S Y N O P S I S

From writer-director Michel Franco (New Order) comes a simmering, suspenseful sharp jolt: Alice and Neil Bennett (Charlotte Gainsbourg, Tim Roth) are the core of a wealthy British family on vacation in Acapulco with younger members Colin and Alexa (Samuel Bottomley and Albertine Kotting McMillan) until a distant emergency cuts their trip short. When one relative disrupts the family’s tight-knit order, surprising tensions rise to the fore.

L O N G S Y N O P S I S

When a distant emergency summons the wealthy Bennett family back to the U.K., disrupting a vacation on the Mexican coast in Acapulco, simmering tensions rise to the fore between scions Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and Neil (Tim Roth). The delicate balance of the deceptively close-knit clan, including siblings Colin and Alexa (Samuel Bottomley, Albertine Kotting McMillan), is irrevocably upset.

Continuing his exploration of individuals and societies under pressure, writer-director Michel Franco (New Order) ascends to the heights and depths of an Acapulco — and a family — that is more than meets the eye. Playing out in the sleek hotel suites and scruffy tourist haunts of a disparate and stratified seaside locale, and across the psychological battlefield of a precarious dynasty, SUNDOWN unfolds in sharp, surreptitious bursts.



T H E D I R E C T O R
M I C H E L F R A N C O



D I R E C T O R ’ S F I L M O G R A P H Y

2021 Sundown (Sundown)

2020 New Order (Nuevo Orden)

2017 April's daughter (Las hijas de abril)

2015 Chronic (Chronic)

2013 Through the Eyes (A los ojos)

2012 After Lucia (Después de Lucía)

2009 Daniel and Ana (Daniel y Ana)




D I R E C T O R ’ S
B I O G R A P H Y

Michel Franco was born in Mexico City in 1979 and has put Mexican cinema in the global spotlight. The films he has written, directed and produced include CHRONIC (Best Screenplay Award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival), LAS HIJAS DE ABRIL (Jury Prize, in Certain Regard at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival), and DESPUÉS DE LUCÍA (Top Prize, in Certain Regard at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival).


He has also produced 600 MILLAS (directed by Gabriel Ripstein and winner of the Best First Feature Award at the 2015 Berlinale), FROM AFAR (directed by Lorenzo Vigas, winner of the Golden Lion at the 2015 Venice Film Festival), among others.


Michel returns to Venice with his 7th film SUNDOWN, after winning the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize award with NUEVO ORDEN in the 2020’s festival edition.




D I R E C T O R' S
N O T E

It is not a coincidence that SUNDOWN takes place in Acapulco. It is shocking for me to witness the city where I spent childhood vacations turn to an epicenter of violence. SUNDOWN springs from a necessity to explore a place that seems increasingly distant and foreign. This exploration of all perspectives present in Acapulco is also a character study, and a study of family dynamics.

The sun occupies a primordial place; it hits always aggressively and directly. The image imperatively has to reflect two things: The characters’ emotional states and the violence prevalent in their surroundings.



I N T E R V I E W W I T H
M I C H E L F R A N C O
(click to read more)

​​What are the origins of this movie and what made you want to tell this particular story?

It’s a mix of a few elements. I wrote the movie in the middle of a deep personal crisis. I was questioning where I am in personal aspects of my life, and for the first time I started to think that life isn’t infinite, and there’s an end to things. This happened after a trip I made to Acapulco, with a girlfriend, and as we drove from the hotel at 8pm for dinner, I was stopped at gunpoint by some federal policemen in a very aggressive way. They were wondering if my girlfriend was in danger — if she was with me against her will. They wanted me to get out of the vehicle. I knew it was the last thing I should do. My girlfriend didn’t understand what was happening, she told me to do as they say. I managed to get out of the situation by driving away, and they followed us, and threatened us, but we made it safely back to the hotel. This made me sad, because Acapulco is one of my favorite places.

What’s your attraction to Acapulco as a place?

