The Long Walk of Carlos Guerrero

Carlos Guerrero is an undocumented Mexican chef who has been living and working in the New York City for over twelve years. A 'salt of the earth' man of great drive and work ethic, he rose up the rungs of restaurant hierarchy. Today, Carlos is a coveted sous chef working at a top Italian restaurant in the city. He lives in Queens with his wife and ten year old daughter.

When Carlos’ mother falls deathly sick, he returns to Mexico for the first time in twelve years. And now Carlos is on his way back to New York and faces the daunting prospect of crossing the border once again.

This is where the story begins, at a remote border town in Northern Mexico, as Carlos awaits his next move. From the very first shot we are launched into scenes of great intensity and suspense as Carlos narrowly dodges an armed robbery and eventually finds himself stranded and alone in the remote wilderness of Southern Arizona.

The narrative never lets up and we are swept along on Carlos’ incredible journey where the stakes could not be higher—survive, so he can return to his loving family and the life he worked so hard to build or face hyperthermia and an agonizing death.

Even though The Long Walk of Carlos Guerrero is a fictional film, it will have the verisimilitude of a documentary, filled with suspense and unexpected turns. The film will draw inspiration from the Italian masters of neorealism to the biting modern day dramas of the Dardenne brothers. The intention is to put the viewer in the shoes of our protagonist, to see and experience the world as he does. Acclaimed documentary cinematographer Craig Marsden, will man the camera.

While watching the film, the viewer should only be swept up by the drama and circumstances of our protagonist. The politics and social commentary of the piece will only come to light in hindsight of the experience.

This is an urgent film considering the political gridlock obstructing immigration reform while millions of hard working people who help keep this country running spend their days in uncertainty and fear. By telling the story of one of them, we give voice to everyone who continue to live in the shadows. At a time when undocumented immigrants are scapegoated for the ills of society, we would like to portray one as a true hero.

This film will take me back to my old stomping grounds where we did our documentary Crossing Arizona (Official selection - Sundance Film Festival). In the two years spent making that film, I became very familiar with the border areas of Arizona and Sonora, and the complex issues surrounding immigration.  Watch a few clips from Crossing Arizona below. 

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Joseph Mathew is an award winning filmmaker based in New York City. He first got recognized for the groundbreaking documentary, Crossing Arizona, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. He then wrote and directed his first narrative film, the award winning Bombay Summer, an independent feature set in Mumbai, India. Joseph is also an accomplished photographer and writer.

Craig Marsden is a filmmaker based in New York. He recently shot the short doc SANDORKRAUT (now streaming as an NYT Op-Doc), RADHE RADHE: RITES OF HOLI; and many documentaries with subjects ranging from musicians and performers to social issues like gun violence, as well as the political comedy web series BICYCLE BARBERSHOP. He is completing his own feature documentary in 2016. His films have won prizes and screened at international festivals and TV in Europe and North American, including Sundance, SXSW, Clermont-Ferrand, Arte and IFC. He graduate of NYU Grad Film, Wesleyan University and studied with the Barrow Group Theater Company.

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