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Visiting Artist: Rodrigo Reyes

Public Screening of "Sansón and Me" and Filmmaker Q&A
Still from Sanson and Me, young boy resting their face on their hands behind a bowl of food
Mon, Oct 23, 2023, 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Communications Building Room 150

Presented by Film and Digital Media, Porter College, and the Center for Documentary Arts and Research
Free and Open to the Public


During his day job as a Spanish criminal interpreter in a small town in California, filmmaker Rodrigo Reyes met a young man named Sansón, an undocumented Mexican immigrant who was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Sansón and Reyes worked together over a decade, using hundreds of letters as inspiration for recreations of Sansón’s childhood—featuring members of Sansón’s own family. The result is a vibrant portrait of a friendship navigating immigration and the depths of the criminal justice system, pushing the boundaries of cinematic imagination to rescue a young migrant’s story from oblivion.


Mexican director Rodrigo Reyes (Mexico City, 1983), makes films deeply grounded in his identity as an immigrant artist, crafting a poetic gaze from the margins, using striking imagery to portray the contradictory nature of our shared world, while revealing the potential for transformative change. He has received the support of The Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE), Sundance, and Tribeca Institutes, while his films have screened on PBS and Netflix. His film “499,” won Best Cinematography at Tribeca and the Special Jury Award at Hot Docs. Rodrigo is a recipient of the prestigious Guggenheim and Creative Capital Awards, as well as the Rainin Fellowship, the SF Indie Vanguard Award and the Eureka Fellowship. His latest film, "Sansón and Me," won the Best Film Award at Sheffield DocFest, and is the opening film for the 2023 season premiere for the celebrated documentary series Independent Lens, on PBS.