Diego Calva’s dream(er) project will be hitting U.S. theaters…
Roadside Attractions has acquired the U.S. rights to Dreamer, a thriller starring the 31-year-old Mexican Golden Globe-nominated actor.
Inspired by a landmark sweatshop case in El Monte, CA, the film marks the feature directorial debut of veteran producer Mohit Ramchandani.
It will bow exclusively in theaters nationwide on April 5, 2024.
Newcomer Ari Lopez leads an ensemble that also includes Alfredo Castro, Paulina Gaitan, Calva and Renata Vaca.
The story follows Jesús (Lopez), a young farmer in rural Mexico who dreams of playing for Club Puebla, his local soccer team. With the promise of training at a soccer camp in Los Angeles, Jesús is convinced by his father to leave home, but he soon discovers that he’s been sold to a sweatshop run out of a decrepit mansion in downtown Los Angeles. Jesús is then subjected to the grueling 18-hour work schedule dictated by El Jefe (Castro), a boss who promises freedom for those who complete their quotas, and whose brutality is motivated by his own desperation to provide for his family back in Mexico. Despite all, Jesús finds solace in Elena (Vaca), a girl who was similarly betrayed and sent to America under the guise of attending a fashion school. When Elena goes missing and another co-worker, Carlitos (Calva), is severely beaten for confronting El Jefe, Jesús realizes his only way out is a daring escape.
Ramchandani directed from his own script, with the film being produced and financed by Rufus Parker of P2 Films, Jon Graham and Matt Diezel. Ramchandani also served as producer. In addition to Aparicio, EPs included Luis Mandoki and Daljit DJ Parmar of Original Entertainment.
Dreamer has garnered praise from L.A. Mayor Karen Bass’ Office, the Los Angeles Civil Rights Department, and former Department of State Chief of Staff Mark J Biedlingmaier, who stated: “It is one of the most emotionally engaging films I have ever seen. I’m excited to share this film with my colleagues in Washington, given this topic touches every single American today.”
Ramchandani underscored that “Dreamer has no political bias or agenda. It merely shows you, from the point of view of a young boy, what it would be like to have your dreams stolen and replaced with the hellish nightmare of slavery. His story is only one of over 2.8 million undocumented migrants that crossed the border in 2023 and whose forced labor is an unforgiveable stain on countless corporate products.”
Added Roadside Attractions Co-Presidents Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff, “Directorial debuts don’t get any more exciting than this. Mo takes us into a world that we can barely imagine, yet he convinces us it exists right under our noses. The visceral energy of Jesús’ journey is something filmgoers will not soon forget.”