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Hollywood Film Will Feature San Miguel Locations



By Jesús Aguado

An upcoming American movie starring Andie McDowell, George López, and Jorge Jiménez also features a hidden star—San Miguel de Allende.

Produced by Robert Allyn and directed by Conor Allyn, the modern Western drama used San Miguel film locations—Hacienda de Gonzaga, Hacienda Cañada de la Virgen, a private hospital, and the road to Jalpa and to Alcocer. The movie’s topic is US-México migration.

The film’s production is being strongly supported by the Guanajuato Secretariat of Tourism.

In a press conference, Conor Allyn said that the film’s title, No Man´s Land, refers to a place close to the border and the Rio Grande. The protagonist is a resident of this area who with his anti-immigrant father regularly patrols the border as a father-son vigilante duo. One day, Jackson Greer (Jake Allyn) shoots a young migrant dead. Pursuing forgiveness from the migrant´s father, Jackson rides on horseback to México and becomes a migrant himself. As he rides through the country, Greer falls in love with the land he was taught to hate. However, when he arrives in the state of Guanajuato, the father of the dead migrant wants revenge. Meanwhile, Jackson becomes wanted by both Mexican and US authorities.

The Once Upon a Time in México Controversy

San Miguel is a relatively popular filming spot, especially for soap operas, but the residents hardly notice it these days. Productions arrive, shoot scenes, and leave quickly. But that was not the case in 2001, when the Hollywood film crew for Once Upon a Time in México—starring Antonio Banderas, Johnny Depp, Salma Hayek, and singer Enrique Iglesias—arrived in town.

At the time, residents complained that they received very short notice about their streets closing for filming. The general consensus among Sanmiguelenses was that the producers’ disorganization was interrupting their daily routines. Restaurant owners complained that closed streets were losing them business. Many said that the “rude” production crews trapped them in their own homes by forbidding them to leave while the crews were present. In another incident, 2,000 extras hired to fill a bullring’s seats did not end up receiving payment. They were told instead that they would have a chance at winning a motorcycle in a raffle. Another group of 400–450 recurring extras were only paid 300 pesos for 10–12 hours of work. All the while, the production company spokesperson Sandra Condito was saying in interviews that Sanmiguelenses were happy about the gross revenue the movie was generating for the city.The filming began by in the end of May 2001, and by mid-July, residents were sick of it all.

The Allyns, however, seem to have come to their production with much more respect for San Miguel and Guanajuato. Teresa Matamoros, Secretary of Tourism in Guanajuato said that this movie promotes a positive image of Guanajuato as a safe place and beautiful place where tourists and private investments are welcome.

“We considered locations in México and the United States to film the movie, but our heart was here, in Guanajuato,” said Conor Allyn. “We picked it because of its people’s interior beauty and culture, as well as the beauty of its towns and landscapes. With help from the state of Guanajuato, we want the world to fall in love with México as much as we are.”


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