The Brownsville Film Society held a press conference Wednesday at the George Ramirez Performing Arts Academy to talk about the film portion of the Crossroads Festival which will take place from Feb. 24 through 26.
Hollywood actor and now Brownsville resident RJ Mitte said he is very excited for the event and hopes it continues growing. Mitte is collaborating with the Film Society to host the film tract of the festival.
“I hope to continue inspiring individuals to chase that dream and chase that belief that here, in Brownsville, you can achieve that goal … whatever you want is here in Brownsville, you just have to want it,” he said.
“Being so close to Matamoros and being so close to these cultural aspects of what this and who we are as individuals and the beauty of art that transcends borders, that transcends the mentalities that we have, that allows people to believe in a better place.”
The film tract of the festival will include films from Tecnologico de Monterrey, Universidad de Monterrey, The University of Texas at Austin, University of Southern California and more.
There will also be workshops such as Film Festival Submission Strategies Workshop and Women in Film Workshop.
“The Crossroads Festival started as an idea from the city to sort of have a whole week celebration to initiate Charro Days,” Rene Rhi, co-founder of Brownsville Film Society, said. “Our purpose as Brownsville Film Society is to promote the city for films that come to Brownsville and to create opportunities for filmmakers,”
Rhi said their job as a film society is to select and bring great films to the festival and at the same time to motivate people to come to Brownsville.
“Our job … is to look at the film section and we’ve been working very hard to bring some great films. We have three feature films for every night and then we have some very exciting short films from different universities,” he said. “Hopefully with this festival, it’s a big step for people to come and to see how great Brownsville is.”
Mayor Trey Mendez said the festival was something Brownsville “desperately needed” to bring more attention. He said the festival will elevate local talent.
“For me, this is exciting, and we’re only three weeks away, so, in three weeks we’re going to be invading downtown Brownsville and doing a lot of fun stuff,” he said.
Mitte said the Crossroads Festival has the potential to become a South by Southwest or even a Sundance. He said Brownsville has one of the strongest communities he’s ever seen.
“I hope to see the community really come together and highlight who they are as individuals but really who they are as a community,” he said. “I want to see [Crossroads] as big as possible, I want it to highlight not just Crossroads but Charro Days and Sombrero Fest and all these little events that are great, that are amazing. There are more than 100,000 people that are part of these events, that’s a lot of people and hope to see it double next year.”
For a full list of events, visit crossroadsbtx.com