Tijuana Makes Me Happy

Mark Deming, The New York Times:

A young man will go to any lengths to make his dream come true in this independent drama from director Dylan Verrechia co-written with James Lefkowitz. Indio (Pablo Tendilla Ortiz) is growing up with a poor family in the Mexican border town of Tijuana. Cockfighting is still a popular and lucrative sport in Tijuana, and Indio thinks he has what it takes to train a champion bird. As a present for his fifteenth birthday, Indio asks his father Jhonny (Pablo Tendilla Rocha) to get him a rooster that’s up for sale from a local breeder who has helped spawn some winning birds. However, Jhonny can’t afford the rooster, and instead buys his son an evening with Brianda (Darina Rabago Soto), a teenage prostitute. While Indio and Brianda strike up a brief romance, he’s not about to give up his ambitions of training a winning rooster, and takes whatever odd jobs he can find to help raise the cash – everything from washing cars to working as a drug mule. Tijuana Makes Me Happy received its premiere at the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival, where it received the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature.

Official website: http://tijuanamakesmehappy.com