ABOUT THE FILM: 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 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.