By: Peter Rasmussen

Originally published by The Monitor

the-monitorLast year Javier Chapa helped establish Mucho Mas Media, a film production and distribution company. One of the reasons the Rio Grande Valley native started the new venture with others was to help release films that have mainstream appeal to Latinos.

Chapa, who grew up on a ranch in San Manuel, 30 miles north of McAllen, has worked in the film industry for the past 15 years. He was a cadet in the Texas A&M Aggies Corps of Cadets and was hired to teach actors in the 1996 movie “Courage Under Fire” cadet drills. Since then, he had always wanted to work in Hollywood.

After graduating from St. Mary’s Law School in San Antonio, Chapa decided to move west to begin a career in show business. Since then, the 40-year-old has worked as a writer, producer and director. Ten years ago, he directed and co-wrote “Harvest of Redemption,” which was set in the Valley.

Chapa’s new company Mucho Mas is a distributor of a recently released film called “The Vessel,” featuring veteran actor Martin Sheen. The movie will be shown starting this weekend at Cinemark Hollywood USA in McAllen.

“The Vessel” is set in a nondistinct Latin town grappling with suffering and redemption after a tsunami destroyed the area, including an elementary school with children inside. What makes the movie unique is that it was shot in both English and Spanish (two movies) with an entire Latino cast.

Festiva recently caught up with Chapa.

Read the original Monitor story here.