Two short films shot in Brownsville will premiere at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art on Saturday, marking the first event of the newly formed Brownsville Film Society.
The free premiere runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and features “The Croutox Report” and “A New Chapter,” both filmed in Brownsville by local directors using local actors.
“The Croutox Report,” directed by Jorge de la Colina and Rene Rhi, is a 23-minute, proof-of-concept film based on the novel “The Name Partner” by Brownsville author and attorney Carlos Cisneros.
The book was inspired by Cisneros’ brother-in-law’s suicide due to side effects from antidepressants, which resulted in the family filing suit against the pharmaceutical company that sold the drug, Rhi said.
“It’s a little bit of fiction but also based on what happened to the family,” he said.
Rhi said he read the novel and became intrigued by the big pharma practice of “putting profit over the well being of patients.”
“Also, a lot of kids these days are prescribed medication like candy, and it has a long-term effect on their behavior,” he said.
Aside from one actress brought in from Los Angeles, the short film features all local actors, Rhi said.
“Basically it’s a cliffhanger for an actual movie,” he said. “The idea is to showcase this possible concept for investors and production companies, to get funds to actually shoot the film.”
“A New Chapter” was directed by Pace High School alumnus Alberto Sebastian Medina, currently a film student at the University of Texas. It was shot in Brownsville at St. Joseph Academy and Oliveira Park and stars Noe De La Garza and Dominic Hernandez.
BFS hopes the Aug. 10 premiere — preceded by a children’s acting workshop Saturday 9 a.m. to noon at Carlotta K. Petrina Cultural Center — will help build support and create momentum for local film projects while also serving as a celebration of and recruiting tool for local talent.
The goal of BFS is to serve as a one-stop shop in terms of talent, crews, logistics, locations and so on for outside filmmakers interested in shooting in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, in order to lure more outside movie production.
“We actually have a couple of projects that are hopeful, that we’re trying to convince to come into the city,” Rhi said. “There’s a movie that might be shooting in Brownsville in October. These Norwegian guys and Danish guys want to shoot a film here. We’re helping them a little bit with locations, casting and crew. They’re going to be back in September.”
Brownsville Film Society Premiere
Aug. 10, 6:30-9 p.m.
Brownsville Museum of Fine Art
660 E. Ringgold St.