It’s a place in Mexico that I know the best from traveling there as a young person, sometimes I’d stay for as long as a month over the New Year holiday. It breaks my heart to see how much the place has changed. It’s often rated one of the top most dangerous cities in the world, which sometimes affects tourists, but often it doesn’t. But it’s ruined, the paradise it was, and I’m not talking about the Acapulco of Sinatra and Elvis Presley. The decay symbolizes a lot of the larger decay in my country. There’s a lot of tension in Acapulco right now but it ended up being very friendly during the shoot. I guess I wanted to prove that it was the same Acapulco I remember from when I was younger.

You’re reuniting with Tim Roth, your CHRONIC star. Why was he right for the role of Neil, and did you write it specifically for him?

I did write it for him. I knew I wanted to set the film in Acapulco, and it couldn’t take place anywhere else. And I knew it was for Tim immediately. So I wrote the script with those two things in mind. It’s been nine years since we first met, and we’ve been through certain things together, from shooting CHRONIC and 600 MILES. Our sensibilities are very similar, and I thought he would react to this material. I wrote the script in a few weeks, the very opposite of NEW ORDER, which took me years. And as soon as I finished the script, I wasn’t sure of what I hadn’t written, which is always the case for a screenwriter, especially when it’s an outburst of writing. But I knew Tim could handle it, and I sent it to him, and he understood exactly what the film was about. He said don’t change a thing, let’s shoot it as is.

Why did you want to work with Charlotte Gainsbourg?

I’ve always wanted to work with her, I loved her work in ANTICHRIST, how intense she is. Her role in SUNDOWN was initially smaller than it ended up being because my casting agent floated Charlotte’s name, and it never would have occurred to me because to me she’s one of the best actresses working, and I wouldn’t contact her with a supporting role. But we reached out, and she immediately said yes. I gave her a lot of freedom; she added a lot to the role and brought a lot of herself to the character.

Can you describe the unique family dynamic in this movie? You seem fascinated by a certain type of family — wealthy, insular, almost oligarchic …

I guess the fact that at the end of the day, all the tools they’re supposed to have, which come from money, education, a privileged life — they mean nothing because they keep making the most basic mistakes, not being able to communicate with each other. To me, it’s always fascinating how much you can harm someone you love. Again, these are people who are supposed to be able to get their ideas and feelings across, but they keep messing it up.

This movie is about a specific family, but the movie speaks to larger issues, like economic inequality, breakdown in communications, violence in many forms.

The family is very particular. I hope people will relate and find universal themes, but they exist in their own unique universe in the way they relate to each other.

There’s a through line between NEW ORDER, your previous film, and SUNDOWN, in terms of violence, and the way violence is inflicted upon certain people.


We live with violence on a daily basis in Mexico, so I can’t separate it from my writing. I think it’s crazy we normalize violence and accept it — the least I can do is to discuss it through my work, and to try to understand how a society can keep going while accepting that violence. Every person I know in Mexico has been held at gunpoint, sometimes by policemen, but it’s scarier in that occasion than if it’s done by crooks, because with crooks you just hand them what they want. Crime and violence are part of life in Mexico — you either move somewhere else or you try to understand. So as a storyteller, I have to explore that reality.

NEW ORDER featured hundreds of extras and big crowd scenes; SUNDOWN is a more intimate and contained movie. Was it easier to tell a story on a more intimate scale with this one?

It’s intriguing because it’s an intimate story because it’s about the inner world of Tim’s character, and his family trying to understand him. Having said that, in every shot at the beach in Acapulco there’s a hundred people, and I didn’t want to lock down the whole beach during filming because then I would kill the spontaneous feeling you can get from it. So I placed our extras close to the camera, but we didn’t block traffic. The vendors are real, vacationers are real. This was hard to pull off during a shoot. I had to explain to the crew that we had to be very discreet, and Tim and Charlotte had to bear with it. You’re hoping that a good take won’t be screwed by someone looking into the camera, which happened sometimes.

