Sleep Dealer

Sleep Dealer

Sloan Foundation Film

Release Date



  • Alex Rivera


  • Luis Fernando Peña
  • Leonor Varela
  • Jacob Vargas


  • Sundance Film Festival, 2008

The near future. Like tomorrow. In a world marked by closed borders, corporate warriors, and a global computer network, three strangers risk their lives to connect, break through the barriers of technology, and unseal their fates.

Memo (Luis Fernando Peña) is a hacker living an impoverished existence in a degraded Mexico of the future. When his hacking activities are discovered, the military attacks his home, and Memo is forced to flee to Tijuana. There, he meets Luz (Leonor Varela), a journalist who plugs her body into the Internet and sells her memories for others to download. When Luz takes on a mysterious assignment and Memo lands a job in a high-tech factory—which connects his nervous system to a robot based in the U.S.—they descend into a cyber-nightmare and discover a deadly truth.

Possible Topics

  • Ubiquitous computing
  • Humanoid robots and their implications for society, including the world of work
  • How unmanned aircraft systems work
  • From human neurons to artificial neural networks
  • Water shortage (as addressed in the film)

Past Programs


Machines and the Human Brain

Media Arts Center San Diego, San Diego, CA


The Future of Drones

Roxie Theatre, San Francisco, CA


Remote work

Museum of the Moving Image, New York, NY



Water, agriculture, people & change

Midwest Theater, Scottsbluff, NE