Costa Rican actor Leynar Gomez is in Nicoya working on “Somos Sangre” (We Are Blood), a film by Dyrson Brown that tells the story of a Nicoyan named Abel whose passion is traditional bull riding.
Gomez is known for his role on the Netflix series “Narcos.” He also starred in national films such as “Presos” (Prisoners) and “El Despertar de las Hormigas” (The Awakening of the Ants), and recently acted in a Hollywood movie called “Borrego”, which will be released in 2021.
On this occasion, Gomez will be co-producer and acting director for the feature-length movie that he and the entire production team will be filming during March. This is the first time that the actor from Puntarenas is working in Guanacaste and he says that he has rediscovered his roots as an actor here.
“The other day, I was in the high school [in Nicoya] and I walked around through the classrooms and I remembered when I was in high school and I was looking for people to come see my works,” Gomez recalled.
Coming here has been like going back to my roots, like finding and being part of the roots.”
“I come from doing very large productions and, fortunately, I stay in an international environment that allows me to move around in projects with certain characteristics, and also to be able to work on projects of a different profile is nice. When people who agree to participate in these things value that, and on top of valuing that, they give value to the people who have worked hard, it’s a way of believing in the process,” he added.
Brown— who previously worked as a producer at Repretel and Teletica and made a movie called “Historia de un Óscar“— explained that most of the actors and actresses involved are non-professional Guanacastecans.
We’ve been offering workshops to prepare these people through Leynar and the same initiative to give something back to the community,” he said, and explained that actors Bernal Garcia and Mima Jones will work with them.
“The characteristic that people in the project must have is the attitude, letting themselves be guided in a process,” said Gomez. “That is what stands out the most to me and, of course, we’ve also run into talented people. Now the team’s job is to make that look as homogeneous as possible in the film.”
The actor envisions the possibility of developing acting workshops in the province for a few months. “It’s something that comes up for me because I see that there is a lot of potential and I think that it’s a place where, unfortunately, there are fewer cultural places in fields like mine and I think it may be a novelty,” he remarked.
An Identity Film
For producer Dyrson Brown, this is one of the most symbolic projects of his more than 20-year career. “My dad is from Santa Cruz and my mom is from Nicoyana. I lived in Nicoya for my entire childhood and when I was 17, I went in search of the San Jose dream, as a friend says,” he says with a laugh.
Brown returned to Nicoya five years ago after his contract with Teletica ended. “I came to Nicoya because of the economic situation,” he said.
He didn’t give up and, for more than four years, he worked on the script for “Somos Sangre,” which originally was going to be called “Malacrianza.” To create it, he received support from Mexican talent most of all, but also from Costa Ricans.
The feature film tells the story of Abel, a young, rebellious and restless Nicoyan who wants to be a professional bull rider. “Part of that restlessness makes him cause problems, so his very worn out mother takes him to live in Nosara with his grandfather and abandons him. His grandfather teaches him to ride bulls and to become a man,” summarized Brown.
The producer acknowledges that his film will address regional culture and tradition in a critical way. “Guanacaste is very lovely, beautiful, precious, but just like we have things that are beautiful, we have things that are not so beautiful, and we have to take responsibility for being [that way]. We don’t need to deny that the Guanacastecan man is very chauvinist, he’s patriarchal, he has a culture of alcohol, of aggression,” said Brown.
The intention of the film is to give a voice to all those people who keep quiet about intra-family problems, and by doing so they really create a chain of pain,” he said.
Brown expects the film to be released in mid-2022. He said that he’ll come up with a way to show it in the communities of the province when it’s released.
Along with Brown and Leynar, the production team also includes Stan Spinal, Gilberto Elvir and Nano Fernandez.
El Mito Blanco, a documentary filmed in La Carpio, Limón, Peñas Blancas and Nicaragua by filmmaker Gabriel Serra, premiered on October 22.
Looking for Talent and Support
As part of the production, actor Leynar Gomez is looking for a 15- or 16-year-old girl, preferably from Guanacaste, to join the cast. The requirements are:
- 15 or 16 years old
- Dark complexion
- Preferably from Guanacaste
- Slender build (due to the relationship with the person who will play the mother)
- Preferably with acting experience, but not necessary
- Have availability
If you want more information about the casting, send a message to Leynar Gomez’s Facebook page.
Brown also commented that it’s possible to support the film’s production through sponsorships, trades or some other form of collaboration. “For national films, we don’t always have the budget needed and, in addition, it’s linked to stimulating the local economy. The resources they give us are invested right here with purchases, labor, hiring people,” he emphasized.
If you want to support the making of this film, you can contact the producers by emailing [email protected] or by calling 8747-9729.