LOS CABOS, Mexico – Armed with degrees in cinematography and docu filmmaking from Barcelona and Mexico, Marta Ferrer shot her first docu “El Varal” in 2009 about a farming village in Guanajato, which like many parts of Mexico, has been impacted by the Mexican diaspora to the U.S. It won the Best Documentary prize at Morelia in 2010.

She was inspired to make her second docu, “To Die in the Desert,” when a friend showed her a YouTube video of men singing the dying tradition of choral cardenche, songs of love and loss sung as capella– as practiced in a handful of pueblos in the states of Durango and Coahuila. “It so affected me that I dreamt of it that night,” she said, noting how they reminded her of negro spirituals. She shot the docu mainly in the pueblos of Sapioriz and La Flor de Jimulco, where she found a Cardenche trio in their ‘70s and ‘80s in the former.

Lead produced by Pimienta Films (“Tempestad”), “To Die in the Desert” just won Los Cabos’ Art Kingdom award, which provides services in kind for the making of a trailer.

Ferrer is next developing a short and a feature-length doc, the latter about the search for alien life.