Sleep Dealer (2008)

Sleep Dealer 2008tt0804529.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Sleep Dealer (2008)
  • Rate: 5.9/10 total 2,839 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Sci-Fi
  • Release Date: 10 December 2008 (France)
  • Runtime: 90 min
  • Filming Location: Cadereyta, Querétaro, Mexico
  • Budget: $2,500,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $75,727(USA)(21 June 2009)
  • Director: Alex Rivera
  • Stars: Luis Fernando Peña, Leonor Varela and Jacob Vargas
  • Original Music By: tomandandy   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Network | Computer | Telepresence | Dam Busting | Drought

Writing Credits By:

  • Alex Rivera (screenplay) &
  • David Riker (screenplay)
  • Alex Rivera (story)

Known Trivia

    Goofs: Revealing mistakes: When Memo, at work operating the robot, helps the worker next to him who collapses, he is not wearing the contact lenses that he needs to operate the robot. (He did not have time to take them out.)

    Plot: Set in a near-future, militarized world marked by closed borders, virtual labor and a global digital network that joins minds and experiences… See more »  »

    Story: Set in a near-future, militarized world marked by closed borders, virtual labor and a global digital network that joins minds and experiences, three strangers risk their lives to connect with each other and break the barriers of technology.Written by Anonymous  


    Synopsis: Memo (Luis Fernando Peña), a young Mexican, lives on a milpa in Santa Ana, Oaxaca with his family. Once, a river flowed through the milpa, which his father owns. But a few years ago, the Del Rio Water Company built a dam upstream. Now, residents of Santa Ana must pay $1/gallon to enter the facility and collect water.

    In his spare time, Memo tinkers with discarded radio parts and builds an antenna to pick up voices from far away. One night, he overhears a transmission between Rudy (Jacob Vargas), a drone gunship operator, and his compatriots. His signal is detected, and tracked down to his family’s shack in Santa Ana. Live on TV the next day, Rudy carries out a mission to neutralize an "aqua-terrorist intercept". As Memo and family watch on their TV, they soon realize that the target is the antenna on top of their shack. They run back to the shack, only to see it obliterated by a hovering drone gunship. As Memo’s father crawls out of the building, Rudy gets confirmation that he is a known "aqua-terrorist", and Rudy fires a rocket at him, blowing him to bits.

    Overcome with guilt, and needing to find a way to support what’s left of his family, Memo takes the bus to Tijuana, the Mexican "city of the future". On the bus, he meets Luz (Leonor Varela), a freelance writer. He notices that she has "nodes", or data ports, on her arms (as does Rudy). He tells her vague details of his background. Struggling for material to make ends meet, she submits her memory of meeting Memo on the bus to an online memory-trading service. To her surprise, her story of Memo is purchased, and the buyer offers a generous amount for another story on Memo, this time with much more on his background.

    Memo goes to a shady alley in Tijuana where "coyoteks" are known to hang out; they offer cheap, black-market installation of "nodes", which allow an individual to go online, which can provide economic opportunities. Memo intends to get nodes and work at Cybracero, a sweatshop virtual labor factory, where workers are connected and operate remote-control robots all over the world — a form of cheap labor for the developed world. He is mugged by a con man instead.

    Partially in order to gain his confidence, and partially because she likes him, Luz installs nodes for Memo. He makes relatively good money working for Cybracero, although the connections are not safe and equipment incidents can lead to serious disabilities. He sends some of his pay back to his family, who are amazed at how much he is making. Meanwhile Luz reports another memory of Memo, but her buyer complains she did not get the background info they asked for.

    Luz gets closer to Memo and finds out about the milpa, the Del Rio company, and the death of his father. She relays this memory, and is paid handsomely. Later, Memo visits her and is let into her apartment by a neighbor; there, he sits at her console and discovers she has been selling memories of him. He leaves angrily.

    The buyer of Luz’s memories turns out to be Rudy, who has been having doubts about the Santa Ana operation. Having discovered the reality behind what happened, he takes time off work to cross the border into Mexico and meet Memo. He tracks down Memo and confesses that he was the drone operator that killed his father, but wants to make amends. Reluctant, Memo eventually accepts his help.

    Luz and Memo sneak Rudy into Cybracero after hours, where Rudy connects to his Del Rio security network, taking command of his drone. His coworkers notice him coming on, and ask what’s going on, and he tries in vain to deflect their curiosity. Eventually, we see that Rudy is piloting his drone to Santa Ana, and his coworkers, realizing he has gone rogue, give chase and try to shoot his drone down. The star drone operator manages to make it all the way to the Del Rio Water Company dam in Santa Ana, and he unloads his firepower onto it, reminding Memo of the times his father would feebly throw a rock at the concrete edifice. Rudy’s drone is taken out, but the dam has been destroyed. On videophone back to his family, Memo’s hears that the water is flowing again, and the town is celebrating.

    Rudy, who can never go back to America, stays in the village outside Tijuana, selling water. Memo stays as well, but gives up sweatshop node labor for farming.

