One of the most popular blog entries on this site is the Donna Redskins' State Championship win in 1961. I've mentioned this before, but my dad is from Donna, TX so I've grown up hearing this story many times. So when I found out that they were making a documentary on this very topic I immediately thought "How Cool!". So I quickly got in contact with Frank Aragon, the director and producer of "Miracle at Donna", and he was kind enough to give Pharr From Heaven an interview and answer some of my questions.
Eduardo Martinez: First introduce yourself, and tell us about some of your past film experience.
Frank Aragon: My name is Frank Aragon, I have been involved in the creation of films as a writer, producer and director now for over 23 years. In 2001, I won the Golden Eagle award for Outstanding Independent Filmmaker.
EM: How did you find out about this great story about Donna, TX?
FA: I was sent a Facebook message from a guy out of Houston telling me about the story, I was fascinated and intrigued. I dug further and as they say the rest is history. Richard Avila, one of the players, is my associate producer now, as he has been instrumental in getting me in contact with other players and coaches.
EM: What was it about the Donna Redskins' win that inspired you to want to make a documentary?
FA: It wasn't necessarily the win that moved me, I was interested in who these young men were and where they were from, how they lived and how they overcame. That's the story, the championship was icing on the cake, I've never met a better group of men. I now look up to them and they are heroes in my life, I plan on telling their story so that everyone will know of them and they are truly inspiring.
EM: Have the people you come in contact with here in the Valley been supportive and positive?
FA: Tremendous, wonderful, fabulous support from everyone I have met in the Valley, in particular my angel Judge Rudy Gonzales who has been instrumental in helping us raise funding from local Valley support. But we still need to raise more money to do this right.
EM: At what stage is the film currently in and how much has been completed at this point?
FA: We are about to go live on kickstarter.com to raise more monies and we have made about 5 trips to the Rio Grande Valley from Los Angeles to preliminary interview players and coaches. Right now we are concentrating on interviewing head coach Earl Scott and then moving onto the players we have not yet interviewed. But we are already shooting pieces of the documentary.
EM: What type of release is this documentary set to receive?
FA: Full theatrical release first in the Rio Grande Valley then nationwide, with a feature film to follow it up. There is huge interest from studio executives but I need to bring them the documentary first.
I want to say thank you to Frank for his time in answering these questions and I want to wish him the best of luck in everything.