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quietearth [Film Festival 09.02.09] Mexico movie interview scifi

We've been following this incredible looking Mexican scifi film since September of 2008, and while we posted footage shortly after finding it, it was then yanked and disappeared for awhile, along with any communication we had with director Francisco Laresgoiti. You can watch footage and English subbed trailer here.

Why? Well, apparently Francisco was having political problems with his film due to the fact that it's based on the Cristero War which is apparently banned from being taught in Mexican schools. But more about this after the break in our exclusive interview with the director!

Can you tell us about 2033 and what it's based on?

2033 was originally going to be called VCR 2026, and before that Grado 33, and the reason it changed to 2033 lays heavily on the following thought:

My main objective on which to base the story was to recreate a war in Mexico that our government has banned from history clases in schools and universities: The Cristero war. This war surged because of the banning of religion. Plutarco Elias Calles, president at that time thought that "religion was in the way of progress", he expelled all priests and closed all churches. This caused a national disconsent, that triggered a rebelious and armed movement. Even priests caught hand on weapons to resist it. Most of the main characters in 2033 were taken form real heroes and villans from this war. This war was between 1926 and 1929, so the original title was going to be a conmemoration of the 100 years of this war. (Thats why its was part vcr-2026)

The acronym VCR stands for "VIVA CRISTO REY", which translated to english means: "Long live Christ the king", an often shouted phrase, and identification motto from the Cristero rebels. An interesting fact is that after naming it VCR2026, I realized it had the same amount of numbers and letters of my favourite film. Can you guess it?

Some other reasons it is called 2033, is to conmemorate the 2000 aniversary of the death of J.C. and because the Cabalystic meaning for me of the number 33.

I'm guessing THX-1138 which is also one of my favorite films, that is the original version, not the butchered directors redo with all the cgi?

That's right! THX, a true inspiration on a story about a controlled world The original version without CGI tells a great story. Lucas did a great story within the limits of technology at that time. So did Gattaca but on purpose, and well, in 2033 we did what we could within our countrys resources and our limited film budget.

You talked about heavily about the Cristero war, which is banned from being taught in Mexico and you told me before you had political problems with the film because of this. What happened?

Some guys from the executive area of the Ministry of Education threatened my company and film from not being released, specially because of a scene where a Crucufix is destroyed. I retrieved it [the footage] from the internet and waited for things to cool down. Now, when the premiere goes out, I will have this scene in it, and will love to see the face of these people!

I´m calm and confident. My main goal is to open minds and elimiate taboos. This war was real and should be talked about.

You had originally told me you were "banned by the government", was there something else you're not able to tell us?

No, but actually, the matter was (or maybe still is) that these government "prosecutors" are on the lookout for this kind of provocative images or concepts. They contacted me and suggested me not to premiere this film with such subject and images. That suggestion sounds to me more as prohibition, and we´ll see what happens in the coming months.

Which brings me to the one thing we all want to know.. When can we see it? Do you have a premier set and do you have a distributor or sales agent?

No date of release set yet, and no distributor or sales agent. The film hasn't been seen completely. Only by us! I'll keep you posted on more news. We'll be attending AFM and AFI.

Have you been submitting it to any film festivals?

The film is not finished, and so far we have nothing lined up.

Will you be releasing any more promotional material for the film, possibly a new trailer?

Yes! Actually these trailers are production value showers! Our REAL trailer will be ready in September. We filmed yesterday a very cool musical video for promo.

So you're obviously doing a lot of work to set up the promotion for the film and push it out. Is there anything else you want to share before we switch directions?

I will love to tell you more about the ideas I have for the promotion, since we have no distributor yet, we have dedicated ourselves to create a big viral concept in the city (Mexico City). We are actually producing "PACTIA" and will sell the concept with the following marketing idea:

"Pactia, she drinks it, you will love it".

The drink consists of a high energy gel emulsion combined with antioxidants and a high alcohol content. It will be sold on strategic points of purchase and well have 4 model girls persuading via internet and locally to have a sip. Crazy huh! Well, it's happening. I enclosed a small preview of the new born concept.

Additionally we are exploring the site By the way, we would love to post some questions about mexico in that site, and share some premonitions about the future (2033) with you! Lets do that later.

You're going to make and market a futuristic alcoholic drink to promote 2033? I think that's the first time I've heard of a marketing campaign like that!

We need to do this things, and maybe more. Sci-fi in mexico is like exploring the Moon for the first time, (Which by the way hasn´t been done!) You have to be prepared for any eventuality and anticipate for the worst! This campaign will cost us nothing, we´ve got a wonderful relationship with a big bar and restaurant chain who was delighted by the film and concept. They´re pitching in with a lot of enthusiasm!

I'd love to see a picture of the beverage when it's finished. So you mentioned THX-1138 as one of your favorite scifi films. Is there any other films that were inspirations for 2033?

Yes, and you will never believe it, I'll pick on you a bit. Choose 3 form this list:

a) The Island
b) Romeo and Juliet (Baz Luhrmann)
c) Gattaca
d) Soylent Green
e) Coma
f) Star Wars
g) Blade Runner
h) Logan´s Run

Let´s see if you can guess 3 of my main inspirations. It's not that easy. I'll explain my choices after you´ve guessed!

I would guess: 1. Gattaca, everyone loves this film. 2. Blade Runner. 3. Soylent Green.

Well, you got 1 right: SOYLENT GREEN . Then comes to your surprise: ROMEO AND JULIET. And finally: COMA. I´ll explain:

SOYLENT GREEN gave me a lot of elements to create PACTIA, and the idea of a densely populated world, no books and planet heat. ROMEO AND JULIET was the jump starter: I saw this film and said to myself, "we can recreate a past event a bring it to the future". Baz Luhrman took a Shakespeare play and took it to the present. Actually some shots of the city were changed by cgi. A great inspiration for me to take the Cristero war to the future!

COMA gave me important elements on cryogenic or coma phases and it was a great lighting reference for an important scene in the film.

Obviously everyone loves Gattaca, it is one of my favorite cult movies, and yes it had influence on 2033.

What kind of special effects and use of CGI can we expect in 2033?

Well, we had on set explosions and tons of green screen. The CGI post production took 8 months, that´s a record for Mexico! We have approximately 415 CGI effects. Most of them, I´d say 75% you wouldn´t notice, because they´re set extensions or so. We have an impressive scene where the CGI integration is crucial. I am sending you a reference pic of a work in progress we had.

Now that picture is incredible! What's happening in that scene?

I guess you´ll have to see the film! Sorry about this one, no answer!

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