WATCH: Trailer for “Feliz Año Tijuana,” a New Year’s Eve Dramedy

The Spanish/English debut captures the street-level reality of life in Tijuana without dwelling on drugs or criminality.

The debut feature from filmmaker Andrew van Baal, Feliz Año Tijuana (which translates to Happy New Year, Tijuana) is a drama/comedy set over the course of twenty-four-hours in Tijuana on the titular holiday. 

The project was filmed guerrilla-style on a tiny budget ($6k) with a crew of just three people (including a sound recordist and a local Tijuana guide) over six days. The whole thing was improvised by the core group of actors (including Alejandro Edda, who plays El Chapo in Narcos: Mexico) and real Tijuana residents. The story is one of a recently-fired Chicano Studies professor from LA who heads south of the border to celebrate the new year and ends up in an emotional spiral. 

In a press release, director van Baal said of his debut: “I don’t consider it a political film, but it’s topical in this time when border issues and diverse representation in media are frequently in the news, and its approach to those things is humanistic and non-stereotypical; it shows the street-level reality of life in Tijuana without dwelling on drugs, murder or criminality. To the contrary—it shows the warmth of the city’s residents and the vibrancy of its culture.”

The film will be available on VOD & DVD in the U.S. and Canada via Strand Releasing on October 8. Watch the trailer below. 

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