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Filmmakers screen Sundance-winning 'Sleep Dealer' at Comparative Border Studies event

January 31, 2013

Arizona State University's Comparative Border Studies initiative will screen the movie  "Sleep Dealer" at its first 2013 spring semester film event Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 12 and 13. Film creators David Riker and Alex Rivera will be on hand at the free, community screenings to discuss the movie.

“Sleep Dealer” showings are scheduled for 7 p.m., Feb. 12, at the Phoenix Art Museum and 6 p.m., Feb. 13, at the Arizona Historical Society Museum in Tempe. Attendees should RSVP at

As co-writers of “Sleep Dealer,” Riker and Rivera both received the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Their film depicts a militarized world in the near future, graphed by closed borders, virtual labor and a global digital network that unifies experiences and minds. The story follows three strangers who risk their lives to join together and breach the fortifications of technology. A movie trailer can be viewed at

Matthew Garcia, director of Comparative Border Studies, said the film events have been integral to connecting members of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

“It’s an opportunity to engage local residents in a civil exchange about border-related issues through the medium of film,” he said. “The film event also allows audience members to ask the filmmakers about their craft and introduces them to the art of filmmaking.”

Riker is a New York-based filmmaker whose debut feature, “La Ciudad,” focused on New York’s Latin American immigrant community. Riker is recipient of Rockefeller, Guggenheim and Annenberg Fellowships and teaches screenwriting at Columbia University’s Graduate Film Program.

Rivera has been making films that explore the borderlands over the past 15 years. His work focuses on the mental, physical and economic relationships between Latin America and the United States. Rivera’s work combines social questions and innovative cinematic techniques.

Comparative Border Studies, within the School of Transborder Studies, is a strategic research initiative designed to bring scholars, artists and publics together to discuss and debate issues pertaining to geopolitical and cultural borders. For more information, contact Elizabeth Cantú at (979) 492-7502 or Or visit