Back in September of 2014, I published a blog article titled El Paso film scene begins to find its voice, which talked about some of the emerging film talent coming out of El Paso.

El Paso's film scene is off to a very strong start with news of two short films, Odessa and Sunrise, being accepted into the 2015 Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner.

Odessa was shot in El Paso, TX back in January of 2014 and directed by Sean Michael Turrell. The film was produced by Andrew Shebay and Doug Johnson, who also served as the writer of Odessa. 

The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic Texas, where a desperate mother is forced to make a perilous border crossing to save her child's life.

The production utilized a lot of local talent and crew, including yours truly for location sound mixing.

The film stars producer Grace Santos, Ricky Wayne (who recently portrayed Officer O’Donnell in “The Walking Dead”), Will Haze, and local El Paso actors Anthony Escobar and Manny Rubio.

Local crew members included Carlos Corral as Production Sound Mixer, Veronica Barajas and Henry Castillo as the Makeup, Hair, & Costume team, 1st AC Jaime Medrano Jr, 2nd ACs Marisa Mojica and Joseline Segovia, Lorena Mojica as Script Supervisor, and Michael Ruston as the stills photographer.

I am so happy we got into the Cannes Shorts Corner because it is not just a festival, it is a market.  The goal of the short film is not only to be a great short movie on its own, but to also obtain funding and distribution for a series. 

Our writer Doug has created a world with a lot of potential for many episodes.

 I just cannot express how thankful I am to Andrew Shebay who drove from Austin to El Paso several times and worked hard on getting the locations and US Border Patrol to support us, and Susie Gaines of the El Paso Film Commission.

- Grace Santos

Odessa will have its World Premiere at the Gasparilla Film Festival in Tampa, Florida on March 28 and will then will move on to the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner later on in May.

Sunrise, a new short film by El Paso filmmaker Diego Rico, will have its World Premiere at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner.

Rico and his producing partner Armando Meza networked with various local filmmakers while screening their short film Gift of Gab at the Plaza Classic Film Festival in August of 2014.

Diego Rico met with DoubleScope Films and MindWarp LLC about the new short film he wanted to undertake.  Naturally, we jumped at the chance to work with one another since it would be our first collaboration with DoubleScope Films.

Sunrise was a collaboration between (3) El Paso production studios. Getting into Cannes shows that our stories and work has the potential to reach global audiences.

It gives us confidence in sharing our experience along the border to others, and to continue finding new stories to do It.

-Diego Rico

Sunrise was shot in October of 2014 with local crew members and starred local actor Jonathan Schwind as the lead.

Sunrise depicts an aging painter's struggle with the reality of his fading eyesight as he makes a desperate attempt to prove his abilities to his son by making one last painting.

Diego Rico and Armando Meza are currently in production of their next short film. Below is a photo of Rico Bueno Films latest project titled Voyeur. 

DoubleScope Films and MindWarp LLC have all returned as part of the creative team that helped create Sunrise.

Be on the look out for Odessa and Sunrise as they make their way around the film festival circuit in 2015.

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