, Portillo interviews Selena’s family and friends as well as the devoted fans that pilgrimage to Selena’s grave in Corpus Christi, Texas, to pay homage to the slain star.  Moving and provocative, this humble investigative portrait explores Selena’s cultural significance as a pop icon and shines a light on the hopes, fantasies, fears, and realities of young Latinas today.     

Columbus on Trial (1992):  

"Lourdes Portillo's work with the irreverent comedy troupe Culture Clash, Columbus on Trial, is a nutty, technically superb staging of a court battle between Columbus (Herbert Siguenza) and an American Indian lawyer (Ric Salinas) that nobody really wins." -- Robert Koehler, L.A. Times, February 1993  “Like other Chicano films, Columbus on Trial contributes to the construction of a specific culture, and keeps the insurgent memory of Chicanos from being wiped out. In this regard, the vitality of the Chicano cinema participates in the real cultural flowering in the heart of the Chicano community." -- Le Monde, December 1993

Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and raised in Chihuahua, Mexicali and Los Angeles, Lourdes Portillo has been making award-winning films about Latin American, Mexican, and Chicano/a experiences and social justice issues for forty years. Since her first film, After the Earthquake/Después del Terremoto (1979), she has produced and directed over a dozen works that reveal her signature hybrid style as a visual artist, investigative journalist, and activist. Portillo’s completed films include the Academy Award® and Emmy® Award nominated Las Madres: The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (1986), La Ofrenda: The Days of the Dead (1988), Columbus on Trial (1992), The Devil Never Sleeps (1994), Corpus: A Home Movie for Selena (1999), My McQueen (2004), and Al Más Allá (2008). Her most recent feature-length film, Señorita Extraviada (2001), a documentary about the disappearance and death of young women in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, received a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Best Documentary at the Havana International Film Festival, the Nestor Almendros Award at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, and an Ariel, the Mexican Academy of Film Award. In 2016 Portillo received the Anonymous Was a Woman Award and grant for her body of work, and in 2017 she was honored with the Career Achievement Award by The International Documentary Association (IDA). In 2019 Portillo curated the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ historic Pacific Standard Time: Latin America to Hollywood: Latino Film Culture in Los Angeles 1967-2017 Oral History Projects, which are oral histories/interviews with notable Latino, Latin American, and Chicano filmmakers, including Portillo herself. In recent years Portillo continued her exploration of experimental film and format, creating the animated short State of Grace (2020). Portillo’s films continue to be shown internationally and in the U.S. on TV, in cultural and film festivals, in museums, and at educational institutions. Portillo’s website features information about her work and access to her films:

Lourdes Portillo has called San Francisco her home for decades.

"Corpus: A Home Movie for Selena" awards/nominations:  

Golden Spire, San Francisco International Film Festival, 1999 

Official Selection, La Biennale Di Venezia 56. Mostra Internazionale D’Arte Cinematographica, Venice, Italy, 1999 

Official Selection, Vancouver International Film Festival, 1999 

Official Selection, Wellington Film Festival, New Zealand, 1999   

"Columbus on Trial" awards/nominations :  

National Television Broadcast, Public Broadcasting Service, 1992 

Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival, 1993 

Golden Apple Award, National Educational Film Festival, 1992 

Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1993 

Official Selection London Film Festival, British Film Institute 

"Will Power,” Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, 1992

A post-discussion will be moderated by Jeff M. Giordano.

$6 all-day parking at St. Mary’s Square Garage


  • Corpus/Columbus on Trial

    +$0.25 service fee



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