The Big Picture

Mandorla follows Ernesto, a visual artist and seeker stuck in a corporate video job, who is drawn by dark and magical visions to a medieval French city. There he seeks an illusive banker to help him unlock an obscure dream, deep within him, that threatens to alter his job, family, and sanity.

Working trailers: 

California trailer

 French trailer

Over 21,000 plays on Vimeo so far

This site is for you to discover and follow Mandorla (independent and low budget by necessity) as it's being made. We have written, shot, and edited the film, and are now preparing it for release in 2015. Follow regular updates on our Facebook page.



The Story is the Thing

We are preparing for and making film festival submissions and have a synopsis for you here. Coming soon in Spanish, French, and hopefully Portuguese.

narrative feature film
2015, USA & France, 90 min.
Dir. Roberto Miller


Ernesto is a devoted father, mystical seeker, and a visual artist stuck in a corporate job. Worse, he has disturbing dreams at night and is haunted by dark and magical visions when awake.  

His life is dramatically turned inside out when his young daughters playfully knight him. He realizes that what’s happening to him eerily echoes the challenge that heroes in myths and legends must face, or he is simply going insane.

Desperate to understand what he is meant to do, he tries to push back on the waking visions and clear his head. He then encounters a guide in the form of a beautiful woman who senses his despair and offers a veiled way forward.

Inspired, he makes a video appealing for support and posts it on the web. An email soon arrives saying that what he seeks will be provided at a bank in a medieval French city.

With his job, marriage, and sanity in the balance, he sets off on a quest and enters a mysterious world where he must find an elusive banker who may be the one to help him unlock his dream.


In the neighborhood of Morrison

Mandorla was created and largely filmed in an interesting neighborhood in California. Jim Morrison, when he was very young, lived two blocks away from where I am typing this. His quote here, which Liz discovered and shared with me, is strikingly relative to the film.


What makes Mandorla unique and impactful?

Mandorla is now complete and submitted to film festivals worldwide from early summer to late fall 2015. Exciting times.

Four things that make Mandorla unique and impactful: 

Mandorla’s main character does what has rarely been seen on screen: he recalls moving moments in films that help him understand the path he is on. Mandorla is one of the first narrative feature films to be Fair Use compliant in this way.

We all adore the look of cinemascope but few can afford it. I found a way to mount 30-year-old Russian LOMO anamorphic lenses to a British hacked Japanese GH2 DSLR, via an adapter machined in Los Angeles, and then recorded footage to an SD card designed in San Francisco and made in China--world peace (and indie cinemascope) achieved in one camera package. Watch the trailer.

Mandorla was written with sound design and music as part of the story experience. From the very beginning Skywalker’s Randy Thom (two-time Academy Award winner) and acclaimed ambient composers Robert Rich (US) and Vincent Villuis (France) have been onboard. The result is an amazing soundscape infusing the textures of light and dark textures in Mandorla.  

Many of us are stuck in meaningless jobs, or at least jobs that have little meaning to us. Same goes for relationships that are often past mending. A lot of us, it seems, feel like we are dying inside and that there is little we can do about it. Ernesto is one of these people. However, instead of following the script to simply give up, he comes to understand that his inner calling cannot be ignored, and that taking risks is not an option anymore. It’s a necessity.


The Unconscious One

Art from Dan Colvin (once a DP for David Fincher) who will be soon "Colvinizing" our poster. At a specific point in the film, Mandorla directly asks why do we always tell the same story, in books, movies, music, and so on?

Why is it the same "hero's journey," as Joseph Campbell´╗┐ named it?

C.G. Jung, back in the 1930s, noted that so many stories had similar archetypes, and that this was related to what he called the "collective unconscious." What struck me was how it related to the "oneness" we, subconsciously or not, seem to yearn and strive for--in life, stories, and songs. John Lennon's "Imagine" comes to mind.

I can't help wondering that if humanity had already reached this level of oneness, wouldn't the issue of climate change have been addressed over 30 years ago, when the problem became known?

Mandorla speaks to us of an individual's journey to "oneness" in our pressing times.



Music Matters

Robert Rich bought "Luminary" by Nad Wolinska for his album cover art for "Filaments."

Our composer, Robert Rich, has a magical new album coming out in January. Filaments. We've had the great pleasure of hearing it bloom in his studio these last few months.