IFF Panama: Guatemala’s Julio Hernandez Cordon Talks About ‘I Promise You Anarchy’

2015 Primera Mirada winner returns to present completed feature

Julio Hernandez Cordon
Copyright: Martin Dale

PANAMA CITY — Guatemalan director Julio Hernandez Cordon won the IFF Panama’s Primera Mirada pix-in-post competition in 2015 with “I Promise You Anarchy,” which went on to world premiere at Locarno, followed by screenings in Toronto and San Sebastian. It is now playing in the Stories from Central America and the Caribbean sidebar at IFF Panama.

“Anarchy” was produced by Mexican production house Interior 13, which has also produced the films by Nicolas Pereda (“El Palacio”). World sales are being handled by Spain’s Latido Films. Already sold to Spain, Portugal, the Caribbean and Central America, “Anarchy” was Hernandez Cordon’s first picture produced and filmed in Mexico. He moved there because of the difficulties he faced in funding his films in his native Guatemala.

His debut documentary feature, “Hasta el sol tiene manchas,” filmed 10 years ago, was produced on a shoestring $3,000 budget. His next docu, “Las Marimbas del Infierno,” was shot for $20,000. His first fiction feature, “Gasolina,” which had support from the Cinergia Central American Film Fund and won San Sebastian’s Cinema in Motion sidebar in 2007, was produced for $80,000; his second, “Polvo,” was shot for $100,000, including support from Ibermedia. The limited budgets forced Cordon to shoot his pics in two weeks.

By moving to Mexico, Cordon was able to put together a $600,000 budget and a six-week shoot for “Anarchy,” organized as a Mexican-Guatemalan-German co-production between Interior 13 and Rohfilm, with the involvement of British film producer Donald Ranvaud,  funding from Mexico’s Foprocine film fund and support from Berlin’s World Cinema Fund.

All of Cordon’s fiction productions mix documentary and fiction styles and are primarily lensed in exterior locations and use first time non-professional actors.

Cordon underlines the importance of rough-cut competitions such as IFF Panama’s Primera Mirada and San Sebastian’s Films in Progress. He says that they played a key role in creating international visibility for his work, and enabled him to secure vital post-production funding.

“Anarchy” has been well received at IFF Panama and will bow in theaters in Mexico in June.