Love, music, and passion: young Edward lacks all of these in his dull Midwestern hometown. So he journeys to Guadalajara, Mexico, in search of what he’s missing, and he finds it—by improbably becoming a mariachi singer. With the help of Lilia (Martha Higareda), a marine-biologist-turned-waitress, and an array of new friends, Edward becomes the person and musician he sought to be.
Tom Gustafson’s MARIACHI GRINGO blends the tenets of the musical and road-trip genres to deliver a skillful exploration of identity, family, and belonging embellished by the expansive landscapes of the Midwest, the ambience of Mexico’s colonial city, and the soaring majesty of Mexican folk music. As Edward, Shawn Ashmore’s performance is as electrifying as the songs his character plays, and his chemistry with Higareda makes their relationships all the more striking and appealing.
Complemented by a stellar cast that includes Academy Award nominee Adriana Barraza and Fernando Becerril, MARIACHI GRINGO will have the audience singing mariachi at the top of their lungs, just like real-life genre titans Jorge Negrete and Pedro Infante do today.
Tom Gustafson is best known for his feature debut, the Shakespearean musical WERE THE WORLD MINE, which won nearly 30 film festival awards in 2008. He also made the short films, THE NEED, FAIRIES, and the mockumentary REVELATIONS. He started his film career as a freelance casting assistant.