    {tab=FullCast & Crew}

    Produced By:

    • Anthony Bregman known as producer
    • Álvaro Curiel known as associate producer
    • Jessica Levin known as associate producer
    • Mark Russell known as associate producer
    • Sandra Solares known as associate producer
    • Sandra Solares known as line producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Luis Fernando Peña known as Memo Cruz
    • Metztli Adamina known as Dolores Cruz
    • José Concepción Macías known as Miguel Cruz
    • Tenoch Huerta known as David Cruz
    • Greg Lucas known as Drones TV Host (as Gregg Lucas)
    • Martín Palomares known as Gus Panchano
    • Jacob Vargas known as Rudy Ramirez
    • Sean Garnhart known as Rudy's Commander (voice)
    • Guillermo Ríos known as Rudy's Supervisor
    • Leonor Varela known as Luz Martínez
    • Montserrat Revah known as Luz's Computer (voice)
    • Miguel A. Saldaña known as Coyotek #1 (as Miguel Angel Saldaña)
    • Sergio Limon known as Coyotek #2
    • José Luis Méndez known as Coyotek #3
    • Carlos Valencia known as Twiggy
    • Polo Torres known as Rana
    • Luis Romero
    • Meche Navarro known as Bartender
    • Maria Paniagua known as Node Girl
    • Israel Torres known as Coyotek
    • Emilio Guerrero known as Ricki
    • Roberto Reyes known as Antonio
    • Jake Koenig known as Foreman
    • Guillermo Meyer known as Photographer
    • Norma Pablo known as Lupe
    • Vicente Hueso known as Clerk (as Vicente Huezo)
    • Giovanna Zacarías known as Bertha
    • Jorge Zepeda known as Rodolfo Ramirez
    • Andaluz Russell known as Angie Ramirez
    • Francisco Valdez known as Chino
    • Marius Biegai known as Camera man (uncredited)
    • Ursula Tania known as Prostitute (uncredited)

    ..{tab=Supporting Department}Art Department:

    • Javier Cortes known as construction buyer
    • Omar Garcia Guzman known as art assistant
    • Carlos Y. Jaques known as art director: pre-production
    • Carlos Lagunas known as art department coordinator: preproduction


    Production Companies:

    • Likely Story
    • This Is That Productions

    Other Companies:

    • Monkeyland Audio  adr facility
    • Soundtrack  ADR Facility


    • La Fabrique de Films (2008) (France) (theatrical)
    • Maya Entertainment (2008) (USA) (theatrical)
    • Roadshow Entertainment (2008) (Australia) (theatrical)
    • Roadshow Entertainment (2008) (New Zealand) (theatrical)
    • Donau-Film (2011) (Germany) (DVD)
    • NHK (2008) (Japan) (TV)

    ..{tab=Other Stuff}

    Special Effects:

    • Ollin Studio

    Visual Effects by:

    • Mariana Acuña Acosta known as digital compositor
    • Peter Amante known as visual effects artist
    • John Bair known as effects supervisor: Edgeworx
    • Matthew Beightol known as digital compositor
    • Gustavo Bellon known as digital compositor
    • Parker Chehak known as motion graphics
    • Parker Chehak known as post-production coordinator
    • David Urresti Chiu known as animator
    • Natalia de la Garza known as digital compositor: Ollin Studio
    • Ignacio de la Rosa known as animator
    • Shiv Dholakia known as effects animator
    • Manuel Roberto Garcia known as visual effects supervisor
    • Gabriela García known as digital compositor
    • Mohamed Ghouse known as digital compositor
    • Roopesh Gujar known as visual effects production manager: Anibrain
    • Evan Harper known as digital effects artist
    • Christopher M.K. Hill known as CG artist
    • Timo Huber known as compositor
    • Charlie Iturriaga known as visual effects
    • Geraldine Juarez known as digital compositor
    • Chris Kairalla known as digital effects artist
    • Marvin Lee known as compositor
    • Marc Machuca known as digital compositor
    • Juan Melgoza known as digital compositor
    • Jorge Mendoza known as digital compositor
    • Brett Miller known as CG supervisor
    • Jesh Murthy known as visual effects
    • Sue Nelson known as digital painter
    • Raul Prado known as cg supervisor
    • Michael S. Pryor known as VP business development: Anibrain Digital
    • Agustin Robles Villegas known as digital rendering
    • Mevlana Rumi known as digital compositor
    • Mark Russell known as visual effects supervisor
    • Prasanna Siddharthan known as digital compositor
    • Veronica Skoberg known as digital effects artist
    • Mauricio Valderrama known as digital artist
    • Ryan S. Westphal known as associate visual effects supervisor

    Release Date:

    • USA 19 January 2008 (Sundance Film Festival)
    • Germany 10 February 2008 (Berlin International Film Festival)
    • Finland 24 September 2008 (Helsinki International Film Festival)
    • Brazil 26 September 2008 (Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival)
    • Mexico 7 October 2008 (Morelia Film Festival)
    • USA 21 October 2008 (Chicago International Film Festival)
    • France 10 December 2008
    • Czech Republic 1 April 2009 (Febio Film Festival)
    • USA 17 April 2009 (limited)
    • Netherlands 18 April 2009 (Imagine Film Festival)
    • France 10 June 2009 (DVD premiere)
    • Canada 8 September 2009 (DVD premiere)
    • USA 8 September 2009 (DVD premiere)
    • Mexico 29 October 2011 (Morbido Film Fest)
    • Italy 1 December 2011 (DVD premiere)

    MPAA: Rated PG-13 for some violence and sexuality


    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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