Sansón and Me

Rodrigo Reyes is a Mexican-American filmmaker with experience working in the criminal justice system as an interpreter.

Artist Bio

Set in rural California, director Rodrigo Reyes’s documentary is a moving portrait of the unlikely friendship of two Mexican migrants, told within the frame of the dramatic clash between systemic forces and personal choices that envelop young, incarcerated men of color in America. This film combines a vibrant exploration of the cinematic form with a strikingly intimate portrait of the fault-lines in our society.

Award Year


A black and white photo of a bald man with glasses and a full beard, smiling.

Rodrigo Reyes

Oakland, CA

Rodrigo Reyes is a Mexican-American filmmaker whose films include the documentary Purgatorio and the dramatic narrative Lupe Under the Sun. He has screened in nearly 50 film festivals around the world, including the LA Film Festival, Guadalajara International Film Festival, and Documentary Fortnight at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, garnering rave reviews in The New York Times, Variety and other media outlets, as well as multiple Jury Awards. Named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine, in 2016 he was chosen as a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow at MacDowell Colony, and in 2017 he was selected for the National Mediamaker Fellowship by the Bay Area Video Coalition. Rodrigo’s work has received the support of Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Institute, California Humanities Council, Film Independent, IFP Narrative and Documentary Labs, the Mexican Film Institute, and more. In 2015, his documentary Purgatorio was selected as the Season Premiere for America ReFramed. In 2019, he collaborated with Netflix to produce a short film entitled, After the Raid about one of the largest immigration raids in over a decade. Rodrigo was selected for the Spotlight on Storytellers Award by Sundance Institute, and is a Guggenheim Fellow.