CMI grads finding festivals, international exposure American dream film


A new film, “De La Luz” (“In the Light”), that was filmed in Las Cruces, tells a story about struggle, as a young family risks braves the brutal desert and risks everything to build a better life in America.

The film is a collaboration between three New Mexico State University Creative Media Institute graduates: writer/producer Julian Nuñez, director Alfonso Loya and cinematographer Tony Marquez. It has been accepted into the El Paso Film Festival and was streamed online via their platform Oct. 16, and into the Borders/No Borders Film Festival in Houston in mid-November.

“Growing up on the border, immigration has always been present in our lives,” Nuñez said in a news release. “Our families' foundations were built by immigrants who, through hard work, were able to achieve the dream that so many are still striving for. We wanted to make this film to give those dreamers a voice, to acknowledge their obstacles and reasons why they have to resort to these desperate measures to feel human.”

“I wrote this film in search of answers, but only found more questions,” Nuñez said. “There isn’t a simple solution, and the situation is getting worse. We (the filmmakers) are not politicians or activists. We are artists. We visualize the issues and let you decide.”

“We wanted the film to look and feel authentic, so working in the borderland, with local actors from El Paso, Juarez and Las Cruces, was a no-brainer,” Nuñez said.

“We wanted to tell a compelling story and used our art to help bring awareness to this issue, but we also wanted to make an entertaining film,” he said. “There are things about our film that don't fit into the typical immigration film. You'll have to watch the film to find out what that is!”

The movie’s last shot was filmed along the Rio Grande in Las Cruces in July 2019, he said, and the film was completed virtually in May 2020, because of the public health pandemic.

“The next phase of the film is to get it out to the world,” Loya said. “We wanted to tell this story and share the experiences people face to reach for the American dream. We have all the creative pieces in play and are glad to be at this stage of the process. We have submitted the film to more than 20 festivals, including notables like the Chihuahua International Film Festival, Muestra Intergaláctica de Cine, Sundance Film Festival, Oaxaca Film Festival, Santa Fe International Film Festival and many more.”

Nuñez graduated from CMI in 2012; Loya and Marquez both graduated in 2017. Nuñez and Loya had become friends before attending film school, meeting in Columbus, New Mexico.

“Growing up on the border definitely was an influence on this film,” Nuñez said.

Loya and Marquez started the production company InCadence Films and work out of the El Paso area, Nuñez said. “They are a creative powerhouse and very talented filmmakers,” said Nuñez, who works in Albuquerque, where he owns, a digital marketing company, and is a brewer for a B2B Garden Brewery.

Contact Nuñez at 575-494-2047 and

Visit to learn more about the film, watch the teaser trailer and find screenings.