Writer, Director, and GSU Alum Ryan Prows just received a Student
Academy Award for his film, “Narcocorrido”. Ryan has made numerous
commercials, music videos and narrative films. Narcocorrido, which is
his most recent film won the silver medal in the narratives category,
and was one of two films in that category to come from the American
Film Institute. Other awards for the film include honorable mention at
the ASC Student Heritage Awards, the Filmmakers’ Award at the Seattle
International Film Festival, and was the official selection for the
Atlanta Film Festival.
“Narcocorrido” is based off a Mexican folk-music tradition of the same
name that turns stories of modern-day drug running into myth-like
narratives. It follows a Yuma county Sheriff’s deputy by the name
Naija Dillion. Naija, who is gravely ill, robs a notorious cartel
shipment in a last-ditch effort save her life. But when the robbery
goes south Naija finds herself caught up in a Narcocorrido made real.
In his acceptance speech Ryan thanked his cast and crew as well as the
faculty and staff of the American Film institute. And in an email sent
to all who were involved in the film he said that “it is my sincere
hope that this award will bring a higher awareness and enlightenment
to a wider audience on the subject, as well as a fresh perspective on
current issues plaguing the region.”
By showing both sides of law and the lives lived within each the film
accomplishes Ryan’s hope to shine a light on a decades old situation
that many would rather not talk about. “Narcocorrido” is not only a
very unique film, but also well deserving of the high honors it has been given.
Our hats go off to Ryan and the cast and crew of “Narcocorrido: a Drug Ballad”.
Q&A with Ryan
Q: What drew you to the GSU film school as opposed to noted film
schools in other states?
A : I wanted to stay in Atlanta and keep working with the people I
started out making films with, and it seemed GSU was the only real
serious option for it. They offered production classes as well as
critical studies, and I felt I’d get a well rounded film education.
Q: Most influential professor.
A: Kay Beck. I took an amazing Producing class from her that pushed me
to think a bit more specifically about budgeting, crewing, and
marketing the film once it’s done. Eddie Von Mueller taught a great
documentary class, and more importantly, took the time to talk to me
about my own filmmaking after class. He offered an honest critique of
my work, which was helpful to hear early on.
Q: Of what professional project are you most proud of and, more
A: Narcocorrido has been my biggest success so far, and definitely the
project I’m most proud of. The main thing I’m proud of is that I met a
great team of people that I want to continue working with in my fellow
AFI fellows, and we got to say exactly what we wanted with this film
and tell the story we wanted to tell. Any success that’s come from it
is twice as sweet because it’s all been for a film I believe in and
stand behind. That was actually really hard to do. Just the process of
making a movie can sort of whittle down the core idea of it, and we
were able to push it through as a team. Success!
Q: Where would you like to see yourself in the future? ie. what goals
do you have for your progress in the industry?
A: I’m currently working again with Team Win on a feature version of
Narcocorrido. I’m also a founding member of a comedy collective out in
LA, Tomm Fondle, and we’re working on sketches and have a TV pilot in
the works. The main goal to me is to keep creating my own content that
I can push forward myself, I’m reading a lot of scripts and books
looking for other material, and I’d like to keep doing a bit of comedy
work to balance out the genre and dramatic stuff.