New Mariachi film officially underway

Buckley shoot at the mariachi conference, 2007

Buckley shoot at the mariachi conference, 2007

Daniel Buckley has officially begun work on a new mariachi film.

Tentatively titled “Tucson, the mariachi crucible,” this sixth installment of Buckley’s Cine Plaza at the Fox documentaries will focus on Tucson, Arizona’s place in the mariachi world and how the mariachi movement has advanced the city in terms of education, social progress, economics, politics and more.

The search for funding is underway, as is the securing of partners to assist in the project. Current partners include the Tucson International Mariachi Conference, the CHISPA Foundation and the Arizona Historical Society.

Tiffany Alvarez

Tiffany Alvarez

Buckley is discussing the option of creating an exhibit of mariachi history for the Tucson branch of the Arizona Historical Society.

The first official interview for the new film was shot late in September while Tiffany Alvarez – veteran player of the all-female Mariachi Mujer 2000 – was visiting Tucson from California. Alvarez discussed how mariachi education was part of her life from childhood and that even though she has pursued a career in the sciences, she still performs with mariachis at least part time to this day.

Documentary maker Daniel Buckley has a long association with mariachis in Tucson. He first became interested in the music in the 1970s while a student at the University of Arizona. He wrote about mariachi music in Tucson for the Tucson Weekly and the Tucson Citizen, and covered the Tucson International Mariachi Conference for 22 years while with the Citizen. Buckley traveled to Boston for the Citizen when Mariachi Cobre made its debut with that group, and twice journeyed to Orlando for the Citizen to do large features on Cobre.

Mariachi Cobre performs at Disney's Epcot Center

Mariachi Cobre performs at Disney’s Epcot Center

When Buckley began the multimedia division of the Tucson Citizen in 2001, he immediately made Tucson’s mariachi and folklórico dance scene a priority target. He taped at each of the mariachi conferences in Tucson from that point forward, focusing frequently on the student showcases and developing a catalog of progress of young talent from all over the United States at those performances.

When the Citizen’s print operation was shut down in 2009 and Buckley was laid off, he continued and broadened his association with mariachis and folklórico groups in Tucson. He wrote theatrical vignettes for the San Jose VivaFest in 2010 and 2011, attending and blogging on mariachi topics for VivaFest in 2011. He continued to unofficially advise the Tucson conference, and helped Tucson mariachi and folklórico groups in need of video support. In 2012 he produced a short video for the Tucson International Mariachi Conference that featured interviews with current TIMC workshop instructors talking about their own experiences as students of the conference.

This new film will bring together both the archival footage Buckley has shot over the years as well as new footage to tell the story of Tucson’s mariachi scene in the most comprehensive way yet.

~ by Daniel Buckley on October 15, 2012.

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