Puebla's film industry is in the limelight. A new feature film will be produced in the streets of Puebla, seeking to show the city as a space where films can be made.

Carlos Trujano is a filmmaker from Puebla who has won the Diosa de Plata (Silver Goddess) at the Morelia International Film Festival and has presented different productions at national and international festivals. Now, he will direct his first feature film in the city where he was born and raised.

The film #Rats seeks to put under the spotlight the inequality in the middle classes, through a baritone who is involved in a criminal act, and calls for justice in social networks.

Carlos Trujano, director de cine
Photo: Rodrigo Peña / Agencia Express Media

In an interview with Poblanerías, Carlos explains the complications that Puebla's film industry is going through and how he has managed to turn his first project as a director into a reality.

Film funding in Mexico

#Rats won the first Call for Production of First Feature Films from Film Schools in Mexico from FOCINE (Fomento al Cine Mexicano) and this will be its first source of income to be able to shoot the film.

Winning the support that exists to produce films in Mexico is not easy. Carlos explains that the fund has changed and gives more freedom to filmmakers:

"One of the important changes with the new support is that IMCINE gives you 100 % of the rights. What they do keep are the non-exclusive exhibition rights, so IMCINE, after two years from the premiere, can screen the film both commercially and at festivals, for cultural purposes".

However, this economic support barely represents half of the budget required for the production, which is why Carlos has incorporated: Pedro Giunti, Claudia and Eduardo San Martín as co-producers of the film.

To get this support, Carlos prepared a folder with the details of the production that competed with projects from all over the country, in order to receive the support granted by the Mexican Institute of Cinematography (IMCINE).

#Rats, a film that stems from a phobia.

The film's story is about Miguel Ángel, an opera singer who will audition in Europe; however, one day his apartment is robbed, and with it, his dream.

When seeking justice through traditional means, he finds flaws in the system, so he opts to create with his friends a movement in networks called #Rats.

"The first change in the story is something that happened to me: my apartment was robbed one night when I was not there, fortunately, the result was not as fateful as in the film, and my experiences or those of my friends are added."

The film will be shot in the capital of Puebla from October 18 to November 25, 2021. Twenty-five actors and 200 extras are expected to participate.

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The filming will take place in different locations in Puebla. Among the confirmed locations are: the Santa Cruz Buenavista neighborhood, Ciudad Universitaria, Centro Histórico and the Angelópolis area; and some others are being considered.

Carlos Trujano, director de cine
Photo: Rodrigo Peña / Agencia Express Media

The actors who will be starring in this film are: Fernando Cuautle, Sarahí Sosa and Pedro Giunti, all with experience in Mexican series, short films and movies.

Film distribution

Carlos and the #Rats team are still focused on the production of the film, and although they have glimpsed distribution options, they have not yet been able to finalize anything.

The increase in popularity of platforms such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, makes them one of the main options, for this they must meet certain standards:

" I believe that streaming is a way to reach the public, and that is why we are looking for the film to technically comply with everything necessary. We are advising ourselves so that when the time comes to make the decision there is a possible deal or negotiation, we meet the requirements".

Among the points to be fulfilled, they must have recorded with certain models of cameras, in a certain resolution and proportion, as well as having the licenses for the music that will appear during the film.

In spite of this, Carlos would like his film to be released in commercial theaters, not in search of box office income, but to be able to reach a larger audience.

Puebla, a city for filmmaking

Although some famous films have been shot in Puebla, such as Frida, Man on Fire or 'Vantage Point', film production in the state has not grown over the years.

For Carlos, Puebla continues to be an optimal place to shoot films, since it does not pay for filming permits, and therefore does not raise production costs:

"The advantage that Puebla has over other places, such as Mexico City, for example, is that you can still get permits to film. It doesn't directly involve paying for the permit and hopefully for local filmmakers it will continue to be that way because it allows us to film in a more accessible way."
Carlos Trujano, director de cine
Photo: Rodrigo Peña / Agencia Express Media

He believes that the presence of film schools in the city is beginning to build the foundations for creating a film community and culture in the state.

The filmmaker from Puebla plans to present his film at the beginning of 2023 and, although they have not yet defined whether it will be screened in commercial theaters or at a festival, he assures that the film will be shown in Puebla, in order to continue promoting support for the film industry in the state.