Were you looking to create a clash between different worlds in the story?

I wanted to show every side of Acapulco, so Tim’s character is drifting from this upscale hotel all the way down to the very opposite side of the city. When I’m shooting, I’m not thinking about rich or poor — Acapulco is filled with colors and music and food, I want the viewers to feel like you’re there.

Describe your collaboration with your director of photography on this one — there’s so much visual texture in this movie.

I told him at the beginning of the shoot that I want the audience to feel the experience of being in Acapulco — the sand, the heat, all of that. He achieved that through certain lenses, but regarding our work together, and how we shot, it’s the first movie I’ve done that wasn’t planned at all. Of course, we’d discuss how we would shoot this scene or that, but in my previous movies everything was perfectly planned. Even NEW ORDER, with its hand-held shooting and 3,000 extras, everything was well planned, especially in post-production with all the violence. There was no other way to shoot NEW ORDER. With SUNDOWN, we were telling a simpler story on the surface, but it was complex in terms of exploring the inner world of the characters — and that’s the hardest thing to do with the camera. We often didn’t know where the camera was going to be, and that could be exhausting under the heat of the sun. So much was out of intuition on this one more than pre-production, it was about being there and trying to make the thing as lively as we could.

The idea of the sun is very profound in this movie — it’s right there in the title, and possibly a metaphor for the characters. Can you talk about the importance of the sun to this story?

The sun is life and death at the same time. The sun is a thread in this movie and at the same time Neil is letting himself open up more and more to the sun, but it’s not necessarily a good thing. However, Neil knows exactly what he’s doing, so it’s a contradiction and I like that. Having said that, I’m personally terrified of the sun because of skin cancer. When I was a kid, people still thought the sun was good, you could lie under it for six hours and get a tan, and that was a good thing. This thinking has changed.

Describe working on this movie with your frequent collaborator and Teorema partner Lorenzo Vigas, who also directs movies. What’s your professional dynamic like?

We’ve been friends for more than 20 years and we started making short films together when we were young. Throughout the years we read each other’s scripts and while I’d already made films, he started making his own and won the Golden Lion in 2015 on his first try, with FROM AFAR. We enjoy everything about collaborating, the challenges, exchanging opinions, our differences. We are different in that he takes his time — in 2015 I had CHRONIC and he had his movie, and in between our current movies I made NEW ORDER and APRIL’S DAUGHTER. We are different in that way; he takes his time while I like moving fast. We just try to help each other in the best possible way, knowing how different we are.




M A I N C A S T B I O G R A P H Y

T I M R O T H
(click to read more)

Tim Roth has made a career out of portraying unforgettable characters in one independent film after another. He made his studio feature debut in MGM’s “ROB ROY” opposite Liam Neeson and Jessica Lange, in a role that has been touted as one of the best villains in screen history, earning him a Golden Globe Nomination and an Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama.

Roth starred in Brian Grazer/Imagine’s Fox 1-hour drama series, "LIE TO ME", as a cutting-edge researcher who pioneered the field of deception detection. He played a human lie detector, skilled at reading the human face, body and voice to uncover the truth in criminal and private investigations.

He was also seen in “THE INCREDIBLE HULK,” in which he co-stared with Edward Norton as well as the starring role in Francis Ford Coppola’s “YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH,” and “FUNNY GAMES” opposite Naomi Watts.

Roth made his return to the stage in Sam Shepard’s off Broadway production of “THE GOD OF HELL”, for the first time since early in his career in London where he received great notices in Kafka’s masterpiece “THE METAMORPHOSIS.”

This British born actor’s career was surprisingly spawned out of a schoolyard dare. With art being his passion, Roth spent his youth aspiring to become a sculptor and painter. But when he jokingly auditioned for a play in high school and landed the role, Roth soon found that he truly loved the craft of acting. After graduation he went on to study drama at a fine arts school in London.

