Telleth Of Those That Dwell In The Water

 

This is Roy Ambriz's thesis project from the Film and Television degree in Centro de Diseño, Cine y Televisión at Mexico City.

A group of explorers set into the mystic lands of a new world with ancient knowledge. Inspired by the writings of Friar Bernardino de Sahagún, this short fiction film involves us into the life of young Rufario Salamanca, a Spanish bastard sent to Nueva España to live with his mixed race brother, who bears the same name. The weight of his family’s honor gets heavier by the minute as he discovers that their views on life, pride, and duty couldn’t be more opposite.

Their constant quarrels are often settled by their caring but strict master, Friar Bernardino, whose lifelong mission is to document every idolatric, human, and natural thing that grows on that region apparently forgotten by God. Guided by a mysterious native woman, together they sail into swampy waters and enigmatic forests, searching for and finding marvelous beasts, never mentioned in the Bible, but the main characters of ancient pagan stories.

One of these creatures, the axolotl, is of particular interest to Spanish Rufario, for he finds in the myth of its creation, an escape for what seems to him an imposed destiny. His search for true identity only seems crystal clear when he sees his reflection on the wise lakes where these unevolved salamanders live; where dreams mix with reality, and fiction becomes fate.

Trailer

 Rufario and Rufario, two brothers travelling through New Spain  

Rufario and Rufario, two brothers travelling through New Spain  

 Friar Bernardino and his crew camping.

Friar Bernardino and his crew camping.

 Rufario, the hero of our story.

Rufario, the hero of our story.

 Concept art

Concept art

 The actors with director Roy Ambriz

The actors with director Roy Ambriz

 The crew sailing in Xochimilco.

The crew sailing in Xochimilco.

 Axolotl Rufario trying to survive.

Axolotl Rufario trying to survive.

 The director and the beast.

The director and the beast.