This short film will screen with other short films in Block 12 | ZONA OSCURA
Sunday, December 11th at 4pm
Palm Springs Art Museum. Palm Springs, California.
Buy Tickets Here 

Three criminals fight boredom in a lonely cantina by humoring a mysterious old woman when she offers to tell them a story…a story that may have their fates sealed within it.

Director Biography – Jesús Celaya

Jesus is a Mexican-American film & TV writer/director and recipient of the 2020 Sundance Institute Latinx Fellowship. His project “Chalino” was selected for the 2020 Sundance Screenwriters Lab & Sundance Director’s Lab, and his short film “Wolves” was supported with grants from the Sundance Institute. His feature script “Chico Grande” was optioned by Amazon Studios and was the winner of Best Feature Screenplay in the WeScreenplay Diverse Voices competition. Jesus was also a finalist in Final Draft’s Big Break Screenwriting Contest and the BlueCat Screenplay Competition. Growing up between a ranch in Sonora, Mexico, and rural Washington State, Jesus graduated with a Bachelor’s in Film from the Brooks Institute in Ventura, CA. Prior to moving to Los Ángeles, Jesus was a supervisor at an apple packing plant, where he wrote between 14-hour shifts. Jesus hopes to combine his love of folklore, history and genre with his passion for cinema.

Director Statement

The short film “Wolves” is the beginning of a sub-genre I call “The Vaquero Noir”. A healthy mix of Pulp, Western, Latin Magical Realism and Noir. It is a heightened reality established to better represent the perspective of a certain kind of life in crime, where the stakes are highest and the lies are deeper and more fascinating.

“Wolves”, when looked at in earnest, is a simple tale of tragedy and revenge. The meat and potatoes of any melodrama. We use that simplicity to then expand in visual meaning and metaphor. But to be more specific: I wanted to explore what a story can do against a gun. To present a comparison between creation versus violence, and to leave the audience with a choice to make by the end of it. Which one really means more to us, the gun or the story?

You see, the last thing I ever care to create is a romanticization of a violent lifestyle. For all the colors and shine of this new genre, beneath it are all the incredibly dark truths and hard realities that must be faced. That is the duality of the Vaquero Noir. We show the gold at the end of the rainbow, but also let you know there’s a body buried beneath it.

This sub-genre is being created by someone who’s had family killed and kidnapped by the kinds of people you see in this film. This darker world is something that I hope to question and explore in a creative manner, because I’ve already made my choice between the story and the gun.

So with that in mind, thank you very much for considering my story. Though I know pulp isn’t considered a higher form of storytelling, I say this pulp comes straight from the heart in its own strange way.

Muchas gracias,

Jesus Celaya

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