First-time feature filmmaker Miguel Ángel Ferrer has crafted a warm and affecting movie depicting the harsh realities of rural Venezuela that also offers hope with The Shadow of the Sun. The film centers on two siblings, Leo (Carlos Manuel Gonzalez), a blue-collar worker living with his nag of a girlfriend and his younger brother Alex (newcomer Anyelo Lopez) a deaf, gay teen with dreams of being a writer. But the homophobic town they live in is run by violent youth.
Alex has written a song and wants Leo, who happens to be an awesome singer, to participate in a music contest where the first prize is beaucoup bucks. But things get complicated when gang members murder one of Alex’s friends. The brotherly bond is at the heart of this film but the filmmaker also examines the horrific homophobia in certain small, ignorant towns (in our world) where admitting to being gay could be life-threatening.
Gonzales, in a lovely, understated turn, anchors the film. While Lopez, in his film debut, is immensely impressive. Ferrer is a Venezuelan immigrant born to a Cuban mother and Spanish father (and is now based in L.A.) He began his career as a cameraman for National Geographic and was a post-production supervisor for Warner Brothers TV. His short film, Culpa, was picked up by HBO.
The Shadow of the Sun was shot with a cast and crew of entirely Venezuelan artists.
Awards Daily had the pleasure of Zoom chatting with both director/writer/producer/editor Ferrer and Gonzalez, the film’s lead.