A Mexican Sound
From the director of The Other Side of Immigration: a film that celebrates the music and culture of Mexico's Huasteca region.
Click the photo above to watch a video about this project.
A Mexican Sound takes you on a journey to Mexico with award-winning documentary filmmaker Roy Germano to explore the wonders of a unique style of music called son huasteco. The film not only introduces you to the music itself, but also to the people who play it, dance to it, and love listening to it. A Mexican Sound is a fun, uplifting film that celebrates the beauty of Mexico, the warmth of the Mexican people, and the richness of Mexican culture. It will show you that there's a lot more to Mexico than the problems we constantly hear about in the news. A lot of filming is already done, but we can't finish this film without your support. For more, check out the trailer below and listen to a story about son huasteco (and this film) that recently aired on NPR's Weekend Edition.
NOTE: DVDs are now being offered as rewards at the $25 level!
ABOUT ME/MY WORK. My name is Roy Germano. I shot, directed, and edited a feature length documentary called The Other Side of Immigration and a popular internet video of two young women climbing the US-Mexico border fence. I self-funded The Other Side of Immigration on a tiny budget, so I know how to stretch a dollar and make a great final product! The Other Side of Immigration won the 2011 American Library Association Notable Video Award, has been called "a must-see for anyone serious about the subject" and has screened at over 100 film festivals, universities, and community events. The film premiered 3 years ago and is still touring! My work has been featured by media outlets like The Huffington Post, The Economist, Fox News, Telemundo, Univision, and many others.
HOW DOES KICKSTARTER WORK? Kickstarter is a safe, secure, and reputable fundraising website. This isn’t charity: you pledge money to help me finish the film and then you become a part of the team and get things in return. No money exchanges hands unless we reach my fundraising goal by April 8 at 3pm. Kickstarter is all or nothing, so please contribute early and tell your friends! Note: your credit card will not be charged until April 8 (at the earliest) and only if we make the fundraising goal. For more on how Kickstarter works, see these Frequently Asked Questions. $60,000 is an ambitious goal, but I know we can do it! Thanks for your support!
Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, Mexico—known as "the pearl of the Huasteca."
WHAT IS SON HUASTECO? Son huasteco is played in small, mountainous communities in the Huasteca, a region of Mexico located in the northeast and central-east of the country. Son huasteco is very intense and energetic. It is built around rapid violin flourishes, falsetto singing, and the driving rhythms of two special guitars (the jarana huasteca and the quinta huapanguera). It’s a huge sound for just 3 musicians, and maybe even sounds a little crazy upon first listen! In live performances, an additional rhythmic element is added when people stomp and dance on a huge wooden platform called a tarima. If you give son huasteco a chance, I'm sure you'll come to appreciate it and love it.
THE LIVE PERFORMANCE. You have to experience a live son huasteco performance to really appreciate this music—a big reason why I'm making this documentary. The rhythm of the dancers can't be replicated in a recording studio. Live performances are also very spontaneous, and son huasteco musicians love to improvise. They make up lyrics that poke fun at people in the audience, reference people or places, make up colorful jokes—anything to get a laugh or reaction from the crowd. Here's a great example from a performance by Los Camperos de Valles, arguably the best son huasteco trio ever.
WHO IS IN THIS FILM? A Mexican Sound will be full of performances, personal stories, and history. It will look and sound beautiful. During our journey through Mexico, you will meet the greatest son huasteco trio of all time: Los Camperos de Valles. You'll also meet many small-time trios that make their living playing parties and bars. You’ll meet a couple who fell in love while dancing to son huasteco. You’ll meet a man who started a weekly son huasteco festival in Xilitla, Mexico. You’ll meet the husband-and-wife team that has been recording son huasteco music for 40 years. Finally, you’ll meet a new generation of young people from the Huasteca who are keeping this music alive and making it all their own. This new generation of musicians (which includes many women and young children) is using CDs, mp3s, and YouTube to learn a style of music that, in the past, was usually only passed down from father to son. Son huasteco may be "traditional music," but it's as alive and popular as ever in the Huasteca.
Every Sunday, thousands of people come down from their villages in the mountains to dance to son huasteco in Xilitla, San Luis Potosi, Mexico (top photo). The recordings of legendary son huasteco musicians like Los Camperos de Valles (middle) inspire young musicians like Sergio Hernandez Reyes (bottom).
THE VIP PREMIERE & AFTERPARTY. You won't want to miss the VIP premiere and afterparty of A Mexican Sound (see $300 reward). It will take place (hopefully in November) at Pulqueria, a super stylish Mexican restaurant and bar located in New York City's Chinatown. Check out this photo of the Pulqueria bar...isn't that a cool space for an intimate premiere and after party? And then there's the private VIP booth at Pulqueria, where up to 2 backers (and their guests) will join me for dinner before the premiere.
HOW I WILL USE YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS. I've already filmed many of the interviews, performances, and beautiful nature scenes that you’ll see in the A Mexican Sound. But there is still more to do before the movie is finished, including additional filming, editing, audio mix, color correction, translation, subtitling, graphics, compensation to musicians, music licenses, and promotion. I can't finish the film without your support.
Me interviewing Elias Gonzalez Zamora, a lover of son huasteco who runs Xilitla's weekly son huasteco festival.
MORE INFORMATION. Learn more at www.amexicansound.com. If you have any questions, feel free to message me through Kickstarter or email firstname.lastname@example.org.