Last updateFri, 08 Apr 2016 2pm

‘Community’ film ready to roll at lakeside

Local actors will take roles in a forty-minute film written and directed by a leading Canadian filmmaker and actor that starts shooting at lakeside in mid-April.

“Pat y Paco” is described as a “community film” that explores the mystery and magic of a friendship between two boys living in separate worlds in Ajijic, one a gringo, the other Mexican. They come together through the actions of a stranger, a bicycle thief. When their worlds collide they form a deep friendship.  

Written by John Friesen, who has spent the past four winters in Ajijic, “Pat y Paco” blends elements of narrative and documentary cinema to blur the lines between fiction and non-fiction. The script is based on actual people living in the village, who (mostly) become the actors, playing themselves.

Friesen has worked in the film industry for the past 40 years. He has performed in hundreds of stage, television and movie productions and has twice been nominated for a ACTRA acting award.  Most recently, he spent three years developing a six-hour television series for the CBC network.

Some 50 Ajijic locations will be used during the 15-day shoot. There are around 25 speaking parts, including six lead roles. Both the boys have already been cast. However, more than 100 background performers (extras) are needed. All the actors will be local residents.

Because of the low-budget nature of the film – estimated at around $US28,000 – everyone will be working for free. The producers hope to raise money through a mix of local sponsorships, government grants, donations from individuals and organizations. Donations will be tax deductible. The post-production costs will be raised through a crowdfunding source on the internet.

The local lakeside community is encouraged to get involved and chip in with costs such as food for the crew, transportation, housing, etcetera. Seven local restaurants are required to each donate two days of lunches for approximately ten actors and crew members. All contributors will be given screen credit on the completed film.

Various lakeside businesses, organizations and individuals have already pledged their support.

Between March and April 2013, volunteer photographers shot more than 8,000 photos with the actors on location, emulating important parts of the script. Friesen is now organizing those shots to create a trailer or teaser to give prospective participants and donors an idea of what the final film will look like. 

Among the actors is seasoned professional Roseann Wilshere, who will play the American boy’s grandmother in the film. Her house will also be used as one of the locations.  

Also signing on to the film – a major coup for the producers – is director of photography Manfred Guthe, a Kodak Lifetime Achievement Award winner and one of Canada’s top cinematographers with many credits for feature films, television dramas and series episodes.  

For more information or if you want to be involved in “Pat y Paco” in any way, contact Friesen at 331-749-4422 or email jfriesen1@b ell.net. Or visit patypaco.com for further information. 

No Comments Available