Filmmaker's Journey

By Severo Perez

Foreword by Luis Valdez

978-1-64843-179-1 Cloth
6 x 9 x 0 in
216 pp. 24 b&w photos. Index.
Pub Date: 04/15/2024
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Born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1941, acclaimed filmmaker Severo Perez moved to Los Angeles in 1972 to pursue a career in the motion picture industry. His films have won awards, including five CINE Golden Eagles. Perez is also an accomplished playwright and novelist. Filmmaker’s Journey offers valuable insights into the life and work of this influential and visionary artist.

Perez’s 1995 film . . . and the Earth Did Not Swallow Him, perhaps his best-known work, is adapted from Tomás Rivera’s classic 1971 Chicano novel . . . y no se lo tragó la tierra. The film follows the lives of a South Texas family of migrant farmworkers in the 1950s. Perez’s nuanced, powerful film beautifully evokes the substance and spirit of Rivera’s work, and it has won international critical acclaim, including top honors at film festivals worldwide. Some of these include the Sol Award at the 1995 CineSol Latino Film Festival, Best Feature Film at the San Diego Independent Film Festival, and Best Feature Film at the Minneapolis Rivertown Film Festival.

Filmmaker’s Journey recounts Perez’s winding path toward building a career as an independent filmmaker. Beginning with the events accompanying the first week of production for . . . and the Earth Did Not Swallow Him—which coincided with the riots incited by the Rodney King verdict on April 29, 1992—then picking up the thread of his Westside San Antonio upbringing and his early fascination with making movies, Perez recounts his experiences with the small art houses, the obscure film collectives, and the move to Los Angeles that would eventually launch his forty-five-year career producing programming for PBS, cable, and network television.

Wittliff Collections Literary Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press