SXSW Film News/ Review: The In Between World Premiere in Documentary Feature Competition

I am so glad this film was brought to my attention, as I am from Texas (deep south Texas). I think anyone with a Texas connection, especially anywhere from Brownsville to El Paso along the border, will find this documentary of interest as there is so much to connect with – family, music, small-town life, food, and more – and for me as others, who know the recent loss of a brother (or any other loved one). Even if someone is not from Texas, the images and sounds captured in the excellent cinematography can have viewers thinking of their home life, adolescence, and plan to “escape” to another part of the world (I hear that in many country songs too). I am glad this film is debuting now to show life for families there and has been in mainstream media news for entirely different reasons. There are four screenings for this documentary film at SXSW – all at Alamo South Lamar with free garage parking – I live here, I know.

The debut feature by siblings Robie Flores (director) and Alejandro Flores (producer) Is a lyrical and personal documentary essay about finding joy in the aftermath of grief and a nuanced and unexpected portrait of the US/Mexico Border.

Following the death of her brother, filmmaker Robie Flores returns to her hometown of Eagle Pass, Texas, on the Texas-Mexico border, yearning to turn back time. Immersed in the unruly experiences of adolescence—quinceañeras, Selena, Rio Grande River excursions, teen makeovers, and beyond—she rediscovers the intricacies of the home her brother adored and she once overlooked. A playful dance emerges between a personal and collective coming-of-age portrait of borderland youth and Robie herself as she reclaims joy in the aftermath of grief.

Through her personal and family journey, director Flores delicately unveils a nuanced and unexpected portrayal of the US/Mexico border, steering clear of sensationalist media coverage of border issues. Flores’ intimate exploration offers a humanizing perspective that captures the vibrancy of a thriving bi-cultural and bi-national community, celebrating the resilience and spirit of its residents.

By capturing the essence of life on the border with sensitivity and from within, Flores invites audiences to connect with the stories and experiences of those living in this dynamic region. With its poignant portrayal of loss, resilience, and hope, The In Between stands as a testament to the power of storytelling to bridge divides and foster understanding in an increasingly complex world.

The 2024 SXSW Film & Television Festival takes place March 8-16 in Austin, Texas. The World Premiere is Saturday, March 9, at 6:45 p.m. at Alamo Lamar 4. It will be followed by two at the Alamo Drafthouse Lamar on Monday, March 11, at 9 p.m. and another at 9:30 p.m., and then also on Friday, March 15, at 12 p.m. at Alamo Lamar 8.

About: The Flores siblings are part of a ‘Border New Wave,’ a burgeoning group of Fronterizo filmmakers from Texas who challenge conventional narratives about border communities through innovative and artistic cinematic representations. Other notable directors in this movement include Cristina Ibarra (Las Marthas), Alejandra Vasquez and Sam Osborn (Going Varsity in Mariachi), Iliana Sosa (What We Leave Behind, God Save Texas: La Frontera), Carlos Alfonso Corral (Dirty Feathers), and Silvia del Carmen Castaños and Estefanía Contreras (Hummingbirds).

About the Filmmakers: Robie Flores (Writer, Director, Editor, and Director of Photography) is an independent filmmaker and video editor based in New Orleans and Eagle Pass, Texas, drawn to telling stories that explore the nuances of her fronterizo and Mexican American communities. The In Between is her first documentary feature, which received support from Just Films, Chicken & Egg, Field of Vision, Firelight Media, and others. She has also recently directed Boundless, a documentary short for Bridge Builders, an Independent Lens Stories for Justice series on criminal justice reform. She was the editor for Contessa Gayles’ Queen Collective commissioned short documentary, Founder Girls.

Alejandro J. Flores (Writer, Producer, and Director of Photography) is a Mexican American filmmaker based in Mexico City and Eagle Pass, Texas producing his first documentary feature, The In Between, which received support from Just Films, ITVS, Chicken & Egg, Field of Vision, Firelight Media and others. He also co-directed Boundless, an episode of Bridge Builders, an Independent Lens Stories for Justice series on criminal legal reform. He and his sister, Robie, co-founded the independent production company Ambiente Films.

THE IN BETWEEN. USA, 2024, 84 min. In Spanish and English with English and Spanish subtitles. Directed by Robie Flores; Producers: Alejandro J. Flores, Kellen Quinn and Robie Flores; Executive Producers: Carrie Lozano and Lois Vossen; Writers: Robie Flores, Alejandro J. Flores, Chloe Abrahams, Kellen Quinn; Cinematographer: Robie Flores and Alejandro J. Flores; Editors: Robie Flores and Chloe Abrahams; Supervising Producer: Michael Kinomoto; Consulting Producer: Jannette Napoli; Associate Producer: Alyssa Esquivel; Original Score: Camilo Lara and Demian Galvez.

Source: SXSW, Ambiente Films, ITVS

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