The film focuses on the National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico, a 10-day celebration of San Juan de Dios, patron saint of firework makers. Artisans show off their technical virtuosity and dozens of teams build larger-than-life papier-mâché bulls to parade into the town square, adorned with fireworks that blow up in all directions. More than three quarters of Tultepec’s residents work in pyrotechnics.
Oscilloscope’s Dan Berger said, “‘Brimstone & Glory’ is not just an epic feast for the eyes and the ears (though it is that), it’s a brilliant display of portraiture. It introduces us to people and a community — intimately, intensely, and beautifully – and sets the stage for a long career for Viktor. I have no doubt this is just the beginning.”
Producers are Dan Janvey, Elizabeth Lodge Stepp, Kellen Quinn, Affonso Gonçalves, Benh Zeitlin, Casey Coleman, Antonio “Tonitzin” Gómez, Viktor Jakovleski, and Erdem Karahan. The film was funded by Cinereach, and is a Court 13 and Department of Motion Pictures production.
Mongrel is selling international rights at the Cannes Film Festival. The film is edited by Affonso Gonçalves and scored by Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin, the creative team of “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”
Dennis Harvey said in his review for Variety: “Mixing sheer spectacle with modest but pleasing human-interest threads, Viktor Jakovleski’s first directorial feature is a poetical, entrancing documentary that should delight niche viewers across many cultural borders.