From 2010 to 2012, we had the opportunity to live and teach at a small private school in Olancho, Honduras. During this time we fell in love with Olancho, but also saw first-hand how the international drug trade was corroding the culture.
Back in the USA we ran a successful Kickstarter campaign, which allowed us to return to Olancho with a camera and crew in search of the region’s most elusive narco-corrido band. Through the story of these musicians we could give the world an inside look at how drug trafficking has affected life in Honduras.
For months we searched for the band with no luck. Due to the musicians' problems with a cartel, most people were reluctant to even talk to us about them. We had almost given up the search when a friend of a friend offered to lead us to the band, but warned us that we were putting our own lives at risk. Frightened but excited, we followed a bullet-riddled truck for three hours through the treacherous mountain roads of northern Olancho. When we finally arrived, the musicians were sitting on the front porch of their adobe home, polishing their pistols and playing guitars. After just a moment of listening we knew that these men truly were Los Plebes de Olancho who we had heard on the famous albums.
We spent the following two years with unprecedented access into every aspect of the musicians’ lives. Following them from their remote mountain villages to performances at rowdy narco-parties, on more than one occasion we found ourselves staring down the barrels of guns toted by some of the most dangerous men in Honduras. We filmed until our entire budget was spent – forcing us to sell our equipment and even some of our clothes in front of the airport in order to afford the exit fee to leave the country.
In the following months we traveled North America, pitching the project. We were invited to forums at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Montana, DocsDF in Mexico City, Hot Docs in Toronto and NALIP Media Summit in Los Angeles. We were fortunate enough to spend the winter of 2015-16 editing the film in Santiago, Chile and then we returned to Boston to complete post-production with Modulus Studios. Finally complete at the end of 2016, "Olancho" will begin film festival screenings in 2017.