2019 Special Guests
Robert Rodriguez is a film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, editor and musician. He is also the Founder and Chairman of El Rey Network, a 24-hour, English-language lifestyle network.
While a student at the University of Texas at Austin in 1991, Robert Rodriguez wrote the script to his first feature film while sequestered at a drug research facility as a paid subject in a clinical experiment. That paycheck covered the cost of shooting his film. He planned to make the money back by selling the film to the Mexican home video market.
The film, El Mariachi, went on to win the coveted Audience Award at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival, and became the lowest budget movie ever released by a major studio. Rodriguez wrote about these experiences in Rebel Without a Crew, a perennial guide for the independent filmmaker.
Rodriguez went on to write, produce, direct and edit a series of successful films including Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Faculty, the Spy Kids franchise, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Frank Miller’s Sin City, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D, Grindhouse, Machete and Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For.
Racer Max Rodriguez
Racer Max Rodriguez has written and produced projects in film and VR. At only 7 years old, created the characters and helped craft the story for the classic family film The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, and also appeared in the film as a young Sharkboy.
In 2017, Racer, alongside his father acclaimed film director Robert Rodriguez and his younger brother Rebel Rodriguez, formed Double R Productions, a development and production company with capabilities to produce media projects across film, television, gaming, and interactive platforms.
Double R’s latest project is a new feature film called Red 11. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of El Mariachi, Robert Rodriguez went back to his roots and challenged himself to make a feature film under the same constraints he had in 1992, with a budget of only $7,000 dollars and 14 days to shoot. Racer co-wrote and produced the film in addition to being the film’s sole crew member. Racer also appears in the film as the character Black Shirt.
The production of the film was also documented for a 6-part docu-series called Rebel without a Crew: The Robert Rodriguez Film School. Red 11 and a sneak preview of the docu-series had its world premiere at SXSW in March of 2019. Double R also produced a state-of-the-art virtual reality live-action short film called The Limit starring Michelle Rodriguez and Norman Reedus which was released to all VR platforms in November 2018.
Rebel Rodriguez has composed music in both Film and VR. In 2017, Rebel, alongside his father acclaimed film director Robert Rodriguez and his older brother Racer Rodriguez, formed Double R Productions, a development and production company with capabilities to produce media projects across film, television, gaming, and interactive platforms.
Double R’s latest project is a new feature film called Red 11. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of El Mariachi, Robert Rodriguez went back to his roots and challenged himself to make a feature film under the same constraints he had in 1992, with a budget of only $7,000 dollars and 14 days to shoot. Rebel both acted in the film as the character Knives and composed the score.
The production of the film was also documented for a 6-part docu-series featuring Robert and his son Racer making the film called Rebel without a Crew: The Robert Rodriguez Film School. Red 11 and a sneak preview of the docu-series had its world premiere at SXSW in March of 2019. Double R also produced a state-of-the-art virtual reality live-action short film called The Limit starring Michelle Rodriguez and Norman Reedus which was released to all VR platforms in November 2018.
Rebel has also made a name for himself in the weapons manufacturing industry as a professional bladesmith with his own blade-making company Rebelde Blades. Rebel appeared on Season 1 and 2 of El Rey Network’s Man at Arms: Art of War.
In 2018, Rebel went on to compete in History Channel’s competition reality series Forged in Fire where he took home the championship.
Chelsea Hernandez is a native Texan and Mexican-American filmmaker based in Austin, Texas, recently named as one of Texas Monthly’s “10 Filmmakers on the Rise.” She is an 8-time Lone Star Emmy winning director, producer and editor.
Chelsea received a B.S. from the University of Texas, the first in her Latino family to achieve a college degree. She was hired as Associate Producer and Assistant Editor on PBS national broadcast special, Fixing the Future, hosted by David Brancaccio of NPR’s Marketplace, directed by Ellen Spiro (Body of War, Troop 1500) and national 6-part series Ancient Roads from Christ to Constantine directed by Hector Galan (Children of Giant, Chicano).
Beyond television work, Chelsea has directed and produced various documentary films including the Austin Film Festival Best Short Documentary Winner, See the Dirt. The film also premiered internationally at the oldest film festival in the world, the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Most recently, Chelsea co-directed a short documentary, An Uncertain Future, for Field of Vision & Firelight Media’s web series “Our 100 Days.”
