Local filmmaker gears up for short film

After recently landing a global distribution deal for her previous short film Fearless Fight, filmmaker Jackie Magdaleno is back in her hometown of Brownsville to film her next project.

Fearless Fight, filmed in Brownsville, was picked up by Hughes Pictures in New York for marketing and distribution. Magdaleno financed the project with her own savings and her family’s help. “I started writing it in 2013, but getting all the components together was definitely a learning experience,” she said.

Fearless Fight was well received, and was one of only 50 short films selected out of 500 entries for the first official Latino Short Film Festival in New York in September 2015. A German filmmaking magazine for women also did a feature about her, helping her work get international notice.

Magdaleno says her next project is also a short film, describing it as a touching story that she hopes audiences of all ages will enjoy. She likes telling stories that have impact, and tries to stay away from the negative. The storyline of the tentatively titled Piper deals with a young girl who has cancer, who encounters a man on the beach that she interacts with while they both are experiencing difficult times in their lives.

Magdaleno is filming Piper in locations in Harlingen, Brownsville, and South Padre Island. She says preparation is key, because the whole short is being filmed in just two days. “It’s going to be super hectic. We’re talking 12- to 14-hour days, it’s a lot of pressure.”

Magdaleno spoke about what she wants audiences to walk away with after viewing her film. “I hope that what they take from it is, though it’s a story that’s sad, that at least they take the message from it, and that they think it’s a good story.”