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In a South Texas high school auditorium, trumpets ring out, thick guitarrón strings thrum, and violin bow hairs snap and swing wildly through the air. This is the world of competitive scholastic mariachi. This energetic documentary captures the highs and lows of Edinburg North High School’s Mariachi Oro as a green team strives for the state championship. With tough love, finely tuned empathy, and a fiery passion for the music, coach Abel Acuña guides the varsity band through a steep competition season and a fraught year in their adolescent lives. Team captains Abby, Marlena, and Bella prove the value of the skills taught in the band room as they navigate life’s challenges on and off the stage with grace, immutable work ethic, and total charm.

Filmmakers Alejandra Vasquez and Sam Osborn transport their audience to this symphonically, aesthetically, and emotionally vibrant world. A directorial debut for Vasquez and sophomore effort for Osborn, Going Varsity in Mariachi is a testament to their ability to explore identity, cultural roots, and pressing social issues with a nuance that foregrounds frankness, boldness, and joy.

Available in person and online.

  • Year
    2022
  • Runtime
    105 minutes
  • Language
    English
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Alejandra Vasquez,Sam Osborn
  • Producer
    James Lawler,Luis A. Miranda, Jr.,Julia Pontecorvo
  • Executive Producer
    Jenny Raskin,Lauren Haber,Geralyn White Dreyfous,Owen Panettieri,Steve Cohen,Paula Froehle,Debbie L. McLeod
  • Co-Producer
    Rachel Mills
  • Editor
    Daniela I. Quiroz
  • Composer
    Camilo Lara,Demian Galvez