1. Persiguiendo Trenes – Carmen Pedraza (Mexico City) –
Julia is a young woman from a small community in Honduras. Her father left her family to go to the North (the way the immigrants refer to the United Sates). For the first couple of years he sent money from Chicago, but suddenly he disappeared leaving the role of the father to Julia’s older brother, Pedro. But Julia’s world is shattered when Pedro dies in an accident, leaving her family with no real economic income. It’s when she takes the decision to go to the North. But, she believes that the journey will be safer by hiding her real identity and decides to disguise herself as a man. Without long hair and wearing Pedro’s clothes, Julia begins a journey through Mexico in which she’ll have to face kidnapping from organize crime gangs, extortion from the police, persecution from drug cartels and even love…everything while pursuing trains, hoping that these might take her to a better life.

2. El otro lado del sueño – David Garza (Guadalupe) –
Two men cross the border at night: Juan searching for the American dream; the other a thief escaping from the Mexican justice with a sac full of golden coins. The chance to have gold transforms Juan´s dream into the ambition to steal it , he murders the thief and steal the golden coins, but after felt surrounded by the immigration patrol he buries the gold in the American side. Juan eventually becomes an immigration agent with the sole intention of having access to the area where he buried the gold almost 20 years ago.

3. Oliver – Miguel Valdez-Lopez (Monterrey) –
All young Oliver wants is to be the man of the house for his grandma and younger siblings. But when his grandma passes away inside his trailer park home, he knows he must keep it a secret to avoid being separated from the rest of his family. With no other option, Oliver begins to work for a mechanic, whose workshop is across the border, soon realizing that he actually sets up vehicles to carry illegal drugs back to the US. After many a sacrifice to support his family, the authorities discover their illegal activities. Luckily, Oliver is able to escape, but only to arrive home and find grandma’s body being dug up from beneath the trailer park home.

4. Apollo 14 – Matthew Sanabria (Mexico City) –
Chon Garcia returns to his hometown, Las piedras, with his head full of modern ideas, a portable radio and a ’63 Ford pick up truck. But nobody takes him seriously for he is the first one to come back from the US to this “God forsaken town”. Things seem to look up for everyone when a NASA rocket crashes in the outskirts of the town. Chon, convinced that the rocket will be a tourist attraction, will have to convince everyone else busy with an upcoming local farm competition. He will have to decide if he helps them by his rules or theirs.

5. El abejorro del Desierto – Horacio Mancilla Avalos (Mexico City) –
Julio and Sofia, two teenagers from Northern Mexico are in the midst of serious family and financial problems. On top of that, Sofia gets pregnant. When an international hot air balloon festival comes to town, Jimmy, one of the pilots, offers Julio his balloon to cross illegally to the U.S. In the last minute, Sofia decides to join him on this crazy adventure. But she doesn’t know that Jimmy has asked Julio something in return: to transport a load of cocaine hidden inside the “Bumblebee’s” basket.

United States:

1. Ixchel – Nicolas Simonin (Los Angeles) –
Imagine experiencing a memorable honeymoon with your husband in Yucatán, México. Your name is Eva. You’re a 31 years old Mexican-American successful teacher from San Diego. No kids, a kind husband, Eduardo. Except that every night, you have strange dreams about a son who does not exist and doubts about who you really are?…You will eventually realizes Eduardo is lying u: he is not your husband…but kidnapped you and drove you to México to hide the truth. Beside, your body is changing…The worst happens when you find out that…Eva died 2 years ago. If Eva died. Who are you? And what is the truth that Eduardo is hiding from you? What if you were not even human? “Ixchel” is an ambitious low budget international Thriller (thematically in the vein of ‘Gravity’) about a Hispanic woman fighting to get her humanity back… and discovering the truth about her identity. The story finds its roots in the legend of IXCHEL, the Goddess of fertility in the Mayan culture.

2. La Vida No Vale Nada (Life is Worthless) – Elizabeth Felix (Tucson) –
Three young Mexican street hustlers fall into the world of drug trafficking after they realize that their father, who left for the United States, isn’t coming back.

3. Santas del Diablo part I – David Valdez (Tucson) –
When three young Mexican girls are found in the desert, those who find them realize the girls are part of a darker picture. Not wanting to expose themselves to US authorities, they decide to keep the girls on the ranch, home school them, teach them how to live off the land, train them for self defense. As the girls become young adults, they decide to make every effort to find those who kidnapped them and in their journey perform activities our US government can not do.

4. Project Chupacabra – Antonio Villagomez (Oro Valley) –
The US government’s newest weapon against illegal border crossing and drug trafficking is being introduced this year in two sectors along the Arizona/Mexico border. These genetically altered robotic type animals programmed to hunt down, identify and kill, if necessary, will help solve the immigration problem until one decides to act out on its own.

5. The Road to Cananea – Simon Donovan (Tucson) –
A true tragi-comedic tale of friendship, love, death, bisexual betrayal and possibly criminal deceit that plays out on both sides of the Arizona – Sonora, Mexico border. Silas comes to the emotional aid of his friend Tom, when Jason – Tom’s lover of twelve years is killed in a car accident one night on the road to a whorehouse in Cananea, Sonora. As they travel from Tucson to Cananea to claim the body, facts of Jason’s double life unfold. Not only was Jason a gay man with latent heterosexual tendencies but also with unsuspected drug abuse, major credit card debt, a secret meth-dealer fiancé and a recently acquired million-dollar accidental death life insurance policy. Surreal and at times comic situations ensue.

The treatments were judged by a Selection Committee composed by professionals from the supporting organizations, namely: Octavio Marin, from NALIP (Los Angeles), Kaitlin McNally Murphy, from the Spanish and Portuguese Department of The University of Arizona (Tucson), Freddy Cabral Porchas, from Sonora Turismo (Hermosillo), Shelli Hall and Felipe García, from Film Tucson (Tucson), and Kate Lyra, from LATC.

The first-place winning screenplay treatment from each country receives a US$500 cash award from LATC, toward development of the screenplays, a Gift Certificate for digital download of Final Draft 9 screenwriting software, and a NALIP complimentary (1-year) membership! In addition, the two winning treatments and the four runners up, from both Mexico and the US, will be made available to production companies on both sides of the border for possible acquisition, development and/or production. They will also receive a copy of the LATC publication, Latin American Cinema Today: The Director’s Perspective.

The 2014 Mexico-US Screenplay Treatment Competition was open to filmmakers and screenwriters, over 18 years of age, with a university degree in any field, citizens or residents of Mexico or US, without any feature film produced to date. It was organized by the Latin American Training Center, with support by the following entities:
• The Tucson Film Office
• The University of Arizona Spanish and Portuguese Department
• Final Draft Screenwriting Software
• National Association of Latino Independent Producers – NALIP
• Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara – FICG 29
• Sonora Turismo and Film Commission

Contact: Tiago Elídio –

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