Mexico’s Fotosintesis Media, producer of the Quirino Awards best feature winner “A Costume for Nicolas,” is readying Alejandra Pérez’s first movie “My Friend the Sun,” an animated family tale deeply rooted in lesser-known Mexican myths and legends.
A social cause-driven entertainment label jointly launched by Jaime Romandia and Carlos Reygadas’ Mantarraya Group and writer-director Mike Uriegas, Fotosintesis Media first hit the scene in 2015 with “The Incredible Story of the Stone Boy.” “My Friend” will be the fifth feature from the company, which is also currently producing immigration feature “Beast.”
Now in pre-production, “My Friend the Sun” follows Diego and his daughter Xochitl, who make a living selling Xochitl’s paintings of Mexican mythology. She wants to explore her own ancestral roots while her father is only concerned with money. One day, Xochitl paints a mural of the almighty god Quetzalcoatl who takes her through the painting and into the world of the Mexican gods. Her father, who was born in an indigenous community but wants to leave behind his past and achieve a different life, will embark on an adventure to rescue his daughter.
“We want to take the opportunity to underscore the importance of the indigenous legacy in our country, and specifically to advocate for the protection of our original languages, in particular the Nahuatl, Mixtecan and Zapotecan,” Uriegas told Variety, adding: “Our objective is to make dubbed versions in these languages, so this movie reaches indigenous communities in their native tongue.”
One of the film’s main characters will be voiced by Erasmo Catarino, a popular indigenous Mexican singer who is proficient in the indigenous languages.
“My Friend the Sun” is the first feature of Alejandra Pérez, an experienced storyboard artist. Pérez said: “We want to find a balance between a commercial style and a well-constructed, artisanal narrative. We will look for ways that reference the origins of our culture, with its colors and magic, in a contemporary style.”
Script is penned by Uriegas and “Beast”’ scriptwriter Jonathan Barceló.
Uriegas regrets that when Mexican stories are told abroad, they’re mostly about the Maya culture or Day of the Dead, but barely about the Mexican mythology of the Aztecs. “We want this film to tell the children of the world about that other ‘world’ that there is in Mexico, full of incredible characters and colors,” the producer-scriptwriter said.
The Aztec empire was founded as an alliance between Mexico-Tenochtitlan, Tetzcoco, and Tlacopan in 1430 and lasted until 1521, when it was destroyed by Spain’s Hernán Cortés.
“My Friend the Sun” will be ready for delivery in 2024.