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Mexico’s Martfilms, Guatemala’s Cine Concepción and Norway’s Merfilm have boarded Aeden O’Connor Agurcia’s Honduran immigration drama “Cae el sol” (“Sun Falls”), produced by Ana Isabel Martins Palacios at Pulsar Cine. 

One of the 15 projects presented as part of Ventana Sur 2022’s Proyecta initiative, “Cae el sol” also counts on a local co-production involvement by Fosforito Films in Honduras and investment from U.S. company Amé Films.

Writer-director O’Connor Agurcia’s feature debut, “90 minutes,” won the Audience Award at the 2020 Miami International Film Festival.

In development, “Cae el sol’s” producers plan to go into production on the film by the end of next year or early 2024. 

The story is set in 2018 Honduras, focusing on a group of young filmmakers overcoming their context by becoming storytellers. 

The lead character is Jackson, a passionate young man who dreams of making films that denounce the corruption, poverty and violence in Honduras. 

After shooting his first movie with a ragtag team of friends, Jackson finds himself involved in a dark and dangerous world when he succumbs to the accepting the support of the leader of a local gang. 

“In addition to the violence and extreme poverty that plague Honduras, for most of that year the country tirelessly protested against a corrupt government, eventually reaching a tipping point that unleashed the first major migrants caravans to the U.S.,” said O’Connor Agurcia.

The Hondurans caravans crossed Mexico to get to the U.S.. “Co-production with this territory is important since we want audiences to empathise with the film and for our Central American stories to cross borders,” producer Ana Isabel Martins Palacios told Variety.

Pulsar has built a co-production alliance with Martha Orozco from MartFilms in Mexico, who already has experience filming in this territory with a Central American team, co-producing Laura Baumeister’s Nicaraguan film “Daughter of Rage,” plus her experience in the hybrid documentary world, that can contribute creatively to the making of the story.

Guatemalan producer Elisas Pirir at Norway-based MerFilm boast a great track record, including the co-production of Colombian Oscar submission and San Sebastian, Zurich and Chicago festivals top prize winner “The Kings of the World.” She also took an associate producer credit on Oscar contending animated feature “Flee.”

The co-production partnership also takes in the expertise of Guatemalan technicians and the collaboration of Joaquín Ruano’s Cine Concepción, producer of films such as César Díaz’s Cannes and Chicago festivals awards winner “Our Mothers” and Sergio Ramírez’s “1991.” 

“The strength of this team and its commitment to Honduran cinema and talent will allow us to produce a quality film and put us on the Latin American map,” Martins Palacios said. 

“My main goal with ‘Cae el Sol’ is to raise awareness and create an environment for international discussion, showing the root of the migration problem. All this is seen from the point of view of a dreamy character, wanting to go out and give light when surrounded by so much darkness,” O’Connor Agurcia added

Picked up by Outsider Pictures for international sales and the U.S., “90 Minutes,” O’Connor Agurcia’s feature debut, also produced by Martins Palacios, narrated four stories about violence, love, suspense and drama, all united by a common soccer background.

Cae el sol Courtesy of Pulsar Cine