Filmmaker In Focus Series: Texas Filmmakers Part Two

Next up in our Filmmaker In Focus Series are two Texas documentaries. As I Walk Through the Valley, directed by Ronnie Garza and Charlie Vela, is a chronicle of the underground music scene of Texas’ southernmost border region. Disgraced, produced and directed by Pat Kondelis is the untold story of a basketball player that disappeared without a trace at Baylor University in 2003. Vela has served as a record producer in the Rio Grande Valley for the last 15 years and Garza, in addition to being a filmmaker, is a democracy activist. Kondelis has produced and directed multiple award winning documentaries for PBS and has produced numerous docu-series for CNN, A&E, History Channel, and Nat Geo. Explore the stories behind these nonfiction narratives below:

As I walk Through the Valley

Q: Tell us a little about your film?

A: "A documentary that covers 40 years of underground music in the Rio Grande Valley."

Q: What motivated you to tell this story?

A: "Films and programs of the past have only showcased a limited offering of the music from the valley."

Q:What Is Your Spirt Animal?

A: Vela: "A Tlacuache." Garza: "A human."


Q: Tell us a little about your film?

A: "Disgraced tells the story of murdered Baylor basketball player Patrick Dennehy at the hands of a teammate. This is the first known case of a player killing a teammate in the history of U.S. intercollegiate athletics and ultimately exposed the biggest scandal college basketball has ever seen."

Q: What motivated you to tell this story?

A: "I became fascinated by the intersection of themes in this very bizarre story. The more research I did, the more questions I had. After thirteen years of mystery surrounding this case, getting closer to the truth became extremely urgent."

Q:Who Is Your Spirit Animal?

A: "Ron Swanson."

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By Neha Aziz