‘From Gringo To Grave’ is a short film by filmmaker Jacob N. Stuart expected to hit the film festival circuit this fall. The film follows Arturo, played by Iker Vidal, hitching a ride with a Gringo in Juarez who launders guns into Mexico (where firearms are banned). Though the Gringo is instructed by low level narcos to not take the boy into El Paso (where the boy would connect with his mother), he does so anyway. After getting to boy across, he learns that this is no ordinary boy, but the son of a high-ranking Sinaloa Cartel member. The Gringo must decide whether to take him to his mother in the States, or return the boy back to Juarez for a handsome reward. The film does not take sides. It shows there is corruption on both sides of the border.
“The film is special in the sense that it was an opportunity to connect with old friends and meet new ones. While some of the cast did not have a lot of acting experience, they knocked it out of the park. After getting some initial funding, I first reached out to some people I knew from El Paso-Juarez to get the ball rolling, one being Dani Marquez, who plays a narco. Her and her son, Iker Vidal, play 2 of the main roles. She also introduced me to filmmaker-actor, Adrián Morán, who also plays a narco if the film. And just recently, we added Dani’s sister to the team, Elizabeth Marquez, who will be doing a voice over for the film.
While I’m not a local to the area, it was all hands on deck. Sherrie Prose, who plays an immigration attorney, introduced me to a lot of people in town during a local film festival (where 4 of my actors had roles), including my first assistant director. Ariadna Rosales. Jennifer Denise Saavedra, who plays the mother, also performed at Mexicanidad the day after filming. Everyone worked hard to help see this film through, including Lizette King, who plays a border agent, who helped on-set when she wasn’t filming. Without a doubt, I made the right choices when casting.
Jacob has had a lot of success in the film festival circuit, having been accepted into over 50 festivals, and winning nearly 10 of them. He hopes given the hot topic of the border right now his film can make some waves. The ultimate goal is to raise capital for a feature film.
“As everyone knows, El Paso made national news last week in regards to the mass shooting. It’s eerie, actually, because that’s the walmart I got craft services from. Seeing that all my cast and crew are from that region, it’s a miracle that no one on my team was harmed. It came as a shock, seeing that I was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio (where the 2nd shooting occurred that day). It’s just all surreal. But El Paso is a strong community and will rebound!”
Stuart is about 50% through with the final cut of the film. His teaser trailer can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/353025524
His extended trailer (which takes some risks, given its length) can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/352616116
For more on the film: www.imdb.com/title/tt10125722; www.screenwritingstaffing.com/from-gringo-to-grave
Writer, Director, Producer: Jacob N. Stuart
Co Producers: OLEG LUBSKE, DANIEL GRISWOLD
Associate Producer: Jason Stapelmann