"Tercer Mundo" Cesar Caro Cruz

Now Cesar Caro tells us about his movie "Third World":

I wanted to make a movie in three countries that I am very close to: Chile -my homeland- and Costa Rica and Bolivia, two fascinating countries where I have worked and lived and whose people I deeply respect. Also, these three countries are known for their UFO sightings, which is the subject that inspired the film. The original idea for the movie came about as I was traveling across Costa Rica some years ago, when I heard some locals talk about USOs (Unidentified Submarine Objects). They had seen and heard the USOs, and described in full detail how these lights emerged from the surface of the water and rushed up into the sky. I was amazed by these accounts and started taking notes for a screenplay. As I began writing, I instinctively associated this phenomenon with a solar eclipse that I had seen in the Bolivian highlands. I remember that as I waited for the eclipse to happen, I heard some people talk about the meaning of the eclipse for the indigenous Aymaras. For them, the eclipse means the death of the sun god Inti, in whose honor they performed sacred rituals. There was much expectation among the crowds of visitors waiting for the eclipse, and there were even rumors about UFO sightings. Although I didn’t see any of these lights, the eclipse changed my perception of nature and sense of the “unknown”. These stories and myths that have been in my mind for years make up the raw material of Third World (Tercer Mundo).

Third World works on ideas that I consider to be at the root of our identity as Latin Americans, such as the expectation for anything that arrives from a different place. In pre-Colombian rock art, for instance, we see paintings depicting beings or artifacts that descend from the sky. The inhabitants of our continent have always witnessed the arrival of the Other person, whether by land, sea or sky, be it a foreigner (the Spanish conquerors), a multinational company, or an extraterrestrial. This is an interesting subject for a film that combines reality and fantasy to give a different view on the Third World.

We were shooting about a year because we had to stay in each country 3 to 4 months. When you’re shooting a low budget film, you can’t just go to a location and if something goes wrong, come back again the next day for another shoot, especially if you’re shooting at the beach, on volcanoes or in the highlands, some 4000 mts above sea level. In this sense, we were lucky with the weather. The rain or the stormy clouds that abound in places like Costa Rica or La Paz always moved to the side whenever we were about to shoot. I think nature was on the side of low budget films, the local crew couldn’t believe it. 

From the start, this was a very difficult film to make. At the beginning nobody believed in the project: it was too bizarre, to complex and too expensive to shoot a film in three different countries. Still, with passion and determination, we proved that it was possible. We developed a feasible production strategy that took advantage of our experience in Chile, Costa Rica and Bolivia. In each of these countries we put together a network of friends, contacts, filmmakers and enthusiasts who were willing to participate in the making of the film. With the screenplay on one hand and two backpacks on our backs, the photographer/producer Ana Lucia, and me, the screenwriter/director set out on the adventure of shooting this film. In each country we had to start from zero: pre-produce, make castings, scout locations, meet the crew, etc. It was almost like making three feature films in a new country each time, one after the other. It was an amazing experience where we met incredible places and even more astounding people.

As for the technical side, we used Sony Z1 camera. It is a very good option when it comes to blow up the digital material to 35mm film. This is the story of three young adults in three different countries surrounded by different landscapes and colors so we decided to give a special look to each of these places. And about the future of film distribution, nowadays it’s very difficult to get distribution in cinemas for 35 mm copy prints, specially for Latin-American films, it’s almost impossible to fight against the budget that Hollywood have for distribution. But I think the future is on the internet and the digital cinema. It’s out there. There’s hope.

Thus, I just want to invite movie lovers to see Tercer Mundo, it will soon be available on DVD. I want them to see how, with little money but lots of passion, it is possible to make films with neighboring and distant countries. That by bringing together actors, crews and artists from different countries, we can make a story that redefines any stereotype of what is usually labeled as "Latin American".

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