Along with streaming online, the film has screened at film festivals across the country, winning awards at SXSW, Aspen ShortsFest, Dallas International Film Festival and CineFestival, to name a few. The film was also selected as a Vimeo staff pick and has drawn over 25,000 plays. Chelsea is a NALIP (National Association of Latino Independent Producers) member, Latino Media Market fellow, Firelight Media Doc Lab Fellow, Tribeca Storylab Fellow, Tribeca All Access Recipient, BAVC National Mediamaker Fellow and 2018 IRP Workshop Participant. Building the American Dream is her feature directorial debut.
Pollyannna McIntosh began her career at age 16 in independent film and theatre. A move to Los Angeles in 2004 brought on more theatre, including a production of The Woolgatherer, in which she directed Anne Dudek (a regular on Mad Men (2007), Big Love (2006) and David Dayan Fisher (a regular on 24 (2001), NCIS (2003), to great reviews.
Her demanding turn as the lead in Lucky McKee's The Woman (2011) made shock waves at Sundance 2011, brought rave reviews, cemented her place in cinema as a strong, uncompromising female presence, and topped the New York Times readers' favorite movies poll. For her performance, she was awarded three Best Actress awards, including Total Film's Frightfest Award and Fright Meter's.
Darlin’ marks her first time behind the camera as director.
Lucky McKee is an award-winning screenwriter, director, and novelist best known for work in the horror genre, such as the 2002 cult hit May, the 2006 schoolgirl chiller The Woods and the notorious 2011 Sundance shocker The Woman.
In 2006 McKee joined Showtime’s groundbreaking anthology series MASTERS OF HORROR directing the one hour original film “Sick Girl”.
McKee also contributed a segment to the 2015 anthology film TALES OF HALLOWEEN. McKee has recently shifted his creative sights to noir-thrillers with BLOOD MONEY starring John Cusack and the upcoming KINDRED SPIRITS starring Caitlin Stasey, Thora Birch and Macon Blair. He has also co-authored 3 award-winning novels with Jack Ketchum: THE WOMAN, I’M NOT SAM, and THE SECRET LIFE OF SOULS.
Eric Gordon is an award winning director and producer who has exhibited his work at film festivals worldwide. One previous work, a 35mm short film, “Rita, Pigboy and Me” was written by Tom Lazarus (Stigmata) and stars Mel Gorham (Blue in the Face, Smoke, Curdled). The film screened at over 40 festivals worldwide, winning 18 prestigious awards during its run, including Best Director from the Florida Motion Pictures and Television Association (FMPTA).
Gordon has worked on major feature films, music videos, serving as both cinematographer and associate producer. His background in documentary film shows his versatility: documentaries shot and edited in Key West and in Calabria, Italy; stateside, he worked on a documentary about a friend in end stages of AIDS and a short, “That Really Cool Car Place on East Pettigrew Street.”
Over the past six years, he has produced, shot, and directed the feature length documentary, When All That’s Left Is Love. It is an emotionally gripping film about his aging mother’s determination – against nearly impossible odds - to care for her Alzheimer’s husband at home and by herself. The film gives viewers an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes understanding of a medical dilemma that currently has no cure – but has patients who depend heavily on the heroic tenacity and love of the Alzheimer’s caregivers.
Denise Dorado is a filmmaker and actor born and raised in El Paso, Texas. She earned a B.A. in International Relations from Baylor University, and spent two years abroad studying Arabic and Urdu throughout the Middle East and South Asia. Thereafter, she moved to Los Angeles to begin her studies in Film Production at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she wrote and directed her first short film, “Behind the Plastic Curtain”, a dark comedy depicting the sacrifices one must make when marrying outside their culture.
To compliment her studies in cinema, Denise has also delved into the world of performance. In 2017, after starring in many short films and TV guest spots, she was cast in her first leading role in a feature film, “Amalia” (2018), Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s latest psychological thriller, and her second lead shortly thereafter, Graham Streeter’s “I May Regret” (2018).
She currently resides in Los Angeles.