Brimstone & Glory
The National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico is a site of festivity unlike any other in the world. In celebration of San Juan de Dios, patron saint of firework makers, conflagrant revelry engulfs the town for ten days. Artisans show off their technical virtuosity, up-and-comers create their own rowdy, lofi combustibles, and dozens of teams build larger-than-life papier-mâché bulls to parade into the town square, adorned with fireworks that blow up in all directions. More than three quarters of Tultepec’s residents work in pyrotechnics, making the festival more than revelry for revelry’s sake. It is a celebration that anchors a way of life built around a generations-old, homegrown business of making fireworks by hand. For the people of Tultepec, the National Pyrotechnic Festival is explosive celebration, unrestrained delight and real peril. Plunging headlong into the fire, Brimstone & Glory honors the spirit of Tultepec’s community and celebrates celebration itself.
Director: Viktor Jakovleski
Producer: Dan Janvey, Elizabeth Lodge Stepp, Kellen Quinn
Director of Photography: Tobias von dem Borne
Editor: Affonso Gonçalves
Production Company: Department of Motion Pictures
Music: Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin
Sound Designer: Damian Volpe
Viktor Jakovleski is a Berlin-based filmmaker. He has directed and produced videos for internationally renowned electronic musicians and produced the German feature film LenaLove, which was released in selected German cinemas in September 2016.
Viktor spent four years making Brimstone & Glory, returning to the annual festival in Tultepec, Mexico three times. In the final shoot in 2016, he was struck by one of the festival’s iconic “bulls” and was severely injured.
In 2015, Viktor was chosen as one of 25 “New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine.
He served as contributing director to the documentary 11/4/08 (2010), which premiered at SXSW, and co-produced and assistant directed Benh Zeitlin’s award winning film Glory at Sea! (2008). He also attended the producing program at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB) and for several years worked at Studio Babelsberg.
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