United States 2017, 67 min, Spanish, Hebrew & English subtitles
The bulls that storm through the alleyways of Tultepec breathe fire and brimstone, as the towers that dwarf the town go up in smoke. This small town is the setting for the annual fireworks festival. The dazzling displays are not just a show of talent and originality, but an opportunity for locals and tourists alike to demonstrate their courage. Fireworks are the town’s only industry. Adults and children prepare them together, under life-threatening conditions. Undeterred by the occasional accident, the fireworks people climb towers, light fuses, and run away from stray sparks, even during thunderstorms. “Scars”, they say, “are our souvenirs.” These rare images capture the beauty of the moments when everything burns and time stands still.
Previous Festivals: True/False, Ambulante, Sarasota, Hot Docs, Montclair Film Festival
Production: Kellen Quinn, Elizabeth Lodge Stepp, Dan Janvey, Affonso Gonçalves, Benh Zeitlin
Editing: Affonso Gonçalves
Cinematography: Tobias Von Dem Borne
Soundtrack: Damian Volpe
Music: Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin
Viktor Jakovleski is a Berlin-based filmmaker. He has directed and produced videos for internationally renowned electronic musicians and produced the German feature film LenaLove, which was released in selected German cinemas in September 2016.
Viktor spent four years making Brimstone & Glory, returning to the annual festival in Tultepec, Mexico three times. In the final shoot in 2016, he was struck by one of the festival’s iconic “bulls” and was severely injured.
Viktor’s next project centers around Berlin artist Julius von Bismarck and his dangerous expedition to the Catatumbo Delta at Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela, the area with highest occurrence of natural lightning strikes in the world to examine and ultimately catch lightning by shooting rockets into storm clouds.
In 2015, Viktor was chosen as one of 25 “New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine.
He served as contributing director to the documentary 11/4/08 (2010), which premiered at SXSW, and co-produced and assistant directed Benh Zeitlin’s award winning film Glory at Sea! (2008). He also attended the producing program at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB) and for several years worked at Studio Babelsberg.