Treasure of the Black Jaguar is one of the most exciting low-budget Independent films I have seen in years. It’s been a long time since a film has inspired and motivated me as a filmmaker/producer to make another film. This film has done it. What Mike Bruce, the director, Cameron Van Hoy, lead actor/producer, and what the rest of the cast and crew have pulled off is incredible.
It’s the creativity and ingenuity of the director and the producers that carries this film beyond budget limitations. More importantly a limited budget has added more quality to the filmmaking. How might you ask? Without spoiling the film; the two leads, Shlomo and Anthony wind up in a Mexico jail. How? Why? All we need to know is it quickly throws them into the greatest adventure of their lives.
Do we ever discover the Treasure of the Black Jaguar? Will we survive? These filmmakers let the audience imagineer and participate in the telling of the story. This makes the film stronger and draws the audience into a shared creative experience.
Below check out the brilliant opening of the film: an old Leonard Nimoy “In Search of” style documentary on the Mayan Black Jaguar Deity. This rustic film within a film sets the tone and gives a colorful backstory.
The intensity and rawness of this film is backed up by the fact that the cast and crew risked their lives in the making of it. They survived the harsh elements of the desert by living in tents for two weeks; no showers, no Starwagons, no restrooms, just them in the brutal elements. I was surprised and had to laugh when Mike Bruce described the bathroom detail; a long walk into the darkness with a shovel.
Let’s give a nod to the actors for their excellent performances. Timothy V. Murphy plays a wiley and conniving Blake West, the treasure hunter who draws his two “tenderfoot” cohorts Anthony (Cameron Van Hoy) and Shlomo (Michael Drayer) into the desert in search of the elusive and mysterious golden Treasure of the Black Jaguar. We learn that all that glitters is not gold and that easy money is a mirage when your life is stake.
Benjamin Oberman is president and CEO of Film Festival Flix. I dig Benjamin’s philosophy “that if you can’t bring everyone to the festival, then bring the festival to everyone!” Benjamin has created a platform that “brings Award-Winning and Audience Favorite films from Festivals around the world, directly to a theater near you.” I really love and support this concept and what Film Festival Flix is all about! Thank you Benjamin, I would have never seen or heard of this great film.
Treasure of the Black Jaguar is an off the rails scramble for gold that keeps you guessing. Mike Bruce is a luminous and exciting director to watch. I see very big things for Mike and lead actors Timothy V. Murphy, Cameron Van Hoy and Michael Drayer in the near future.
Do you have gold fever? Join the hunt for the Treasure of the Black Jaguar.
Watch the Temple of the Black Jaguar Trailer:
Here are some great Treasure of the Black Jaguar videos