The El Gallo Series is a collection of short films that delve inside the culture, community, and stories of the Mexican culture in Austin, Texas and in doing so, explore what it truly means to be Mexican.
Created by Sergio Carvajal, a native Venezuelan who moved to Austin 13 years ago, the film series aims to show the humor, break the archetypes, and bring people into that same community he was adopted into when he arrived. “When you get to Austin, you are by default a Mexican. That’s what I am now, that’s what I’ve been for the past 13 years,” he says.
The series is intended to be composed of thirteen, one-hour episodes carefully woven together with the threads of magical realism and following the interconnected storylines of seven, very peculiar characters. And at the epicenter of the tales is none other than Sietecueros, the golden rooster that subliminally grants the wishes of any man that can possess him.
Pepe owned the divine rooster, Sietecueros, for 22 years, until Primo steals it from him as he laid passed out drunk. This kicks off the story as Pepe travels from Mexico to the U.S. in the search ofthe magical rooster. Luis becomes Pepe’s loyal sidekick, and together they set off on a quest. Yajaira, Harry, Primo, and Ezequiel are some of the other important characters who seek out the rooster as well while the enigmatic, and all-knowing Chicken Man, and the timid mariachi Charro-Wannabe become the nemeses of our unlikely hero.
Watch a brief introduction to the series featuring writer/director Carvajal and Sietecueroshimself posted in the VIDEO box on the left side of the article.
Pepe Kid is the first part (a prequel, of sorts) to the ambitious series. It is a compelling story about “a young boy who finds a magical rooster that helps him figure out who he really is.” Pepe Kid is a standalone short film from the El Gallo series. (45 minutes, in Spanish with English subtitles)
The film is well made, very funny, and highly enjoyable, plus the whole project is a wonderful and inspiring example of community cinema, an all-encompassing, collaborative form of independent filmmaking. The El Gallo series is a community effort, with collaboration between Carvajal, the crew, the amateur actors, and the community at large. Carvajal says of the series, “I want to create something that makes me understand what it is to be Mexican. Something that everyone, no matter the race, can enjoy and be a part of.”
This Saturday night, August 27, the Charitable Film Network will host a special preview screening of El Gallo: Pepe Kid at the Louisiana Humanities Center. Free parking available behind the Louisiana Humanities Center (938 Lafayette Street).
The event will kick off with a brief reception at 6:00 pm followed by an interesting and important panel discussion with the El Gallo producers at 6:30 pm. The film screening will begin at 7:00 pm, with a brief Q&A session with the filmmakers to immediately follow.
The panel discussion topic is “How Community Cinema Killed Hollywood”:
Let’s face it, things are not going to be changing drastically in Hollywood anytime soon. Stories that disregard race, and that offer entirely new viewpoints and represent the rich medley of cultures in the US, are not going to be the norm in the next five years. Is that depressing? Only if you’re still thinking that Hollywood is the only place that can produce and distribute high quality entertainment. Welcome to the new Hollywood; the one that exists right there in your backyard.
This short panel talks about the theories and the experiences of El Gallo’s team in the production of their independent Series. The goal of the panel is to foster a debate on how a community: artists, audiences, and local businesses, can work together in finding ways to bypass the burden of standard financing and distribution–closing the door to the Hollywood dream and creating the beginnings of self-sustained high quality local entertainment.
Panelists include: Sergio Carvajal, Romina Olson, and Alejandro Yrausqui of Facundo International and producers of the El Gallo series.
In addition to the Charitable Film Network, this event is hosted by Facundo International, Las Americas Film Network, Puentes New Orleans, Press Street’s Antenna Gallery, and Bywater Bed & Breakfast.
For More Information contact [email protected] or please visit www.iamfacundo.com
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