For its first documentary, Jose Cuervo enlisted director Mónica Álvarez, creator of the award-winning film Bosque de Neibla (2017) and producer Paola Villaneuva, the noted co-producer of the film Agave: The Spirit of a Nation (2018), to unveil an intimate look into the story of Lake Pátzcuaro, a town located in Michoacán and known for its vibrant Día De Muertos festivities. The film showcases the festival through the lens of four key narratives: the harvesting of the marigold flowers, the preparation of the traditional pan de muerto (English: bread of the dead), conversations with fishermen who guide spirits home, and Noche de Muertos (English: Night of the Dead) — the local community’s holiday festival at Isla de Janitzio, where the all-night festivities include offerings to honor the dead.
“As a 250-year-old family company, Jose Cuervo always strives to honor our country’s culture – and share the true celebratory spirit of Día de Muertos” said Lander Otegui, SVP of Marketing at Proximo Spirits. “Our annual film series will highlight this important Mexican holiday and show the real celebrations that Mexican families pass down to one another — a moment to toast those who’ve passed on with friends and family. As the tequila industry booms in the U.S., we want to share the authentic celebrations and holidays which tequila is always part of, and connect this popular spirit to its country of origin and the many different heritages that it represents.”
“Showcasing authentic Mexican culture is so important to me, not just as a creative but as a woman of Mexican descent,” said Mónica Álvarez, director of the inaugural film. “Partnering with Jose Cuervo to tell this story — the real story of Día de Muertos in Lake Pátzcuaro — is a window into the unique ways that Mexican culture not only shows respect for those that came before, but also how we come together to celebrate and ‘cheers’ the future ahead.”
Cuervo will debut Álvarez’s film to the public at the internationally acclaimed San Diego International Film Festival from October 15th to October 20th. Cuervo Tradicional’s full-length documentary will also screen at the Morelia International Film Festival — which Jose Cuervo has supported since its inception in 2003 and takes place in Mexico from October 18th to October 27th.
In conjunction with the 2019 documentary release and Día De Muertos (October 31st to November 2nd), Cuervo Tradicional is releasing two limited-edition Día De Muertos bottles. The Cuervo Tradicional Plata and Cuervo Tradicional Reposado bottles both feature a traditional calaveras design — the brightly colored sugar skulls used to dress ofrendas during the holiday. It is available nationwide at select grocery, liquor stores and on Reserve Bar while supplies last, with a suggested retail price of $23 for a 750ml bottle.
Jose Cuervo’s documentary series will continue in 2020, enlisting new filmmakers to capture the Día De Muertos celebrations in other Mexican regions.