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‘Sleep Dealer’ is a Sundance award-winning sci-fi thriller packed with stunning visuals and strong social and political themes.

Memo Cruz (Luis Fernando Peña) is a young man in near-future Mexico. When his family is victim of a misguided drone attack he finds himself with no option but to head north, towards the U.S./Mexico border. But migrant workers cannot cross this new world border – it's been sealed off. Instead, Memo ends up in a strange digital factory in Mexico where he connects his body to a robot in America.

Memo's search for a better future leads him to love, loss, and a confrontation with a mysterious figure from his past.

The Los Angeles Times writes “Adventurous, ambitious and ingeniously futuristic, "Sleep Dealer" is a welcome surprise. It combines visually arresting science fiction done on a budget with a strong sense of social commentary in a way that few films attempt, let alone achieve.“

There's an interview about political science-fiction HERE and more reviews HERE.


Alex Rivera is a filmmaker who, for the past fifteen years, has been telling new, urgent, and visually adventurous Latino stories. His first feature film, Sleep Dealer, a science-fiction feature set on the U.S./Mexico border, won awards at the Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival, was screened at the Museum of Modern Art, and had a commercial release in the U.S, France, Japan, and other countries. Alex is a Sundance Fellow, Rockefeller Fellow, and was named one of Variety Magazine’s “10 Directors to Watch.” His recent collaborations have included work with Manu Chao, La Santa Cecilia and Aloe Blacc.


"Rivera revives the promise of an American independent cinema that can intervene in our world, imagine the worst, hope for the best – and entertain like mad long the way.”

B. Ruby Rich, Professor of Film & Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz

Alex Rivera is currently on a national campus tour with his work, including his Sundance award-winning feature film Sleep Dealer.  For information please contact us.

Sleep Dealer carries embedded in it profound political and economic critiques - it’s the perfect conversation-starter for discussions about issues as diverse as labor and immigration, technology and ethics, globalization and the environment.

Dennis Lim of Lincoln Center and The New York Times says “Sleep Dealer taps into the cultural and economic fears that have come with a globalized planet… For all its newfangled trappings, Sleep Dealer reasserts a narrative as old as this country…”

The campus tour includes a presentation with filmmaker Alex Rivera, who can screen and discuss Sleep Dealer as well as his earlier work (including The Sixth Section, Why Cybraceros?, and The Borders Trilogy).

Presentations have already taken place at Harvard, Brown, Dartmouth, UCLA, University of Texas at Austin, New York University, Rutgers, and Duke University among many others.

For further information about the tour or about Alex Rivera, please contact us.

Sleep Dealer is available for educational and institutional sale exclusively at

  • Cast

    • MemoLuis Fernando Peña
    • LuzLeonor Varela
    • RudyJacob Vargas

    The Team

    • DirectorAlex Rivera
    • WritersAlex Rivera & David Riker
    • ProducerAnthony Bregman
    • CinematographyLisa Rinzler