It almost sees like a marketing cliché that we Latinos give special importance to the family, but it’s true: for better or for worse, family is often at center of our worlds. Yet there’s much more complexity to this narrative than the familiar images of multi-generational harmony that make up Spanish-language commercial blocs. In fact, the new short film B.O.O.S.T., from Tejano actor-director-producer-screenwriter Jeremiah Joe Ocañas and writer-producer Gabriela López de Dennis, shows us that sometimes our deep family bonds and traditions can lock us into unending cycles of crime and abuse.
Ocañas comes to directing from the world of acting, where he has had roles in smaller productions like Drive By Chronicles: Ghostown and Choosing Signs. B.O.O.S.T. represents his first time in the director’s chair for a narrative film, but perhaps no one is more qualified to tell this highly autobiographical tale about a hardworking multi-generational Tejano family with a dark secret. For three generations they have been stealing construction equipment to supplement their income. As the stakes grow higher, this tight-knit family must finally face the consequences of their criminal habits as they risk the safety of their own generations to support their vices and financial problems.
Ocañas has spoken at length about the personal stakes behind telling this story, but his decision to delve into his own family’s difficult secrets has given us a fascinating crime drama that goes well beyond the usual clichés. Now judging from the trailer, this low-budget endeavor admittedly has some jarring technical errors – specifically in the sound design – but visually it seems Ocañas has done a commendable job capturing the stark light and melancholy atmosphere of working-class south Texas. With a cast comprised of seasoned actors alongside first-timers, the performances also seem like a mixed bag, but Ocañas himself gives a convincing turn as a grown son questioning the morality of his family traditions.
The film will be available in its entirety on its website starting October 12. Keep a look out for more, because the Lone Stars Entertainment imprint behind the production has hopes of turning it into a longer form series or feature film.
B.O.O.S.T. will be available on the Lone Stars Entertainment website starting October 12, 2015 at 12 p.m. PT (3 p.m. ET).