Chamaco stillWith post-production done here in Eugene by Chambers Productions, Chamaco is a border-crossing co-production. As one of the film’s producers, Don Franken, puts it, “[Chamaco] is a true Mexico-U.S. indie collaboration, a dual-language, cross-cultural, and cross-border film that pulls the two cultures and countries together.”

Following in the tradition of boxing films (such as the recent Million Dollar Baby), yet distinct in its observations of Mexican-American relationships, Chamaco tells the story of a boxer past his prime (Kirk Harris) who, in order to train a young boxer (Alex Perea) with seemingly little potential but enormous drive, joins forces with his father (Martin Sheen), an American doctor working in Mexico City. The father and son must overcome their differences if they are to give their protégé any chance to box for the Mexican Olympic team. Harris, who co-wrote and co-produced the film, is a magnetic presence onscreen. Sheen also gives a rich performance, much of it delivered in Spanish.

The film is helmed by Miguel Necochea, an acclaimed Mexican producer who has worked with Alfonso Cuaron (Solo con tu Pareja) and Arturo Ripstein (Sodoma’s Carnival). Chamaco, set in Mexico City, follows a spectacular decade for Mexican film in which several directors (Cuaron, Del Toro, Reygadas) have risen to the top of international cinema. With its big heart and special fusion of influences, Chamaco will earn its place in this exciting and growing national cinema.