Joaquin Guzman, ‘El Chapo,’ was the most wanted man in the world, and The Legend of Shorty tracks him down after 13 years in hiding. As much an examination of the drug war as a search for a narco kingpin, The Legend of Shorty is shared by co-director Angus MacQueen with footage and insight as to how they filmed the search for Guzman, direct from the film’s 2014 SXSW premiere, on BYOD.
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BYOD is hosted by Ondi Timoner, director of “DIG!,” “JOIN US” and “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” and has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice. Each week the show explores a different documentary filmmaker or aspect of filmmaking, with special guests and a live Q&A– diving deep into creative process and the business realities of producing and distributing films. Ondi shares her insider views, opinions, and personal stories, welcoming audience participation. BYOD aims to entertain, inform, and elevate documentaries in general by bringing attention to films and film makers that deserve exposure.
In the autumn of 2012 Angus Macqueen and Guillermo Galdos set out to achieve what the combined forces of the US and Mexican governments had failed to do in thirteen years – to track down Joaquin Guzman, one of the most wanted men in the world. Guzman, known as ‘El Chapo’ or ‘Shorty’ was head of the Sinaloa Cartel, the most powerful drugs cartel in history. To some, he was a revolutionary hero and a latter-day Robin Hood, the powerful peasant who looks after his people. To others, he was Public Enemy No. 1, the first since Al Capone, on the run for over a decade. Forbes Magazine has consistently named him one of the richest and most powerful men on earth. All this time over 80,000 Mexicans have been murdered.The filmmakers’ quixotic journey, fuelled by the specially composed songs of Jackson Scott, takes them from the streets of Chicago into his forbidden heartland in the Mexican Golden Triangle. The film takes us to a world where few outsiders have ever been, unravelling basic truths behind the “war on drugs” as Angus and Guillermo get ever closer. Then on February 22, 2014, after 13 years on the run, El Chapo is caught.
Angus MacQueen has been making documentaries for over twenty years. He started out charting the break up of the Soviet Empire and its fall out with such work as “The Hand of Stalin” (1990), The Death of Yugoslavia” (1995), Dancing for Dollars (1998) and Gulag (1999). More recently he has made a series of films about drugs, Cocaine (2005) – as well as high profile films on the kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt, an intimate film with the Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi (The Choice), as well as 17 DAYS, which involved the first testimony of the experience of the Chilean Miners trapped underground in 2011.
His work has been described by The Times of London as “more dramatic than fiction while revealing the universal forces behind”. He has won a whole range of international awards- including BAFTA, EMMY, Prix Europa, Peabody, Colombia Journalism, IDA – as well as having films shown at festivals and broadcast all over the world. He was briefly Head of Documentaries at Channel 4 in the UK, and since has founded Ronachan Films, which produces a wide range of documentaries for broadcasters all over the world, including the forthcoming: MARCO POLO: A VERY MODERN JOURNEY.
00:01 THE LEGEND OF SHORTY, with Angus MacQueen.
00:38 El Chapo and the story of a cartel lord.
03:07 Finding the most wanted man in the world.
05:30 Dangers of shooting in dangerous places.
10:10 Following the money in the Drug War.
15:31 THE LEGEND OF SHORTY, clip.