Real-life events and the stark landscape inspired the film drama ‘The Big Bend’

A primarily Texan crew filmed the movie – making its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival feel a bit like a homecoming.

By Laura RiceOctober 21, 2021 11:23 am, , ,

Filmmaker Brett Wagner was inspired to set his latest movie in the Big Bend region of Texas after a vacation there of his own. “The Big Bend” actually dramatizes those experiences. It’s having its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival.


Photo by Tony DeLeo, The Big Bend Film

“‘The Big Bend’ is a drama that was shot way out there in West Texas near the Big Bend National Park in Terlingua. It’s about two families who are coming together after not seeing each other for a while to have a family reunion out in the desert.”


“Both families are going through crises that they’re trying to keep secret for the sake of having a great time together. But when a child goes missing on a hike, that pulls the lid off of everything else going on in their lives, and all those problems and issues come spilling out.”


“The producer of the film, Aaron Brown, is an old friend of mine… And this story really started as an actual event in our lives, which was that our two families got together out in the Terlingua area in West Texas to have to have a reunion… Our lives were not full of crises and tragedy. But the setting was so interesting and the experience was so adventurous and so many small things happened on that trip that kind of just planted cinematic seeds in my brain.”


“The story arises directly from the landscape… It’s very beautiful, but it’s also very stark and very dangerous… The landscape is absolutely a crucial character in this story. I don’t think it could have taken place anywhere else.”


“I think if people come to see this movie, they’re in for something that’s very visual, very cinematic. It’s a journey, but it’s also a story that has a lot of surprises, that the outcome cannot be predicted. It’s a movie you have to watch till the very end because unexpected things happen. And all I can promise is that it’s a ride.”

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on and Thanks for donating today.