|Salvador Toscano Barragán|
Salvador Toscano, c. 1921
|Born||22 March 1872
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
|Died||14 April 1947
|Occupation||Filmmaker and director, producer, distributor of early Mexican films.|
|Known for||First Mexican filmmaker|
Salvador Toscano Barragán (22 March 1872 – 14 April 1947), also known as Salvador Toscano, was a director, producer and distributor of early Mexican cinema films. He was Mexico's first filmmaker.
Toscano was born in 1872 in Guadalajara, Jalisco. He began studying to become a mining engineer, however changed his career to become a filmmaker. He used a Cinematograph camera and projector which was first introduced in France in 1895. It was introduced into Mexico a year later when the first presentation of film in Mexico was made on 15 August 1896.
Toscano opened Mexico's first public movie theatre at 17 Jesús María Street in Mexico City in 1897. In the public theater he showed such famous early films as The Great Train Robbery, A Trip to the Moon, and The Kingdom of the Fairies.
Toscano began his movie career by filming local scenes in Mexico and local news events. Some early short film titles of these, made in 1896 and 1897, were Men in Scuffle on the Main Square and Rural Police Riding Their Horses.
Toscano began full length production filming in 1898, directing and producing his own movies. They were mostly documentaries pertaining to Mexico. Toscano was the producer of the first full-length film in Mexico. It was fiction based on the play Don Juan Tenorio. The film was made in 1898 starring the Mexican actor Paco Gavilanes.
Toscano had a rival named Enrique Rosas who also produced films in Mexico at the same time. Many movie theaters had been constructed by 1902 in Mexico City and within a few years many more were spread throughout Mexico. Toscano's last film was shot in 1921.
Toscano's daughter Carmen took many scenes of his Mexican revolutionary documentary films and reintroduced it under the title of Memorias de un mexicano (Memoirs of a Mexican) in 1950. The scenes were filmed by Toscano between 1897 and 1923. Much of the footage was about President Porfirio Díaz and the revolutionary events of his reign. The reintroduced film was 100 minutes long and premiered 24 August 1950.
One of the propaganda "photo-ops" Toscano made of Díaz was called General Díaz on a Stroll Through Chapultepec Park. Toscano also made documentary films of Díaz's grand celebration of Mexico's first one hundred years of independence.
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