In writer/director Fernando Kalife’s 7 Días, small-time promoter Claudio Caballero (Eduardo Arroyuelo) places a bet of $500,000 with the mafia in order to raise money to get U2 to play in his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico. Claudio’s plan backfires when he loses his bet and the mafia finds out he doesn’t have the money to pay them.

Luckily for Claudio, right before he’s shot, the mafia boss’ son Tony (Jaime Camil) hears Claudio’s plan and convinces his father to spare Claudio in order to let Claudio put on the concert and pay the money back. He’s given seven days to raise another $500,000 and win the concert bid over a competing promoter; or he will lose his life.

The audience watches as the starry-eyed Claudio and the slick haired Tony grow a very close bond as they share a common goal together. The drama intensifies with the ever-present countdown to Claudio’s death, their failures and victories as they try to sell the concert and the comedic exchanges of their odd-couple-friendship.

“It took me a month and a half to get into character,” Arroyuelo remarks when talking about his preparation for the film, which he spent living in Monterrey.

“Fernando, the director, took us to the very origin of the city,” he says. “So we knew genetically how the characters were. It was a very deep research of the character.”

The deep commitment of the actors radiates through the screen and adds to the already tremendous realism of the film.

“It’s pretty cool to see how you would respond under such a frustrating situation,” Arroyuelo comments. “You get to know a lot about yourself.”

Kalife’s passion for filmmaking is most definitely seen in 7 Días.

“I bet what I almost did not have anymore,” shares Kalife when discussing his personal journey trying to make 7 Días. “An organization from Mexico said, ‘We’ll put some money into it, but you have to sign a contract and you’ll pay back every penny (more than half-a-million dollars) to us, or go to jail if you don’t have music by U2.’ The only thing I had back then was a house, almost close enough to backup this deal, so my wife and I signed that they would take our house if we did not have this.”

7 Días was filmed without the assurance of acquiring the rights for U2’s music and without the assurance of Fernando being able to keep his own house. The main plot driver of the story, U2, had a major influence on the actions of not only the film’s fictional characters, but the real life filmmaker’s as well.

“U2 is a band that works with a huge token, way bigger than money and fame; which is love,” Kalife says. “That’s a token that I work with. I guess from that came my not having so much fear about it.”

Kalife’s lack of fear paid off when U2’s plane was rerouted to Mexico shortly before the film’s release, and a chance encounter in a nightclub with one of the cast members allowed Bono to see the film himself. Struck by the great passion and tribute to U2, and amazed at the bravery of the cast and crew to film the movie while being unsure of attaining the rights, Bono quickly made the rights available, and Fernando was able to re-cut the film with U2 music before its first Mexican release date.

After the film hit the screens, U2 decided to lift their 10-year ban on touring in Mexico and performed in both Mexico City and Monterrey; the two places they were set to perform in the film.

7 Días is visually stunning, entertaining and carries a beautiful message. “Everybody has an opportunity, but it’s what you do about that opportunity [that matters],” Kalife says. “All of us are a little bit crazy here, a little disorganized there; but we can all have something great inside of us.”

7 Días releases in select theaters Aug. 17.