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Texas Film, 'Benavides Born,' Headed to Sundance

by Jerome Weeks 18 Jan 2011 11:08 AM

‘Benavides Born,’ the story of a high school senior trying to win a state powerlifting championship to earn a scholarship to attend UT-Austin, will screen at Sundance this month. Shot in Texas, it features several North Texas actors — including Teatro Dallas’ Cora Cardona.


Benavides Born, the story of a high school senior trying to win a state powerlifting championship to earn a scholarship to attend UT-Austin, will screen as part of this month’s Sundance Film Festival’s U. S. Dramatic Competition. Written, directed and produced by the married team of Amy Wendel and Daniel Meisel, Benavides Born was shot on location in Texas and features North Texas actors Julio Cesar Cedillo (who plays the girl’s coach), Leticia Magana (her mother) and Teatro Dallas founder Cora Cardona (the town curandera or folk healer). For his part, Cedillo is set to appear with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in the Jon Favreau sci-fi film, Cowboys and Aliens.

Benavides, which stars Corina Calderon (above), was one of 16 picked from more than 1,100 submissions.

The full release follows:

January 18, 2011

Sundance Film Festival To Premiere Film Featuring Local Actors

DALLAS, TX – The Mary Collins Agency announces the world premiere of BENAVIDES BORN, featuring North Texas-based actors Julio César Cedillo, Leticia Magaña, and Cora Cardona.  The film, directed by Amy Wendel, was selected to screen as part of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival’s prestigious U.S. Dramatic Competition.  Whittled down from over 1,100 submissions, the Competition features 16 American-made narrative films to be reviewed by a panel of renowned industry professionals.

BENAVIDES BORN tells the story of Luz Garcia, a high school senior trying to escape the unwanted fate – working on oil rigs or in fast food restaurants or joining the military – of so many of her peers in a small Texas town.  After gaining admission to the University of Texas at Austin, she sees her dreams slipping away upon the realization that she can’t afford to attend unless she wins a scholarship through a victory in the state’s powerlifting championship.  Cedillo (playing Luz’s powerlifting trainer, Coach Chapa), Magaña (Luz’s headstrong mother, Rosana), and Cardona (the town’s curandera) round out a supporting cast consisting mainly of Texas actors.

“It speaks volumes to the quality of work coming out of Texas that a film of this scale will debut on such a highly regarded and well-known platform,” says Dallas agent Mary Collins.  “We’re thrilled on behalf of our actors and on behalf of the entire state of Texas that BENAVIDES BORN will be part of such a prominent competition.”

Julio César Cedillo, Leticia Magaña, and Cora Cardona are represented by the Mary Collins Agency in Dallas, TX.  Cedillo (THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA, THE ALAMO) will next be seen in the big-budget sci-fi adventure COWBOYS AND ALIENS, alongside Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Sam Rockwell.  Magaña (MANGUS!, THE SECRET SHE CARRIED) and Cardona (SELENA, STOP-LOSS) continue to work steadily in the North Texas arena on industrial, commercial, and voice-over projects.  Information about these actors and more on the Mary Collins roster can be found at

The 2011 Sundance Film Festival takes place January 20-30, 2011, in Park City, Utah.  To purchase tickets, view the film guide, or find general information about the Festival, please visit <> .


Sara Rhodes
[email protected]