Vecinos. The movie.
For anyone who's ever felt left-out, left-behind, or just a step out of pace with this fast-moving world, here's a heartwarming story made familia-style and brimming with Latino culture. Vecinos weaves the painful yesterdays of two very different neighbors into a hopeful story of shared tomorrows.
Inclusion StatementVecinos takes audiences on an authentic journey through our changing cultural landscape. Through the lens of the Latino "familia" Vecinos explores cultural identity, class, and gentrification. Audiences will see cultural/racial diversity onscreen, and will relate to Vecinos' themes of inclusion.
About The Project
Our story begins in 2008, when audiences in Austin, Texas attended sold out performances of Vecinos written by Rupert Reyes and produced by Teatro Vivo. We told a story that resonated with people of all ages. We were even the first date for many seniors who came to our matinees from the local senior center. One couple actually later got married after that first date! We were nominated as Best New Play in 2008 and eventually published. This beautiful love story could not just be for Austin audiences anymore.
Backstage, we laughed about our scenes and how much fun we and the audiences were having. We would improv new scenes backstage that we would include in our "screenplay." We joked at how we need to make Vecinos into a movie, just so people could meet Don Roberto and all his idiosyncracies. In 2017, Karinna, one of our cast members, called up Rupert and JoAnn Reyes and said, "Let's meet for coffee and discsuss how we're going to make Vecinos: The Movie." It's been easy to create our super team of producers and creatives. Everyone we met loved the script and agreed that the story of Don Roberto, Dona Maria, Samuel and Sylvia needs to be told.
We knew that love was a driving force in our production and the story we told. Our time with our theater company, Teatro Vivo, showed us how we can change people's lives through our stories. The messages of forgiveness, hope, aging in a changing community and the meaning of family are universal and we want to get families talking about these important conversations. We realized that we needed to spread this message of love to as many people as possible. This is why we are creating a feature film about Vecinos.
Our story follows Don Roberto as he navigates through his gentrified community and grumbly addresses the changes in his beloved neighborhood. The most intriguing change in his neighborhood is one with a bit of familiarity: Dona Maria. She introduces love back into his life and helps him see his community (and his son) with a fresh set of eyes.
Don Roberto is a widow who grew up on the East Side. He's listens to Tejano music, scolds his neighbors who are messing up his neighborhood, and frightens children at the park with his grumpy scowl. He's ready to party with his new neighbors but winds up scaring them to pieces! He absolutely adores his adult son, even if he judges him for wanting to change the world.
Samuel is Don Roberto's adult son. He grew up in the barrio and now works in corporate America. Like many people in their late 30s, he's struggling with his purpose and how he can make a difference. He struggles with caring for his father, who is reluctant to accept any kind of help from anyone. His own world is changed when he meets Sylvia.
Sylvia is an unhappily married, suburban wife. She spends her time with her mother and is appalled that her mother would move from the "safe suburbs" to the barrio. She is cold to people she meets and that includes her mother's new neighbors. As Sylvia visits the bario more frequently to see her mother, she begins to see the world from a different perspective. She has lived in a bubble most of her life and the East Side barrio is making her step out of that bubble.
Dona Maria is the heart of our story. She has unconditional love for her daughter and spreads that love to anyone she meets. She makes a bold decision to move from the suburbs to her old neighborhood on the East Side. She approaches her new life as an adventure and is eager to meet all of her new vecinos.
Vecinos will be a film that can be seen by multigenerational families. It will inspire family members to talk about how they relate to Don Roberto, Dona Maria, Samuel and maybe even, Sylvia.
Our characters are Tejanos, Mexican-Americans who have succesfully navigated two cultures or, some may even argue, created a culture of their own. We believe that the more of our culture and stories that we share with audiences, the more likely we will be a window into a shared humanity.
Please Follow and Share
We have performed several readings and Q&A's with local Austin audiences to showcase our talent and script. Thanks to those readings, we have a buzz about Vecinos: The Movie as we move onto our next phase: the actual filming. Filming will begin in the Austin area in July for 4 weeks.
Your donation to help create our film will allow us to bring love, insight, humor, connection and a sweet story to audiences around the world for generations to come.
Sharing our campaign on your social media is as helpful as a donation. And doing BOTH goes a long way to helping bring 'VECINOS' to your barrio!
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
We are committed to diversity in front of and behind the camera. It’s our way of bringing multicultural voices onto the screen.
Our team comes with a diverse set of talents but we all have one thing in common...our love for Vecinos. Some of us have been part of Vecinos since the stage production in 2008! We are excited about our team's strength, creativity and dedication to the project.