Latinx Films Amongst the SXSW 2019 Promising Selections

Posted by on January 23, 2019

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Image courtesy of Indie Wire

The first half of January is always busy in the film community, as Oscar voting comes to a close and the Sundance Film Festival starts its engine. This year, the SXSW Film Festival threw its cowboy hat into the ring, pushing up the initial announcement of its film lineup instead of waiting until after Sundance. The result is an even more complex window into major festival premieres and potential discoveries that will distinguish the first quarter of 2019.

The lineup has the flavor of a typical SXSW: Competition sections littered with potential discoveries, a handful of anticipated studio crowdpleasers, and several familiar names in unusual new projects. While the festival still has more to announce, including its midnight films, the current slate provides much to explore. Here are some of the potential highlights.

Robert Rodriguez Returns to His Roots

The legend goes back nearly 30 years: When Robert Rodriguez made his 1992 debut “El Mariachi,” he assembled his $7,000 budget out of payments he received for participating in medical experiments. Now, he’s going back to his roots in more ways than one. His new reality show, “Rebel Without a Crew,” follows five directors making their own debuts on the same budget; in the process, Rodriguez also directed a new feature of his own for the same price.

For “Red 11,” Rodriguez and his son Racer joined forces to polish up a screenplay the filmmaker wrote decades ago based on his experiences as a lab rat. The story revolves around a filmmaker attempting to pay off his debt to the cartel through medical experiments who winds up in a more challenging situation than he expected. “It’s fun, cool, and crazy,” said Pierson. “The guy has a lot of filmmaking panache. Austin isn’t known for its actors, but they used local actors who are really great.” Rodriguez will also preview clips from “Rebel Without a Crew” for a master class at the festival.

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