Working steadily in public theatre, his first job in front of the camera was the lead in the controversial and British Prix Italia Award-winning telefilm, “MADE IN BRITAIN.” Tim’s second project came immediately after, starring in Michael Leigh’s ("LIFE IS SWEET") critically acclaimed film, “MEANTIME.” As his success continued, Roth starred in over fifteen film and television projects including Stephen Frears’ “THE HIT,” for which he won the Standard Award for Best Newcomer; “THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE AND HER LOVER;” “ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD” with Gary Oldman; and Robert Altman’s “VINCENT AND THEO” in which he portrayed Vincent Van Gogh.

Brought up on American films like "TAXI DRIVER” and “MEAN STREET,” Tim had always wanted to come to the U.S., so he jumped at the chance when asked to take part in a publicity tour for “VINCENT AND THEO.” He soon after moved permanently to the States, and has since continued on the same path of offbeat films.

Roth gained worldwide recognition for his roles in two Quentin Tarantino films: “RESERVOIR DOGS” and “PULP FICTION.” In “RESERVOIR DOGS,” Roth starred with Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn and Steve Buscemi in this grim tale of a jewelry heist gone wrong. Roth’s portrayal of Mr. Orange, an undercover cop who gets caught in the line of fire, is a compellingly realistic glance at the agony of dying. Roth also co-starred in “PULP FICTION” (Golden Globe and Academy Award winner for best screenplay) as a petty robber who picks “the wrong place to hold up.” The ensemble cast included John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Sam Jackson and Harvey Keitel.

He made his directorial debut with the stunning, critically acclaimed film “THE WAR ZONE,” starring Ray Winstone (“NIL BY MOUTH”), based on the book by Alexander Stuart. The film premiered at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews and was also at the Cannes Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival.

His other credits include Tim Burton’s remake of the classic “PLANET OF THE APES,” opposite Mark Wahlberg and Helena Bonham Carter, “BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY,” “DARK WATER,” the Walter Salles thriller where he appeared opposite Jennifer Connelly, “LUCKY NUMBERS” directed by Nora Ephron, Giuseppe Tornatore’s “LEGEND OF 1900,” Werner Herzog’s first English language film, “INVINCIBLE,” “JUMPIN’ AT THE BONEYARD,” “BODIES, REST AND MOTION,” “MURDER IN HEARTLAND,” “HEART OF DARKNESS” opposite John Malkovich, “FOUR ROOMS,” “LITTLE ODESSA,” “CAPTIVES,” “GRIDLOCK’D,” Woody Allen’s “EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU,” “HOODLUM.” (MGM), “DECEIVER,” (MGM), “SILVER CITY,” “EVEN MONEY” opposite Danny DeVito and Kim Basinger, Win Wenders film “DON’T COME KNOCKIN,” “ARBITRAGE,” opposite Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon, “THE LIABILITY” opposite Peter Mullan, and “GRACE OF MONACO,” opposite Nicole Kidman.

Roth’s recent credits include “BROKEN,” which won the Best British Independent Film award at BIFA in 2012 and earned Tim a British Independent Film Award nomination for Best Actor; “CHRONIC,” which earned Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best Feature and Best Male Lead for Tim’s performance; and “600 MILLAS,” which represented Mexico in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 88th Academy Awards. He co-starred in Quentin Tarantino’s 8th film “THE HATEFUL EIGHT” opposite Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh. He also co-starred in Discovery Channel’s first scripted 3-part mini-series “KLONDIKE,” from Executive Producer Ridley Scott; he starred in the three-part BBC drama “10 RILLINGTON PLACE,” where he played notorious serial killer John Christie; and in the International Emmy nominated BBC TV movie “REG.”

Roth stars in “TIN STAR,” a television series for Sky Atlantic, which recently aired its third and final season. He starred opposite Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer in the feature film “LUCE,” and opposite Clive Owen in “THE SONG OF NAMES” from Sony Pictures Classics. His most recent credits include “BERGMAN ISLAND” from writer/director Mia Hansen-Love and “SUNDOWN” from writer/director Michel Franco. Roth will reprise his “THE INCREDIBLE HULK” character of The Abomination in the upcoming “SHE HULK” Disney+ / Marvel series.

