PRODUCTION NOTES

By Kurt Tuffendsam

I like to describe filmmaking as a controlled crash landing. You want to have the best possible cast and crew with you on the journey because there are major obstacles to overcome during every stage of the process and at any moment the scales can tip and your entire enterprise will burn to the ground. Multiply this by ten thousand when you don't have enough money.

Everything was stacked against us from the beginning, but something amazing was happening. At every turn we found amazing talent joining us, people willing to risk the dangers of filming a drug trafficking movie in Tijuana despite the lack of earthly treasures as a reward for their hard work. We all had a sense from the beginning this story needed to be told and especially amidst the growing death toll from Mexican drug cartel violence, stealing away hope anything would ever change.

As we embarked on this journey a majority of our cast and some crew joined us from Tijuana. We were united together despite our cultural and language differences for the purpose of bringing hope to the big screen through the production of this film. Local Churches, businesses, and many individuals pitched in by donating locations, props, vehicles, food, and anything else we needed once they heard Esteban's story and of the movement of freedom from drug addiction and drug trafficking that was happening in their own city.


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DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

By Adam Watson

I think much classic Christian art that was popular and has endured so long did so because it was evocative, beautiful, brutal and unflinching; it reflected life for all its beauty and its depravity. Especially during this past century, Christian artists seem to have lost their nerve. Their art became largely tame, tacky, and unrealistic. As a result, it has lost its relevance to the greater audience. Life is not sanitized, and neither should the art reflecting it be.

That is why when I was offered the job to direct Los Traficantes I was all too ready to jump on board. Producer Kurt Tuffendsam wanted to tell a story that had teeth, that was true to life, and would be relevant. My decision to join the project was made even more attractive by the subject, Esteban Mendoza, whose true life story of redemption is so inspiring set within the extreme violence and corruption of the Mexican drug cartels; it perfectly encapsulates the human condition and our ultimate need for God.

But most importantly, I knew the impact this movie could have, a real message of hope to the people of Mexico, and a wake up call to those outside. That is my ultimate mission with this film; for the audience to really feel something, be affected, and inspired for change.