Puerto Peñasco sets stage for film productions

The unique landscape combining both land and sea, dunes and volcanic areas, not to mention its proximity to the border, has repeatedly attracted film producers to Puerto Peñasco.

Earlier this year, the Tequila Gang production company spent the months of April and May filming near the Pinacate and along points of the Puerto Peñasco – El Golfo Highway in recreating the story “La Ruta de los Caidos” (Route of the Fallen), based on the book by Peñasco native Guillermo Munro. The production, directed by Alejandro Springall, included the participation of international actors Joaquin Cosio, Giovanna Zacarias and Juan Manuel Bernal, along with dozens of extras and investment, including 5 million pesos from the State Government.

The goal is for “La Ruta de los Caidos” (which on the big screen will most likely be entitled “Sonora”) to reach national and international theaters, particularly as it addresses the global theme of migration, yet from a very particular viewpoint of crossing the Sonoran desert at the beginning of the 20th century.

Filming on “La Ruta de los Caidos” wrapped up in May, and by July the production company for the film “Jappy (pronounced Happy) Days” began scouting out spots for their own upcoming work.

The independent feature film of Perpetuo Films productions, coordinated by Omar Dueñas, has been filming at a spot known as Punta Coyote, a seaside area located off the Puerto Peñasco – El Golfo Highway, as well as along Sandy Beach and other locations. The film stars Pedro Damian (telenovela producer), his daughter Alexa Damian, and three sons who bring life to the story of a mother set to be deported from New York City who sends her children to live with their grandfather in a fishing village in Mexico.

Both pictures join the list of important films that have taken place in this region, including Babel (2006), Viento Negro (1964), and Desiertos Mares (1995), along with a series of telenovelas produced by Pedro Damian, dozens of commercials, and music videos, and of course promotional tourism spot.

René Raul Valenzuela Beltrones, Director of Regional Tourism and Film for the Sonora Office of Tourism Promotion (COFETUR), detailed bringing Puerto Peñasco, its desert and seas to the big screen is a boost to tourism promotion across the region, as well as local economic revenue stemming from contracting of services.  He furthered the state needs to take advantage of this film “awakening” in the region by highlighting its beauty and emblematic spots, such as the Pinacate and Ruta de las Misiones, ecotourism, and adventure tourism, among others.

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