Roth was born in London, and currently resides in Los Angeles.

C H A R L O T T E G A I N S B O U R G
(click to read more)

Charlotte Gainsbourg grew up on film sets as both of her parents, Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg, were involved in the film industry. At the age of 13, she debuted in her first motion picture playing Catherine Deneuve's daughter in the film "PAROLES ET MUSIQUES".

In 1986, Charlotte won a César Award for Most Promising Actress for "AN IMPUDENT GIRL". That same year she appeared in the film "CHARLOTTE FOR EVER" written and directed by Charlotte's father Serge Gainsbourg.

From 1988 until today, Charlotte expanded her career with various projects such as "THE CEMENT GARDEN", "JANE EYRE", "21 GRAMS", "MA FEMME EST UNE ACTRICE", "I AM NOT THERE", "THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP", "GOLDEN DOOR", "THE TREE", "SAMBA, "MON CHIEN STUPIDE" and "NYMPHOMANIAC".

In 2009, she won the award for Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for "ANTICHRIST".

While Charlotte has been working on film projects, she led another rich career in Music as a singer and a composer and released several albums: Charlotte for Ever (1986), 5:55 (2006), IRM (2009), Stage Whisper (2011), Rest (2017).

I A Z U A L A R I O S
(click to read more)

Actress nominated as a Female Revelation at the Diosas de Plata awards, winner of the Best Performance award at the Atalo festival in Madrid, Spain.

Known for her participation in "APOCALYPTO", "EL ATENTADO", "GOTAS DE ROCÍO", "EL REINO DEL GUARDIÁN", "LAS PARADES HABLAN" and "MIS PLANES SON AMARTE".

With an also great participation in the trilogy "WINNETOU & OLD SHATTERHAND", "THE TREASURE OF THE SILVER LAKE" and "THE DEATCH OF WINNETOU", which is a national success in Germany.



M A I N C A S T

Tim Roth as Neil Bennett
Charlotte Gainsbourg as Alice Bennett
Iazua Larios as Berenice
Henry Goodman as Richard
Albertine Kotting McMillan as Alexa
Samuel Bottomley as Colin

Jesús Godines as Jorge "Campos"


M A I N C R E W

Director & Writer: Michel Franco
Producers: Michel Franco, Eréndira Núñez Larios, Cristina Velasco L.
Co-producers: Jonas Kellagher, Caroline Ljungberg, Hédi Zardi, Fiorella Moretti
Executive Producers: Tim Roth, Lorenzo Vigas
Associate Producers: Luis Romano, Rafael Micha, Grégoire Lassalle
Director of photography: Yves Cape (AFC SBC)
Production Design: Claudio Ramírez Castelli
Costume Design: Gabriela Fernández
Editors: Oscar Figueroa Jara, Michel Franco
Casting: Susan Shopmaker, Viridiana Olvera
Sound Recordist: Raúl Locatelli
Sound Design: Alejandro de Icaza, Niklas Sharp


T E C H N I C A L
D E T A I L S

Original title: Sundown
International title:
Sundown
Duration:
83 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.40:1
Format:
4K
Sound:
5.1
Year:
2021
Original languages:
English and Spanish
Countries of production:
Mexico,
France, Sweden

Production Companies:
TEOREMA
Co-production Companies:
LUXBOX, COMMONGROUND PICTURES, Film I Väst
With the support of:
EFICINE - Producción







W O R L D S A L E S

The Match Factory GmbH
Domstrasse 60
50668 Cologne / Germany
phone +49 221 539 709-0
info@matchfactory.de
www.the-match-factory.com


I N T E R N A T I O N A L
P R E S S


Claudia Tomassini claudia@claudiatomassini.com


U S
P R E S S


Ryan Werner

ryan@cineticmedia.com


Emilie Spiegel

emilie@cineticmedia.com