by Mark Elijah Rosenberg
March 1st, 2008
As I wrote the other day, Rooftop Films and IFP are proud to be working together to support all aspects of independent film–from exhibition all the way back through production. IFP does an admirable job at helping films get made, and have an outstanding track record of bringing fantastic films through their Labs. And when one film is having trouble getting finished, IFP is there to help.

El_Coyote_Settles_The_Score.jpgThursday night IFP (in conjunction with SAGIndie and Time Warner) organized a rough cut screening of “El Coyote,” a Mexican Spaghetti Wester/Horror feature now in the final stage of production and preparing for the festival circuit. I thought that Brooklyn-based first time filmmakers Sergio Palacios and Damian Rodriquez have the makings of a really dynamic film.

“El Coyote” is classic revenge story, with a lone former drug runner, thickly bearded and dressed in black, riding back into a tiny Mexican town to kill the honchos who once betrayed him and left him for dead. The film is shot with an eerie distance and a distinctly gritty look, placing the characters as imposing archetypes. An astonishing soundtrack–equal parts Sergio Leonie and heavy metal–fills out the mood and propels the story. The action is, at this point, concise and edgy, and the filmmakers are looking in particular for funds to help create more (low-budget) splatter effects. With references to boarder-crossing drug-running this film has political overtones, but the real thrill of it is the low-budget energy of a badass old-fashioned western.


I think the film has the possibility to do well at indie fests and as a niche release, and could certainly be very successful as a cult classic, particularly if they can tap into the Latino market.

the_dead.jpgThey’re looking for investors on a very small scale, so if you’re interested, please get in touch with directors Sergio Palacios and Damian Rodriguez at

You can also support the film by buying some of Sergio’s wicked art at This one to the right is called “They Shot the President.”


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Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.


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