Mexican cinema 'on the cheap' triumphs in the world

Low budget films, around US$45,000 to half a million dollars, meet success in other countries.
'Huicholes: The last guardians of Peyote' has been premiered in 20 countries. (Photo: Archive/El Universal)
05/07/2015
17:51
César Huerta Ortiz
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The documentary film "Huicholes: The last guardians of Peyote" has been premiered in more than 20 nations, won awards in Los Angeles and Buenos Aires and can be seen online in more than 40 countries. Also, next month it will participate in a tour of Mexican cinema in cities like Guadalajara, Toluca, Monterrey, Querétaro and Mexico City.

"Huicholes" has been on heavy rotation and that even if the producers invested only some US$45,000 in the movie, some of it not even in cash, according to producer Paola Stefani.

“it has been doing well, it's been a surprise to everybody," she said.

The movie, watched in the U.S. and Canada by around 10,000 people, is just an example of the situation of Mexican cinema, where a small investment sometimes end in a successful run.

Last year, 30 of the 130 movies produced in Mexico had investments of less than half a million dollars, well under the average.

Some of them, like "Patient 27," the horror movie by Alejandro G. Alegre, which has been presented in festivals in Mexico and the U.S. and received numerous awards, required an investment of around US$45,000, two locations and three weekends to be filmed.

Albeit there are private and governmental investment platforms for movies, there are some alternatives. Currently, Alegre is using the Fondeadora platform to get funds for his new project, in exchange of gifts going from a "thank you" posted in the website, a visit to a location and even credits in the movie.

And he is currently looking for US$6,400 dollars.

"We need to cover makeup, locations, talent and food," he said.

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