Jasmín Mara López has spent her career operating between different modes of expression, in addition to bouncing from place to place.
While she was born in New Orleans, La., López has spent much of her life working as a journalist, audio producer and filmmaker in Los Angeles.
She spent her time broadening her horizons and expanding her creative and journalistic capabilities through internships and other means.
“I always preferred being hands-on with my work,” López said.
Despite this, she has maintained her strong familial ties to Mexico, evident in her first feature film, “Silent Beauty.”
The 2022 documentary bravely details the history of child sexual abuse within her family as well as the years of silence that followed. The film is both a striking condemnation of the wrongdoers and an inspiring portrait about finding peace and knowing when to let go.
“Healing and justice has always been at the core of my work,” López said.
López’s journalistic specialities provide a significant impact to the power of “Silent Beauty,” offering a rare attention to detail and emotional specificity.
“More so than other forms of art, documentaries put you in that world,” López said. “With this film and even with my audio documentaries it is all about feelings.”
These feelings are felt in spades throughout the film’s 87-minute run time.
In constructing a feature-length documentary, López detailed her appreciation for journalism as a medium as well as its impact on her career.
She insisted that the two mediums often work hand-in-hand in creating works of art, and in many ways, they cannot be separated. Her marriage of the two mediums is so intact that her 2015 audio documentary, “Deadly Divide: Migrant Death On the Border,” won the Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism Award.
In 2007, López founded Project Luz, an arts education non-profit that sought to encourage young people within marginalized communities to excel in the fields of journalism and audio.
“It was important to give to those marginalized communities,” López said. “Working with Project Luz in 2008 is what ultimately convinced me to be a storyteller.”
While the organization is no longer active, Lopez has maintained contact with many of the former youth and has screened some of her films for them.
López’s present and future endeavors include another documentary film based on her family and the overarching theme of inequality in the low-income communities in which she was raised. She is also developing a fictional piece.
Her impact on the world and her community, both creatively and philanthropically, remains more than worthy of praise.
“Silent Beauty” will screen Friday, March 3, at noon at the Malco Oxford Commons Cinema in Auditorium No. 4.
More information, including tickets, can be found on the Oxford Film Festival website.