One of the gala screenings at the heavenly Paramount Theatre this year, the documentary GOING VARSITY IN MARIACHI has had strong reactions from everyone we have met at SxSW has seen it.

ABOUT: In the competitive world of high school mariachi, the musicians from the South Texas borderlands reign supreme. Under the guidance of Coach Abel Acuña, the teenage captains of Edinburg North High School’s acclaimed team must turn a shoestring budget and diverse crew of inexperienced musicians into state champions.

ANNA’S REACTION: In Texas the University Interscholastic League (UIL) organizes competitive events for Texas students, on topics as diverse as football, debate, one -act plays and marching band. They’ve recently added Mariachi music to the events that students can compete in.

Mariachi is a festive style of music often associated in popular culture with Mexican restaurants and celebrations. Mariachi music is a vibrant part of Mexican-American culture in Texas. One of the distinctive features of the musical style is that groups usually wear distinctive, matching and quite flamboyant outfits while they perform.

This documentary follows a school year in a South Texas high school which has a strong competitive Mariachi program. With the filmmakers embedded with the high school students, the film catches the highs and lows of a year in high school as well as the emotional rollercoaster of their Mariachi band practices and competitions.

This film and many others like it will be showing at South By Southwest taking place March 10-19. For more information point your browser to

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