Peruvian director Arthur Cross is currently developing his debut feature film The 2nd Horseman. The movie was filmed in the deserts of Peru, specifically in Chilca, a region with a history of alleged UFO sightings *cue X-Files music*.
The 2nd Horseman’s plot revolves around Serah, a woman who disappeared in the local Quarantine Zone and reappeared a year later with a message of hope or doom (or both). The Second Horseman Special Operations Unit mercenaries must face an armed cult to prevent them from using Serah to usher in the End of Days. In the Bible, the Second Horseman (the red horse) represents war, so that should reinforce your sense of where the plot is going.
In an interview on Peruvian television, Arthur Cross and assistant director Nathiel Farfán discuss production of their independent film, and how excited they are about producing a science fiction film in their country. Cross mentions that the Quarantine Zone is forbidden because of temporal/space anomalies, and that the Horseman Unit originally protected the scientists that go into that area.
Cross is an enthusiastic fan of science fiction and action films, and was particularly inspired by military sci-fi and Michael Bay films for The 2nd Horseman.
Most of the cast is from Peru, except the Russian lead, Irina Prischepa. From the humorous “Making Of” it seems she speaks perfect Spanish. She is a dancer, and if Summer Glau (River of Serenity) is any indication, choosing a dancer as an action hero is a great decision.
The 2nd Horseman release date is estimated for March 2014.
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Here is the trailer in English (the actual film is in Spanish):
Beautifully shot shorts on a budget are quite popular these days. The web is buzzing with this new short directed by Peruvian Ricardo de Montreuil and written by de Montreuil and Antonio Pérez. Their budget was all of $5,000. Set in 2074, the film shows Chris Black (played by Víctor López), a young man of mysterious powers persecuted by the LAPD. The Raven short is based on a trilogy written by de Montreuil which he hopes to film one day. Click here for a look. For more information on this film, go to their official Facebook page.
UPDATE 7/17/10: Latino Review reports: “Mark Wahlberg is in talks to star and produce the feature version of THE RAVEN at Universal with Montreuil directing! Screenwriter Justin Marks is penning the script.” I have mixed feelings about this. It’s great for de Montreuil, but if Wahlberg is the star, then we missed out on the opportunity of a Latino lead like the one in the short. Not saying that it has to be the same actor, and I do like Mark Wahlberg, but… slightly disappointed here for what could have been. Still, if these ‘talks’ go through, congratulations are in order for de Montreuil and his original crew for a job well done.
UPDATE 7/19/10: Cinema Blend and other sources confirm Mark Wahlberg is already developing the script, and will star in the movie.
All in a day's work
Sleep Dealer is a science fiction film by New York-based writer/director Alex Rivera. His first feature-length film is set in near future Mexico (Rivera himself is of mixed Peruvian heritage). In this world of hi-tech, killer flying drones are common and construction workers power robots with their minds. On the flip side, families struggle to buy water hoarded by water concession reservoirs charging outrageous prices. The U.S. is heavily dependent on foreign workers for manual labor, but to avoid immigration, workers from Mexico and other countries connect to robots on U.S. soil via nodes integrated into their nervous systems. Corporations and families get their labor without the laborers.
The plot follows Memo Cruz (Luis Fernando Peña), a young hacker from a once prosperous farming community. He spends his days listening in on the world outside his small town of Santa Ana del Río, Oaxaca. One day his whole life changes into one he had only known from television.
Memo meets Luz Martínez, a blogger who literally sells her memories online. (The character is played by Leonor Varela; Stargate Atlantis fans may recognize her as High Priestess Chaya Sar ). Luz is fascinating to Memo because she is the first person he’s met with nodes, and Memo holds Luz’s interest as a way to pay off her student loans. Memo’s past soon catches up to him and therein lies the intriguing part of the story.
I highly recommend this film to any tech-loving or dystopian-loving geek. The writer did an excellent job of creating a rich world with its on slang and culture. Although the film loses steam about 2/3 into the movie, it recovers its momentum towards the end and you find yourself yearning to learn more about this brave new world. There is great potential for a sequel or a TV-series spin-off. Are you listening, Hollywood?
See the trailer in English at the movie’s website, though you might want to skip the spoiler-ridden synopsis.