Growing up in Columbus, N.M., Julian Nuñez experienced life on the border first-hand.
While going to New Mexico State University, he yearned to create a film that would make a difference.
Nuñez and his team – which included Alfonso Loya and Tony Marquez – recently wrapped production on the short film, “De La Luz.”
“I wanted to create something that was relevant to today’s time,” he says. “While writing, I was watching the news and took inspiration from what was going on in the world.”
“De La Luz” is about the border crisis – with a little bit of science fiction taken into account. It’s about the struggle of a young family that risks it all to brave the desert to build a better life in America.
Writing began a year ago and Nuñez teamed up with Loya, who is the director.
“Of course, if we were doing a film about the border, it had to be filmed around there,” he says. “We needed the film to be as authentic as it could be.” Production wrapped around mid-July and filming took place in El Paso, Las Cruces and Radium Springs.
The crew also had to work quickly.
With only three production days planned, the majority of the scenes were on location in heat well above 100 degrees. Not to mention enduring 12-hour days in production.
“We were running on zero sleep,” he says. “But we knew that this film has a great message that we want to get out to the world.”
Nuñez says now that production is done, the next phase is to get the film edited and ready for the film festival circuit.
Many of the actors were from El Paso and Ciudad Juárez.
Nuñez took any advice from the actors on making sure the sentiment was captured correctly.
“They really did help us gauge what is happening on the border,” he says. “I’ve lived on the border my entire life and it’s our home. We wanted to shed light on this issue that is dividing the country.”
Nuñez moved to Albuquerque two years ago. He got his degree from New Mexico State University in 2012, where he studied digital filmmaking at NMSU’s Creative Media Institute.
“This is my home and I didn’t want to leave the state,” he says. “I want to build my life out here as a filmmaker. This is my first big production outside of doing pieces for school.”