Mark Aitken: Producer/Director
Having explored how fear inhibits and paralyses social cohesion in South Africa, I was drawn to the violence and its consequences occurring in Mexico.  South Africa has a violent past which defines the present no matter how much history is rewritten or denied.  But at least they had the promise of their rainbow nation – no matter how vapid this turned out to be for most people.  Such fanciful dreaming isn’t the province of most Mexicans.

The violence and trauma in Mexico is most intense at the frontier with its northern neighbour.  I wondered how people lived with their fears in such a traumatised place.  What kind of life can this be?  This curiosity led me to the sanctuary of the asylum in August 2011.  I was told it was safer to stay there than wander the streets of Juárez with a camera.  I found a place where the incantations of nightmares are as commonplace as breathing.  Where those that are insane show us a tender humanity that is all but lost in the world outside.   A place where those that should be dead are keeping each other alive.

I’ve been making films independently and teaching film practice for over 20 years.  I’ve won awards at many festivals and been nominated at IDFA for the film Until when you dieIn 2010, my last film about fear in South Africa, Forest of Crocodiles was broadcast in over 100 countries on BBC World, with additional sales to Portugal, New Zealand, Sweden, The Netherlands, Spain, South Africa and New Zealand.  More work can be viewed at

André Singer: Executive Producer (Spring Films)
André was Editor of Granada Television’s Disappearing World series during the 1980’s.  He ran the BBC Documentary Department’s Independent Unit in the 1990’s where he founded the award-winning documentary strand Fine Cut (now Storyville).  As an independent producer, he established Café Productions and later West Park Pictures (now a DCD Media owned company).  André is currently serving on the TV Committee of BAFTA, he is a Documentary Campus board member, a Vice President of the Royal Anthropological Institute and Chair of their Film Committee. He has been responsible for several hundred hours of factual programs for the international TV market and producer or executive producer of fourteen films with Werner Herzog since Lessons of Darkness in 1992.  For further information see Spring Films

Charles Bowden: Executive Producer
Charles is a best selling author and since the mid nineties, he’s written many award winning books about Ciudad Juárez and life along the US/Mexican border including Murder City, Down by the River and Some of the Dead are still Breathing.  Charles also writes for Harpers, GQ, Mother Jones, New York Times Book Review and Aperture among others.  Charles’s most recent book El Sicario (with Molly Molloy) was  made into a documentary by Gianfranco Rosi.  Charles is partly an inspiration for Dead when I got here and a great supporter of the asylum and the work they do there.  He commented that Director Mark Aitken is ‘the poet laureate of the flies of Juárez’.

Alex Bryce: Sound Recordist/Sound Editor
Having spent ten years working in sound post-production as an editor and dubbing mixer in a wide range of areas including feature films, TV and advertising,  Alex is now also a sound recordist, having studied at the UK’s National Film and Television School.  Alex edited sound on Mark Aitken’s previous film, Forest of Crocodiles. 

Mark Pilkington: Composer
Mark Pilkington has played electronics and synthesisers in experimental groups including Disinformation, High Mountain Tempel, The Stëllä Märis Dronë Örchësträ and solo as The Asterism.  He is also a founder and curator of the publishing imprint Strange Attractor.

Pastor José Antonio Galvan: Consultant
Pastor Galvan founded the asylum near Juárez where the film is set in 1998.  He raises funds and donations for the sanctuary on an ad hoc basis.  An exhibition of his paintings was held in Salt Lake City in 2010.  As the manager of an NGO he is an advisor to the film makers and offers consent and permissions.