NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The 1990’s saw a surge of independent, Latino cinema with the wave of Nuevo Cine Mexicano. The movement inspired thousands of young, Latino Filmmakers; including a Texas-born, Mexican-raised auteur who found his voice in the backlot of New Mexico, Alejandro Montoya Marin.

Very few filmmakers ever get to work with their heroes. That sentiment may come as a surprise when said hero is responsible for films such as “Desperado.” This was the follow-up feature to Robert Rodriguez’s debut, “El Mariachi.” It caught the attention of Hollywood in 1992, as well as a young Latino filmmaker from Laredo, Texas, Alejandro Montoya Marin.

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“I really do remember the first time my mom took me to the movie theater, and it was to see a Spanish ruby movie from Spain called, Katy la Oruga. And it’s about a worm that travels and as she travels, it’s a female lead, she learns and becomes a butterfly. I remember the impact of the screen and the atmosphere because since then, I was enamored by film,” said Montoya Marin.

Marin moved to Mexico at a young age with his family, comprised mostly of accountants and lawyers. He says he knew early on that his passion was in the arts, particularly filmmaking. “Did a short film and I did a Star Wars short film and my friends and I felt so alive and so focused. So from there I just kept doing short films until I went to study film school,” said Montoya Marin.

After running his own video store in Monterrey, Mexico, called ‘Quick Stop’ and inspired by Kevin Smith’s own student breakout film, ‘Clerks,’ Marin packed his bags and traveled to Vancouver, Canada to study film. With a film degree in hand, he moved to Albuquerque and picked it as the place to start his professional career as a filmmaker in 2009.

After working a number of independent and short films Marin threw his hat into the ring for a new reality show on the El Ray Network about Indie Filmmakers, produced by Robert Rodriguez. Having walked in the same path as Rodriguez did early in his career, Marin recognizes the opportunities and continued challenges Latino filmmakers face in Hollywood. “I think it’s pretty obvious that there’s not a lot of representation and I think things are changing very slowly,” Marin said.

Citing the Eva Longoria directorial debut, ‘Flaming Hot,’ in which Marin plays a supporting role as well as the DC superhero movie ‘Blue Beetle.’ Marin says Latino filmmakers are getting a bigger seat at the table, but there’s still room to grow. Marin recently had his own feature film, ‘Millennium Bugs’ picked up by international distributor, Indican Pictures. Has he joins the ranks of filmmakers like Rodriguez and Longoria, he still has his roots planted firmly in the world of independent cinema.

“As a Latino, I hope that there are more Latino films that are made, but we also need better films being made,” Marin said.