By Liz Lopez
During the SXSW Film Festival last month, I viewed the documentary, “As I Walk Through the Valley” from the directors, Ronnie Garza and Charlie Vela. The film had the World Premiere in the 24 Beats Per Second category and I throughly loved the film. It is one of the memorable films from the festival for me, as it covers so much about the culture, the music and the region of Texas that I grew up in. I was unaware of the work on the film until last month and was so pleasantly surprised about the history that was covered about the diversity of the Rio Grande Valley and the music. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the South Texas border towns where cultures blend and “Spanglish” is often spoken, the film is very engaging and provides a broad spectrum of the families, business and entertainment activities that exist there. Viewers will certainly be pleasantly surprised by the extensive research and interviews.
I am impressed by the photos, footage and memorabilia that the filmmakers included in the film, as well as interviews with so many of the individuals from the “music scene” from a few decades ago. It is great to see them on film, learn from their memories and where they are now.
The South Texas Film Festival International Film Festival held the Rio Grande Valley premiere of “As I Walk Through The Valley” on April 8th in Edinburg, located in Hidalgo County in southern Texas, and home to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley campus. Charlie Vela shared the information via the film’s Facebook page. After the screening of the film, there was a Q&A with the filmmakers and a concert featuring bands from the eras covered in the film. The official concert lineup for the show: Ralph & The Cruisers, Rio Jordan, Confused, Panteon and DeZorah. The events took place from 7 pm – midnight at the Edinburg Auditorium.
About the film as noted on the SXSW website: “As I Walk Through The Valley” is a journey into the underground music scene of Texas’s southernmost border-region. Follow four generations of Valley musicians as they struggle to find a voice of their own in the land of charro beans and Tejano legends. Principal Cast: The Rio Grande Valley Scene”