Jayro Bustamante (Guatemala, 1977) was born into a community mostly of Mayan descent, on the shores of Lago Atitlan. His professional endeavors as a director began in advertising. He later moved to Paris to continue his studies in film directing at the CLCF (Conservatoire libre du cinéma français) and in screenwriting in Rome, at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. Once back in Guatemala, he created his own production company: La Casa de Producción, with which he produced his short films and his debut feature, Ixcanul. In 2015, Ixcanul crowned him as director after winning the Alfred Bauer Award at the Berlinale, and more than sixty awards at international festivals. Later in 2016, he created an auteur cinema distribution department (the first in Guatemala) in his production company as well as one dedicated to representing artists abroad (another first), obtaining acting contracts in Hollywood and Mexico for Ixcanul's star, María Mercedes Coroy. In April 2017, he created La Sala de Cine, Guatemala's first theater exhibiting independent films.
"This film mixes together the story of the killings during the armed conflict in Guatemala, with former president Efraín Ríos Montt being convicted for genocide and seeing it annulled; the Sepur Zarco case of crimes against humanity; and the domestic and sexual slavery of native women, as well as misogyny, classism, religiosity, mysticism and magic realism. All these ingredients create an amalgamation of suspense and terror that surpasses the legend [Ed. Note: of the Llorona] itself. I needed to capture interest internationally, but above all that of my people, and so I began this journey by going back to my childhood fears, to my new fears as an adult and my interest in storytelling. A cinematographic way of denouncing crime, all under the guise of entertainment, without ever losing sight of the universally recognized auteur cinema." [Jayro Bustamante]