REZINATE Entertainment and Yel Productions will release “Murder in the Woods” in drive-ins and theaters nationwide on August 14th, followed by a digital and VOD release on September 18th.
Luis Iga Garza directed and produced the film, which was written and produced by Yelyna De León. The thriller stars José Julián, Jeanette Samano, Chelsea Rendon, Catherine Toribio, Jordan Diambrini, and Kade Wise. The movie also features Danny Trejo, Soledad St. Hilaire, Kurt Caceres, and Rolando Molina.
The studio’s description reads, “Murder in the Woods is centered on a group of college friends who plan a getaway to celebrate a birthday party at a desolate cabin in the woods. Against his grandmother’s (Soledad St. Hilaire) demands, Jesse (José Julián), a loner-type decides to go on a trip with his friends. He is immediately smitten with Fernanda (Jeanette Samano), a sweet girl from Chicago whom he hasn’t seen in years. She is in town visiting her loudmouth cousin, Chelsea (Chelsea Rendon), who is ready to celebrate her birthday and plans to let loose with her boyfriend Gabe (Jordan Diambrini). Tagging along at the last second are Jule (Kade Wise), the class clown pothead, and the very out-of-his-league Celeste (Catherine Toribio). Soon after arriving to the mysterious cabin in the woods, the group of teens discover the dark secret it holds, which forces them to fight for their lives.”
“I realized that this type of film had never been done in English for a mainstream audience, where Latinos and people of color are the leads and they are not portrayed in stereotypical ways,” says Director Luis Iga Garza. “This is why, while developing this indie feature, we were very conscious of making sure that there would be a diverse cast in lead roles.”
“For us, it’s important for this story to be universal, but being Mexican-American, it was also important for the script to include cultural Latino references such as El Dia de los Muertos, The Chupacabras, and other stories that are recognizable,” says writer and producer Yelyna De León. “We purposely showed authentic moments, such as the altars to honor our ancestors, and blessings when we leave the house, memorable experiences that we share with our families.”
The movie premiered at the Festival Internacional de Cine de Guadalajara in LA (FICG in LA) at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. During the festival run, the film won nine awards, including Best Film at the LA Skins Film Festival and XicanIndie Film Fest, in addition to Best Supporting Actor (Kade Wise), Best Sound Design and Best Soundtrack at the Macabre Faire Film Festival in New York, as well as the Panavision New Filmmaker Grant.
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