"Hits especially close to home"
WINNER - BEST FILM - Salento International Film Festival, Italy, 2016
WINNER - BEST ACTOR - Salento International Film Festival, Italy, 2016
WINNER - BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - Salento International Film Festival, Italy, 2016
OFFICIAL SELECTION - RAINDANCE FILM FESTIVAL, London, 2016
OFFICIAL SELECTION - LOS CABOS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, Mexico, 2016
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Identity and self-discovery evolve in an epic journey through the majesty of a Mexico rarely seen. EL GANZO is a story that chronicles a brief and intense companionship between two travelers: a struggling artist on the verge of a break-through and a mysterious woman with a hidden and unknown past.
Lizzy and Guy find each other at the right moment in time. There is an almost instant, unconscious bond between these two lonely travelers. EL GANZO tells the story of their journey and the dramatic personal transformations it leads each of them through.
Their journey takes them across the Baja peninsula, from the ancient and haunting beauty of Todos Santos in the west to the aquamarine sea and coral reefs of Cabo Pulmo in the east, all the while centered in the warm embrace of Hotel El Ganzo in Los Cabos. It is during their stay at El Ganzo that they are each enlightened and transformed.
Along the way, Guy is struggling to find the inspiration he needs to create his masterpiece, while Lizzy struggles with finding out who she really is. As she starts to remember her old identity, and discovers her new identity, Guy begins to awaken within.
The two become deeply connected as their sense of themselves – and their desires for companionship – grow like the luscious pitaya fruit on a cactus.
Merely weeks after filming wrapped, Hurricane Odile struck Los Cabos and destroyed Hotel El Ganzo and nearly everything you see in this film. The spirit of the place, and its people, and the magic captured in this film, no longer exists on Earth in the same way.
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"FOUR STARS. A great film… meticulously crafted with gentleness and love.”
full review: mediadetour.com/2015/05/el-ganzo-review/
“Steve’s direction of the film is immaculate… Magical... Watching Traylor and Richardson is a master class in screen acting.
This is a wistful film… It’s about what has been, what could have been and what might be, as well as what is. And really, aren’t all our lives a bit like that? But it takes an artist of Steve Balderson’s calibre to make us think wistfully about our own lives like this, and for each of us to find out that bit more about who we are.”
MJ SIMPSON, UK FILM CRITIC
“Balderson is more concerned with the journey rather than the destination, putting the focus on redemption and leaving the past exactly where it belongs.
It is a rare thing for a film to blend story and location so seamlessly to where they become one thing, and Traylor and Richardson soon become part of the landscape along with all the images of sand and surf. In a very real way, the players in Balderson’s film are on equal footing with the location itself.”
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Copyright 2016 Dikenga Films