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LOS CABOS, Mexico – Shot for 27 days across drug cartel-dominated Sinaloa, Sinaloa-native Raul Rico and his Venezuelan co-helmer and scribe Eduardo Giralt dealt with threats and extortion as they sought to, ironically, delve into the roots of narco violence through their debut feature, “Los Debiles” (“The Weak Ones”).

Made for a very reduced sum with no state support, they worked with a non-pro cast and, at one point, had to organize a fund-raising party to pay for unexpected costs. “We wanted to move away from the caricatures often seen in the glut of TV series and movies about the narco culture,” said Rico, who together with Giralt, also developed, wrote, cast, edited, funded and produced the film.

“It’s a fable; violence is omnipresent but not seen,” said associate producer Lucero Garzon, who boarded the project after seeing some footage. “I was very impressed with the formal skills of the directors and moreover, when I saw the whole film, with the strong subject they depict – violence in Mexico – under a rather simple tale, I found it clever, fresh and definitely a new voice coming from Mexican cinema,” added Garzon, who is hoping to find financing to complete its post-production and “place it on the radar of festivals and sales agents.”

In “Los Debiles,” the lead character Victor, played by real farmer Jose Luis Lizarraga, has a run-in with a thirteen-year old gang member and, hours later, finds his beloved dogs killed. He grabs his gun and begins a journey to look for the young thug on board his pick-up truck across a hostile Sinaloa, on Mexico’s Pacific coast. In his search for leads, he meets a tapestry of individuals who as a whole, present both a disturbing and hopeful portrait of Mexico.

“Los Debiles” screens Friday Nov. 10 for the first time at Los Cabos’ Works in Progress forum.