TAMIU senior José Luis Montoya
It started as a student film project and morphed into a 91-minute independent film that profiles the life of a bright and kindhearted young woman trapped in a chaotic household.
“Milagro,” a film by Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) senior José Luis Montoya will be presented Thursday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the TAMIU Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Recital Hall. The film is in Spanish and subtitled in English. Admission is free of charge and open to the public.
Montoya wrote and directed the film shot in its entirety in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, México, using high definition video with Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound audio.
“The idea of ‘Milagro’ was developed three years ago when I noticed a young girl was taking refuge on the sidewalk in front of her house while her parents argued loudly inside,” Montoya recalled of the Soha Producciones film. The experience led him to further analyze the problems youth face when trapped in chaotic families, he said.
The screenplay, which took two years to complete, is about Milagro, a young woman subjected to cruel treatment by her stepsister Hodesa, immersed in her own world of greed and darkness. Milagro’s goal throughout the film is to go to school and earn a degree to better herself, but one day a powerful book finds its way into her hands and unravels an intense battle between good and evil.
Created with the support of a group of young, aspiring actors and friends experienced in the art of cinematography, editing, and music; the young visionaries behind “Milagro” believe that kindness begets kindness and culture can create more culture.
The process of making the film was an amazing journey comprised of many hours of hard work, shortage of money and a number of sleepless nights, Montoya said.
“Like any other project in our lives, we all knew sacrifices had to be made to address this issue of family violence,” Montoya explained.
Montoya held auditions at the Laredo Center for the Arts. Through an impressive response, 25 actors were selected. The majority of the cast and crew live in Laredo and attend TAMIU. The film debuted in Nuevo Laredo at the Festival Internacional Tamaulipas.
“We had such an amazing reaction from a 1,700-member audience, and a standing ovation,” said Montoya, “One of the main reasons I chose to film entirely in Nuevo Laredo is to give the youth of the city something to call their own.”
The story is a combination of heartbreaking and uplifting scenes that will leave the viewer with a profound message, that strength lies within them. The film does not contain any obscene language or any sexual content, and contains minimal violence.
Montoya is a psychology major at TAMIU, minoring in creative writing.
“I would like to thank Benjamín Galván Gómez, the mayor of Nuevo Laredo who really assisted us along the way as well as providing us with support,” he said.
Montoya hopes that his future will include additional opportunities to write and perhaps create more films.
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