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Poster for the film CASSANDRO


Opens September 15

In this stunning biopic from Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams, Saúl Armendáriz (Gael García Bernal), a gay amateur wrestler from El Paso, rises to international stardom after he creates the character Cassandro, the “Liberace of Lucha Libre.”

In the process, he upends not just the macho wrestling world, but also his own life. Musician and longtime wrestling fan Bad Bunny co-stars, marking his feature film debut.

JBFC Director of Special Event Programming Chris Holliday writes: “I saw Cassandro at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and it’s a triumph. Based on the true story of a gay wrestler in Mexico, the wildly entertaining debut narrative feature film from Academy Award winner Roger Ross Williams does not disappoint. Already generating awards buzz, Gael García Bernal’s portrayal of the “Liberace of Lucha Libre,” aka “Cassandro,” shines. It’s emotional, hilarious at times, and has a lot of heart; it is sure to trigger all the feels, so come see one of this year’s stand-out performances on the big screen at the JBFC!”

"A gorgeous depiction of mother-son love and an exhilarating exploration of fearless queer identity in a macho environment."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
"Glowing with García Bernal’s magnetism, Cassandro balances the triumphant exaltation of Arbendáriz’s singular evolution as a trailblazer who didn’t set out to become one, with the obvious, still not entirely eliminated bigotry that made his trajectory so significant and groundbreaking in the first place.
Carlos Aguilar, IndieWire


Q&A with director Roger Ross Williams, moderated by Janet Maslin
Tuesday, Sep. 19 2023, 7:00
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Roger Ross Williams is an Oscar, Emmy and Peabody award-winning director, producer, writer, and the first African-American director to win an Academy Award ® with his short film Music By Prudence. Williams’ award-winning work pushes the boundaries of culture and film. In 2021 Williams was named an Indiewire Influencer for “changing the face of documentary film.” “Beautiful,” “Uplifting,” “Extraordinary,” “Triumphant,” “Rich with insight,” “Searing,” “Remarkable,” and “Inspirational” are accolades Williams’ films have received from the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Forbes, and Entertainment Weekly. Williams has received the Career Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association, The Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Award, The NYU Alumni Achievement Award, and an honorary doctorate from Lafayette College.

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