FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
IFTA AWARDS 2024
In a desperate attempt to overcome the grief caused by his girlfriend’s passing, Damian sets off on a journey across Mexico. Haunted by memories and regrets, he finds solace through conversations with strangers, witnessing the rituals they participate in to cope with death.
Director: Andres Arochi Tinajero Script: Andres Arochi Tinajero & Gonzalo Romero Producers: Santiago Tron & Andres Arochi Tinajero Co-Producers: Carla Mooney, Delwyn Mooney Executive Producers: Pablo Garcia Gaterer, Gabriel Stavenhagen, Miguel Fernandez Stevensson, Carla Mooney, Delwyn Mooney
Q: What was the genesis of this film, and how did it evolve over the course of development to production and completion?
- Andres Arochi (Director): "The original idea of the movie was to create a story based on other people's stories. The original concept was shooting a movie in Iceland about conversations with hitchhikers in first person. Then we added a character and decided to do a journey from Mexico to Alaska. Covid came and the borders were shut down. We always knew we wanted to talk about death but my co-writer Gonzalo Romero´s father passed away while we were writing. That was where we found we wanted to talk about grief. The borders were still closed and we were eager to shoot the film so we decided to take a road trip through Mexico and that's when all the magic came and started to close the cycle and make the concept stronger. We found out we were doing a self-portrait using Mexico as a mirror. Post-production was a whole other creature as we struggled to choose which of the characters we met along the way would make the cut for the movie, many great stories and conversations were left out. We finally managed to create the atmosphere and rhythm we were looking for in the movie, immersing the watchers into a beautiful kind of meditation driven by the conversations, the beautiful landscapes and hypnotic music."
Q: What did you feel was the most fulfilling element of working on this film?
- Andres: "The most fulfilling element of the film was definitely the people we met on our road trip. The small crew became like a family and together we had so many crazy experiences together, from having a ceremony with the Wixarikas to being stopped in the middle of the desert by the cartel. The experience was unique and fulfilling. I can speak for everyone in the crew and the people we crossed paths with and say no one came back the same person."
Q: What do you hope audiences will take away from the film?
- Andres: "I really hope the audience finds a space to connect with their deepest emotions and feel like they are not alone. We all pass through different kinds of duels in life and it doesn't matter if it's a pet who passed away or your breakup with your partner, it hits everyone differently. I hope and dream of creating a film that works as a mirror to take people within. From the privileged to the less fortunate, I aimed to bring these people together in one portrait, one film, using death—a theme deeply rooted in Mexican culture—as the connecting element. Our relationship with death is deeply ingrained in our culture, and I sought inspiration from the countless expressions found in love stories, poetry, and music which help us navigate the everyday struggle with tragedy and loss."
Q: To what extent was your on-screen talent vital to the success of the film?
- Andres: "This story was told by the characters we met on the road. The conversations we had shaped Dalia and Damian's relationship. Real life told us what to do with the fiction element. Our ending was told by a character we met at a dinner in the middle of the jungle in Calakmul, without knowing she told us an ancient Mayan Myth that summed up the movie and this is how we created the ending of the film."
Q: Why is it important to see your work represented at the IFTAs and to be acknowledged by your peers in the Irish film community?
- Andres: "Being recognized by our peers through awards such as the IFTAs can validate our hard work, talent, and creativity. It serves as recognition that our contributions to the Irish film industry are valued and appreciated. Winning or being nominated for an IFTA can significantly boost our career prospects. It can lead to increased visibility, more opportunities for work, and greater industry respect, potentially opening doors to new projects and collaborations. Being part of a community that celebrates achievements in Irish cinema can be inspiring, and motivating and encourages filmmakers to continue pushing boundaries and exploring new ideas."