San Benito, Texas is a small town 20 miles northwest of Brownsville, near the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s also the setting of a heartfelt and inspiring documentary about the kindness and generosity of a community that is more than willing to give of itself — although it, too, is limited by its own lack of resources.
Directed by Fanny Veliz Grande (Homebound), Our Quinceañera spotlights the young women of San Benito in a way that will have the whole Rio Grande Valley celebrating with them.
In Our Quinceañera, you meet Gilbert Galvan, the principal of San Benito Veterans Memorial Academy and former mayor of the town, who’s made it one of his missions in life to throw a quinceañera for every teenage girl in town who wants one, but cannot afford it.
“I was invited to maybe 30 quinceañeras, but then I noticed some girls were not going to have one,” Galvan explains during the trailer for the award-winning documentary.
This was the catalyst for Galvan and others in the South Texas community to come together each year and make the dreams of every (soon to be) 15-year-old girl come true, including San Benito student Hazzel Rubalcava. In the trailer, Rubalcava speaks about how her family didn’t have the money to observe what the Latino culture considers a symbolic transition from childhood to young womanhood.
The annual event becomes a joint effort by the people of San Benito who donate their time and talent to create an evening each of the debutante will never forget. From designing the invitations, providing the lavish dresses to supplying all the music, Our Quinceañera will reveal how that one magical night is achieved.
Our Quinceañera won an audience award at the Bentonville Film Festival.