GUADALAJARA – The pieces are beginning to fall into place on Daniel Castro Zimbron ’s “The Darkness,” a fantasy psychological thriller among the most buzzed-up projects at this year’s Guadalajara Ibero-American Co-production Meeting, which kicked off Sunday in Mexico.
“The Darkness” is set up at Pablo Zimbron Alva’s Mexico-based Varios Lobos, which has developed the film partnering with Jorge Michel Grau and Mayra Espinosa’s Velarium Arts and Ozcar Ramirez’s Arte Mecanica.
Zimbron’s follow-up to his feature debut “Tau,” “The Darkness” has pulled down significant FOPROCINE equity finance from Mexico’s IMCINE Film Institute, to the tune of 9 million pesos ($680,000).
Producer Zimbron Alva will travel early next week to France’s Toulouse Cinelatino Festival to present “The Darkness.” Cannes Cinefondation’s Atelier – a co-production workshop which forms part of the Festival’s Cinefondation and runs during much of May’s Festival – announced March 10 that “The Darkness” is one of 15 projects which has made this year’s cut. The Atelier has a habit of highlighting projects and accelerating their passage towards completion finance, via the involvement of international co-producers or sales agents.
Channeling “Solaris,” Castro Zimbron said, and starring Brontis Jodorosky (“El Topo,” ”Coco Before Chanel”), “Tau” – the sun in Huichol – turns on a biologist who, robbed and left to die in a desert in Mexico, encounters a Huichol wise man who teaches him to understand the desert as a living being.
The second part of a planned “Trilogy of Light,” Castro said at Guadalajara, “The Darkness” is set by contrast in a dark and seemingly hopeless world after some unspecified Apocalyse.
It turns on a family – a father and his three children – who shelter in a benighted cabin in the woods, which is whorled by perpetual fog where the air is contaminated and a terrible beast stalks for prey; or so the father says.
Notably, the mother is dead. Also written by Daniel Castro Zimbron, “The Darkness” forms part of a burgeoning genre auteur tradition in Mexico and Spain – think Jaume Balaguero’s “The Nameless,” Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” and Juan Antonio Bayona’s “The Orphanage” – where genre tropes and fantasy mix with an exploration of dysfunctional family relations.
“The story is a metaphor of the world in which we live, in which the beast represents the dangers outside the home as well as the dark side of human nature. It also talks about how far parents are willing to go to protect their children,” said Castro Zimbron.
“The Darkness” mixes films type – fantasy genre and psychological thriller.” he added. “Its visual style will be realist and magical at the same time. It’s never night, day, always dusk, the fog never shifts, as if we are in an eternal magical hour.”
Zimbron Castro added that the third part of the Trilogy of Light would be “Sombra” (“shadow,” in Spanish), a more immediately realist story mixing light and darkness.