Programme

TRANSPECOS

Greg Kwedar

United States, 2016 / 86 min / English OV with FR subt. / Thriller

On the border there is no clear line between right and wrong.

On a remote desert highway, a makeshift Border Patrol checkpoint is manned by three agents: Flores and rookie Davis talk movies and women as they track footprints in the Chihuahuan Desert, while Hobbs, a patrolman of the old guard, bemoans the lack of checkpoint action. A routine car inspection, however, changes everything. What follows is a journey to uncover the surreal, frightening secrets hidden behind the facade of this lonely outpost. The end of the path may cost them their lives along a border where the line between right and wrong shifts like the desert itself.

By focusing on the actions of these men within a narrow narrative framework, Transpecos elides larger political and economic questions about America's immigration policies and its war on drugs. Rather, it explores the role that free will plays in the lives of those most affected by these policies—men and women thrust into a violent world defined by laws and enmities not of their making. (Oleg Ivanov, Slant)

Screenings
Sat 04/03 19:30 Ciné Utopia EN OV with FR sub. Public http://ticket.luxembourg-ticket.lu/luxfilmfest/webticket/bestseatselect?eventId=...
Sun 05/03 18:30 Cinémathèque EN OV with FR sub. Public http://ticket.luxembourg-ticket.lu/luxfilmfest/webticket/bestseatselect?eventId=...

“Leaving politics aside, Mr. Kwedar (who, as a college student, crossed the United States-Mexico border often to do relief work) creates an ethical setup that’s as micro as it gets. On this unforgiving boundary, his sympathy is all that moves freely from one side to the other.” Jeannette Catsoulis, 8/09/2016, The New York Times

“Unlike the highly charged “Sicario” and other recent drug trade-themed movies, the film, shot in New Mexico, eschews explosive confrontations and political judgments in favor of complex, thoughtfully portrayed characters and tense, compelling situations.” Michael Rechtshaffen, Los Angeles Times, 8/09/2016

"There are films in which the landscape is as much a character as the actors moving within it. Greg Kwedar’s Transpecos has three strong actors, but it is the terrain that ends up dominating this film. A promised wind blows, a sunset pregnant with meaning, and a succession of desolate shots of an unrepentant desert devoid of civilization loom over this tale of three border-patrol agents whose regular routine is rapidly unraveled in a day that tests trust, friendship, and loyalty in a film that hearkens back to Blood Simple-era Coen brothers." Josh Kupecki, The Austin Chronicle, 9/09/2016

“Transpecos” distinguishes itself with a sharp ear for dialogue, keen attention to ground-level detail, and an ending that unexpectedly chooses cautious optimism over blanket cynicism.” Kenji Fujishima, The Village Voice, 7/09/2016

+16
Awards
  • Audience Award, Narrative Feature – Dallas International Film Festival, 2016 (USA)
  • Grand Jury Prize, Best Narrative Feature – Independent Film Festival of Boston, 2016 (USA)
  • Grand Jury Prize, New Directors Competition – Nashville Film Festival, 2016 (USA)
  • Southwest Airlines Audience Award, New Directors Competition – Nashville Film Festival, 2016 (USA)
  • Special Jury Prize, Best Actor (Gabriel Luna) – New Directors Competition – Nashville Film Festival, 2016 (USA)
  • Audience Award, Narrative Feature – SXSW Film Festival, 2016 (USA)
Cast & Credits
Cast 
Gabriel Luna, Johnny Simmons, Clifton Collins Jr., David Acord, Luis Bordonada, Will Brittain, Alma Martinez
Screenplay 
Clint Bentley, Greg Kwedar
Cinematographer 
Jeffrey Waldron
Sound 
Mac Smith
Set 
Peter K. Benson
Music 
Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner
Production 
8750 Films
Distribution 
Screen Media Ventures
Biography

Born in 1984 in Texas, Greg Kwedar has been working in film since he dropped out of his college accounting programme. He produced the feature documentary “Rising from Ashes” directed by T.C. Johnstone (2012) about the Rwandan national cycling team, executive-produced by Forest Whitaker. He spoke on panels about his work at esteemed venues such as UNESCO and the United Nations, among others. “Transpecos” is his first feature film.

Filmography
  • 2016, Transpecos
  • 2016, 9 Races (short)
  • 2015, Dakota (short)
  • 2009, Manos de madre (short)
  • 2009, Guest Room (short)
  • 2009, La pluma (short)