Garcia is from Harlingen, but has lived in Austin ever since he moved there to go to the University of Texas 15 years ago.
Garcia says the film is about the border, but he didn’t intend for that to happen, at least not at first.
“Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley, that’s all you know. I didn’t set out to make a film about South Texas, initially. It was just an idea that we ended up adapting to South Texas,” Garcia says.
Garcia got the idea for the plot when he traveled to Ecuador several years ago. The movie is about a man who breaks his own arm in a Latin American country and smuggles a cocaine-filled cast back into the U.S. Then he finds himself on the run from the people looking for those drugs.
“I don’t think we ever set out to make a political statement about border issues or immigration or any of these things. We really just wanted to tell the story of why someone would be so desperate to break their arm to make some quick money,” Garcia says.
He says he wrote the script in English, but he cast bilingual actors who’d be able to switch between Spanish, English and the hybrid “Spanglish” he says so many people speak in the Valley.
“[They] could handle their own translations on set,” Garcia says.
Garcia says “Tejano” will premiere at Austin’s Violent Crown Cinema, and it will also play in El Paso and Corpus Cristi. “Tejano” will be released on DVD on Feb. 12, and Garcia says he’s hoping to announce a streaming deal in March.
Written by Caroline Covington.