What is it like to be picked up off the street, told you have committed a murder you know nothing about, and find yourself behind bars for 20 years? In December 2005 this happened to Toño Zuniga in Mexico City, and like thousands of other innocent young men he was condemned for a crime he had never committed. Presumed Guilty is the story of two young lawyers and their incredible struggle to free Toño. With no background in film, they set about recording his story as they realized that only a camera could reveal the institutionalized injustice they were witnessing. Shot over 3 years with unprecedented camera access to the Mexican court and prison systems, this observational film is highly dramatic and full of real suspense, yet also, a searing indictment of a system where the Police do not have to investigate because the system presumes guilt.
Best Documentary, Award | Toronto IFF, Canada, 2009
Amnesty International Award | Copenhagen International Documentary FF, Denmark, 2009
Best Documentary Award | Guadalajara IFF, Mexico, 2010
Best International Feature, Audience Award | Los Angeles FF, USA, 2010
Golden Gate Best Bay Area Documentary | San Francisco IFF, USA, 2010
Best Documentary Award, Audience Award | DocumentaMadrid, Spain, 2010
Best Feature Documentary Award | East End FF, UK, 2010
Feature Documentary Award | One World Media, UK, 2010
CAST & CREW
Layda Negrete, Roberto Hernández, Martha Sosa, Yissel Ibarra
Roberto Hernández, Geoffrey Smith
Director of Photography
John Grillo, Amir Galván, Damián Sánchez, Lorenzo Hagerman
Raúl Vizzi, Camilo Froideval, Toy Hernández, Antonio Zúñiga
Iyari Huerta, Tania Negrete
Felipe Gómez, Roberto Hernández
Antonio Zúñiga, Rafael Heredia, Eva Gutiérrez
Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía
Was trained as a lawyer in Mexico and Canada, and had no particular interest in cameras or film until he found himself collecting statistics at the basement of Mexico City's Superior Court, which houses the archived legal cases of one of the largest cities in the world. Together with his wife Layda made El Túnel a short documentary that presented scandalous facts about Mexico’s justice system. Roberto is currently a graduate student in Public Policy at UC Berkeley.
El Túnel (2006), Presumed Guilty (2009)
Geoffrey Smith is an American director and producer.
The English Surgeon (2007), Presumed Guilty (2009)