Going Varsity in Mariachi

Going Varsity in Mariachi

USA | 2022 | 105 min. | Alejandra Vasquez, Sam Osborn

October 5, 2023

SIFF DocFest

Dive into the dramatic world of competitive high school mariachi, as coach Abel Acuña grapples with his school’s shoestring budget and a diverse crew of inexperienced musicians in a quest to reach the state championships.

The film will be preceded by a live performance from Mariachi Monarcas from 6-7pm. Passholders and ticket buyers are invited to join us afterwards at Agave Cocina & Tequilas (15% off for DocFest attendees).

Individual Tickets: Select showtime to purchase
Passes: $100 | $75 SIFF Members - Access to all screenings

SIFF year-round passes and vouchers are not valid for this screening.

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“The insightful and lively doc tracks the impact on students that comes from the opportunity to belong to a collective creative endeavor.” —The Wrap

Energetic and empathetic, Coach Acuña has been transforming the students of Edinburg North High School’s Mariachi Oro into championship mariachi musicians for years, but after most of last year’s band graduated, he’s got his work cut out for him this time. Of the over 100 public high schools that have competitive mariachi bands, the best of the bands come from his area, Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. And he’s working with an inexperienced string section, a trumpet section notorious for goofing-off, and a guitarrón player who just started playing the instrumentat the exact same time he’s started dating his first serious girlfriend. Filming the band over the school year, directors Alejandra Vasquez and Sam Osborn follow Acuña and his senior captains Abby, Marlena, and Bella as they guide the varsity with tough love and a passion for the music, each learning to navigate life’s on-and off-stage challenges with commitment and grace.

  • Director: Alejandra Vasquez, Sam Osborn
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2022
  • Running Time: 105 min.
  • Producer: Julia Pontecorvo, Luis A. Miranda Jr., James Lawler
  • Cinematographers: Michael Crommett
  • Editors: Daniela I. Quiroz
  • Music: Camilo Lara, Demian Galvez
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Sundance Film Festival 2023 (Jury Award: Editing: U.S. Documentary)
  • Filmography: Osborn: Universe (2020); Vasquez: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English
  • International Sales: Fifth Season