'EL CULTO DE LA MUERTE (CULT OF THE DEAD)' Project Description

'EL CULTO' is an independent experimental feature film that explores Oaxaca, Mexico's cultural, spiritual, folkloric, and philosophical connection to death, while addressing topics of identity, youth, exile, transnationalism, and the implications of imposed cultural expectation. Improvised and naturalistic dialogue & documentary footage are juxtaposed with surreal scripted events. Pre-existing folklore is interwoven with interjected myth, both within the narrative and documentary aspects of the film, underlining philosophies of border crossing and transnationalism. The narrative portion of the film follows two unnamed girls who exist as two parts of a whole. Their relationship varies ambiguously as best friends, sisters, and lovers. Though the girls rely each other, it soon becomes clear that perhaps the protagonist is less independent than her counterpart. When she is summoned to attend her own funeral, the two girls must journey to foreign lands in an effort to claim her identity. Parallels are drawn between the narrative's focus on the fluidity of identity and the documentary's investigation of unfixed borders of life and death.

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Why is EL CULTO Important?

EL CULTO examines the stories of the underrepresented and overlooked -- those who exist in the gray area between cultures, borders, language, and truths. Featuring two female leads, the narrative offers a brand-new take on identity, relationships, and the the way in which women are depicted in cinema, specifically queer women or women of mixed-ethnicity. The documentary portion of the film presents a beautiful and enriching philosophic investigation into Mexican folklore, spirituality, truth, and how, through death, humanity truly transcends borders and unites all. 

Where We Are Now & What We Need

We were successfully funded summer 2014 via Kickstarter for production of the narrative portion of the film to be shot in Mexico. Myself and a small cast and crew spent a month in October and November shooting on-location in Oaxaca, MX. We have since wrapped production on the Mexico narrative portion of 'EL CULTO', but still have much work to do to finish the film. The documentary portion of the film is still in production, stalled until we come up with funds to go back to Mexico and continue our filming. Funds will be used to cover travel expenses, accommodation, food, and equipment rentals. Additional funds needed will go towards post-production and distribution, festival submission fees, and the hiring of an assistant editor and post sound editor.

HELP FUND "EL CULTO"

If you missed our Kickstarter in 2014 and wish to contribute, you already contributed and you wish to give more, or is you are just interested in the project and want to see it completed, please donate to the film by clicking the button below! 'EL CULTO' will get finished, and you can help! All donations $25 and over will receive a private link to view the film upon it's completion and festival run (must provide email address)! 

DONATE TO "EL CULTO" PRODUCTION FUND!

We also have these unique hand-painted 18x24 promo posters available for sale -- 100% of profit goes to finishing production! Posters available HERE.

Screen printed & hand-painted 'EL CULTO' posters. Original illustration by Oaxacan artist, Raciel Esperanza.

Screen printed & hand-painted 'EL CULTO' posters. Original illustration by Oaxacan artist, Raciel Esperanza.

Detail 'EL CULTO' poster.

Detail 'EL CULTO' poster.