Machete Films, Ciudad Cinema Start ‘Here Be Dragons’ Shoot in Mexico

Machete Films, Ciudad Cinema Start ‘Here Be Dragons’ Shoot in Mexico


Principal photography of Mexican producer-director Iria Gómez Concheiro’s dystopian thriller “Here be Dragons” is underway in Mexico, with Gómez Concheiro’s Ciudad Cinema producing alongside “La Jaula de Oro” producer Machete Films, led by Edher Campos.

“When the project was broached to me last year by Iria and her producing partner Rodrigo Rios Legaspi, I was immediately drawn to it as I was keen to make a science fiction film, especially because it deals with themes that interest me, trouble me and that are very relevant today: the control over a society, the fragility of youth, its struggle in a failing system, global warming, the scarcity of resources and the power those resources hold within a government,” said Campos.

“And that control makes you believe you should be afraid. That indeed, here be dragons,” he added wryly.

Starring Chile’s Alfredo Castro (“El Conde”), Hernán Mendoza (“The Box”) and Mercedes Hernandez (“Identifying Features”), the tale set in 2054 follows 18-year-old Candelaria (played by Camila Calónico) as she tries to survive in a ravaged country ruled by sinister military forces. Fearing an impending barbaric invasion, Candelaria escapes from her father’s grip and the cruel regime, embarking on a journey where she discovers love and the truth about the barbarians.

The title refers to the Latin inscription “hic sunt dracones” (here be dragons), which was used on old navigational maps to denote unexplored or dangerous areas.

Pic is being shot in Mexico City and state, Jalisco and San Luis Potosí, said Campos, who brought in location manager César Bañuelos who worked on “La Jaula de Oro” and has closely collaborated with lauded documentary filmmaker Everardo González (“La libertad del diablo”).

Campos also suggested cinematographer Claudia Becerril Bulos to Gómez Concheiro, whom she liked. “So, we built a fascinating team that has helped the project grow, based on the science fiction we aimed to explore,” he noted, adding: “The locations, costume design and cinematography are very much in the style of creating a Latin American dystopia, which evokes science fiction without solely depending on VFX to tell the story.”

“‘Here Be Dragons’ is a dystopian thriller that addresses my need to talk about the fears that trap us and to reflect on a problem faced by many nations around the world: the culture of fear,” said Gómez Concheiro.

“Why did it get dark and the barbarians never come? Some have arrived from the borders saying that the barbarians don’t exist. And what will become of us now without barbarians? After all, those people were a solution,” she mused.

The thriller participated in the Guadalajara Film Festival’s Co-Production Meeting in 2021 after going through the Morelia Lab, where it clinched a special mention, as well as the Brazil Lab, the Huelva Festival Co-Production Forum and Sørfond Norway.

Machete Films has two projects currently vying for the Premio Mezcal in Guadalajara’s official competition: Federico Cecchetti’s “Jikuri” and “The Muleteer” (“La Arriera”), the directorial debut of Isabel Cristina Fregoso, which also aims for the festival’s Premio Maguey and Made in Jalisco prizes.

“Jikuri” revolves around Rayenari, a Tarahumara native in northern Mexico, whose life takes an unexpected turn with the arrival of a peculiar poet named Antonin Artaud.

“The Muleteer “centers on Emilia, who, driven by her desire to escape her family and their property, ventures into the mountains on horseback. Disguised as a young muleteer, she immerses herself in a new world that ultimately guides her to her true destiny.

Machete Films also took part in Guadalajara’s Fantastic Genre Pitch with its horror film “Cachorra” where it snagged the genre pitching award, which includes participation in Cannes’ Fantastic 7 strand next year.

In “Cachorra,” a wolf pup abandoned on the outskirts of Mexicali finds refuge in the clinic of Dr. Clara, a devoted veterinarian. An instant bond forms between Clara and the pup. With the approaching full moon, strange occurrences start to unfold, hinting that someone—or something—is destined to reclaim the pup.

“After ‘Huesera: The Bone Woman,’ Machete is once again betting on the horror genre,” said Campos.

“Cachorra” was selected for the Cine Qua Non (Script Lines) and SANFIC-Mórbido labs. In 2023, it participated in the Mestizo Lab, where it won the Churubusco Incentive. The project has been mentored by Morbido Group CEO-Founder Pablo Guisa and writers Gonzalo Maza (“A Fantastic Woman”) and Silvia Pasternac (“On Childhood”).

The Guadalajara Film Festival kicked off on June 7 and wraps on the 15th.




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