Described by a writing professor as “a Spaghetti Western meets Wuthering Heights,” Watita is the story of a Quechua couple, Victor and Katy, who are moving west from their small, rustic town to a large, developing city overlooking the Andes (much to Katy’s chagrin). After escaping from bandits who’ve hijacked their bus, the couple meet Watita, a young Quechua girl who longs to leave her family homestead. Once Katy discovers why the bandits are chasing them and Victor’s true reasons for wanting to start a new life she must decide whether or not to bring Watita with them to the city.
No such city exists in and above the Andes, so the filmmakers are collaborating with architecture students at Columbia’s renowned Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation to design, model, and render a city that is both awe-inspiring and terrifying in its scope. Both the filmmakers and the architects are thrilled to work on the cross-disciplinary project.
With stylistic inspiration from Westerns, gothic dramas, and neo-noir (à la Blade Runner) Alonso and Gabe are working to craft a film that some would call sci-fi thriller, others family drama. Whatever you choose to call it, it will be a sweeping project—one that, we hope, captures the grandeur and mystery of the Andes and the human struggle that arises from an environment experiencing a dramatic transformation.
As with most creative endeavors, Watita is a passion project, one into which Alonso and Gabe have poured blood, sweat, and countless sleepless nights. It is a project that hearkens back to those films that enchanted us on the big screen. Alonso and Gabe want to tap into that vein: the sheer grandiosity of the mountains, man’s quest to best the natural world, love, death, fear, and the ever-present conflict between modernity and tradition.
But film is an expensive medium, and the Andes are a continent away. Alonso and Gabe will need some help to get there. The film will be shot outside of Cusco, the ancient Incan capital in the South East of Peru. In addition to making this project come to life, your generosity will benefit the towns surrounding Cusco, supporting local businesses in a rural, developing region.
Where the Money Will Go
Equipment rental (Camera, lights, etc)
Location rental and permits
Lodging for the cast and crew
Food for the cast and crew
Wages for the local crew
Airfare for Director of Photography, Assistant Director, and Unit Production Manager
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