LUZ is the latest film from writer/director Jon Garcia. Ruben (Ruben-Ernesto Reyes) is a young latino man who’s fallen into the world of the mafiosos. When an accident leads him into incarceration, his relationship with the cartel and with his family is strained. While in prison, he falls in the complex hierarchical system until his cellmate and eventual lover Carlos (Carlos- Jesse Tayeh), comes to his side and helps him find emotional and financial stability. When the two me are released from prison 2 years apart, they again meet on the outside and while dealing with the circumstances that had them incarcerated in the first place, they ponder whether what they once had was real or just two people hoping to seek light in a dark place.

In select theaters March 19 and on DVD and Digital April 6 from Dark Star Pictures.

“Moonlight” was one of the most inspiring movies I’ve seen in the last decade. Immediately after watching it for the first time I started to imagine what a story of love, sexuality, family and masculinity would feel like if told through the Latinx culture perspective. Growing up in South Texas, I had friends and family that were closeted LGTBQ+ individuals. Some of them still keep this part of themselves hidden from others to this day. Whether this is due to religious influence or the current social paradigms that are still evolving in American society, it was a subject I wanted to explore. Rather than searching for specific answers while creating LUZ, I was collaborating with like-minded artists so we could explore these ideas together.

Growing up I had many people in my community; both friends and family that lived in small towns near the border of Mexico and I saw good people resorting to whatever means necessary to make a living due to their given circumstances. I chose to tell the story of LUZ through this perspective by placing Ruben and Carlos in this environment.

While writing LUZ, I tried to imagine these focal characters navigating through life as both Latinx men, and as sexually fluid individuals, but I didn’t want it to be a coming-out story or a narrative about the challenges of being LGBTQ+ individuals with opposition from community and faith. I wanted to tell a story about two men from underprivileged backgrounds challenging the ideas of what it means to be a Latinx man in America. I wanted to dive into tropes of how Latinx individuals are often depicted on screen and create a motion picture that held an idealism where the obstacles facing our star-crossed, same-sex lovers are less about their sexual orientation and more about their identity as men; and particularly, how they carve their own pathway toward a form of manhood that’s authentic to them – in a culture that only allows so much authenticity. Together, these men find a way to thrive as individuals in a society that, all their lives, has been pressing them into rigid categories


About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.