From Gringo To Grave

A 30 year-old alcoholic Gringo, who launders guns into Ciudad Juárez for a living, encounters a Mexican child separated from his mother while trying to cross into the States. Needing a way to reconnect with his mother, the Gringo reluctantly agrees to hide him in his car and get him to El Paso. But things go awry when he realizes he’s no ordinary immigrant, but the son of a high-profile cartel member, whose mother took him and fled in the middle of the night. Having successfully gotten him into El Paso, he must decide whether to spare his own life and return the boy to Mexico, or get him to his mother -- which would likely start a border war.

Winner: BEST MOBILE SHORT FILM - Košice International Monthly Film Festival
Winner - Outstanding Achievement Award - Tagore International Film Festival (TIFF).
Winner - BEST MOBILE SHORT FILM ANY LENGTH - Cult Critic Movie Awards
Winner - Best Screenplay - Direct Monthly Online Film Festival Official Selection

Official Selection: XVIII Cine Pobre Film Festival
Official Selection: Berlin Flash Film Festival
Official Selection: MP Film Awards

The short film was shot on a Samsung Galaxy S10+ (mobile phone). Production Company: Screenwriting Staffing.

The short film FROM GRINGO TO GRAVE was made to raise awareness and capital for the timely feature film EL GRINGO A LA TUMBA.

Join our project by visiting:

  • Jacob N. Stuart
    An Addicting Picture, The Mailbox
  • Jacob N. Stuart
    An Addicting Picture, The Mailbox
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 59 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 31, 2020
  • Shooting Format:
    mobile phone
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • New York Movie Awards
    New York
    United States
    Best Original Story
  • Tagore International Film Festival (TIFF)

    Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Košice International Monthly Film Festival

    Winner - Best Mobile Short Film
  • Direct Monthly Online Film Festival

    Official Selection
  • Cine Pobre Film Festival

    Official Selection - Self-Funded Film
  • Cult Critic Movie Awards

  • Berlin Flash Film Festival
    Official Selection
  • MP Film Awards

    Official Selection
Director Biography - Jacob N. Stuart

Jacob N. Stuart is an award-winning and produced international screenwriter and filmmaker, with over a decade of industry experience. His films have been screened in theaters across the world, and distributed traditionally through DVD/Blu Ray. He currently has 3 films on VOD, 2 of them on Amazon (including the award-winning feature film An Addicting Picture). He has had a long history of film festival success, with over 50 film festival appearances, winning 10 of them.

Jacob is the Founder of Screenwriting Staffing, an online screenwriting community that connects screenplays and writers with film and television industry buyers. Through his site, he has facilitated over 250 sales, options, writing jobs, and representation, including one airing on the Hallmark Channel (Bramble House Christmas). Screenwriting Staffing has a network of over 90K, which includes: writers, directors, producers, actors, and agents.

Jacob previously taught screenwriting and film at the Hollywood International Film Academy, Southern Ohio Film Association, and FilmDayton Commission. He has spoken on industry panels all across North America alongside industry veterans such as Angelo Pizzo (Rudy, Hoosiers)), Mickey Fisher (Mars, Reverie), and Mary-Jane Ruggeles (former vice-president at Disney Animation).

He's also a frequent contributor on top screenwriting/film publications, such as Final Draft, Creative Screenwriting Magazine, and MovieMaker Magazine, where he has interviewed some of Hollywood's top producers and directors, such as Stephanie Palmer (former MGM executive) Scott M. Rosenfelt (Home Alone, Mystic Pizza) and Dennis Heaton (The Order, Ghost Wars).

He was previously the Screenplay Contest Director for the Cincinnati Film Festival from 2014-2015. He was the Lead Screenplay Judge from 2014-2018 for both the Universe Multicultural Film Festival and the San Diego International Kids' Film Festival. He has held similar roles at film festivals, such as: Cincinnati 48 Hour Film Festival, Sierra Vista 48 Hour Film Festival, Golden Lion High School Film Festival, and Pepperdine ReelStories Film Festival.

Outside of screenwriting, directing, and producing, he has worked on-set (script supervisor, camera, grip, casting, sound) on projects, such as: Glee, Intervention, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Toddlers & Tiaras, Homecoming, among many more. Jacob holds a Bachelor of Science in Entertainment Business from The Los Angeles Film School, as well as an Associates of Science in Film.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

FROM GRINGO TO GRAVE: I believe there is one thing you can say about liars and that is they are committed. If you tell a lie long enough, you are committed.

Both sides of the border are committed ... and that’s exactly what this story is out to prove. It does not take sides.

FROM GRINGO TO GRAVE follows a Gringo from El Paso who launders weapons into Juarez. His contact is a low-level narco named Renata, which is played by Dani Marquez. The Gringo and Renata share a special relationship, but since she’s married to her business partner, Jorge (played by Adrián Morán), in which she loathes, the relationship will never develop into anything other than a friendship.

When the Gringo is approached by a little Mexican boy during an "exchange" in Juarez (played by Iker Vital), which needs a way to cross the border to reunite with his mother, the Gringo feels compelled to sneak the boy across. But after doing so, he’s informed that this is no ordinary boy, but the son of a high-ranking Drug Lord. To make matters worse, the boy was “kidnapped” by his mother (who was brutally abused) in the middle of the night. The mother and son decide their best chances of getting across is to split up -- which is where our Gringo comes into play.

Although the Gringo and the boy have only spent a few hours together, the two actually, while unorthodox in ways, become friends. The Gringo must decide whether to bring the boy back into Juarez and receive a handsome reward, or -- reunite the boy with his mother. Doing so, however, is likely to start a war.

For the GRINGO, the story is about forgiveness and redemption. For the MOTHER (played by Jennifer Denise Saavedra), it’s about freedom and a better life.

Juarez and El Paso are special places. Brother and Sister. During my time in both cities, I have felt nothing but love. However, I was cautioned not to go into Juarez prior to filming by an assortment of people due to the violence. Having spent more time in Juarez than El Paso, that couldn't be further from the truth. What’s even more ironic is the fact that El Paso was just assaulted (albeit from an outsider) with a mass shooting. It goes to show that there’s evil on both sides of the border. It's daunting, actually, because that WALMART is where I got craft services for the film. And 8 hours later Dayton, Ohio, experienced the same tragedy, which is where I grew up the first 20 years of my life.

Our GRINGO is just that: a GRINGO. He is white, does not speak Spanish, and although he works with Mexcians, his time is typically spent in the States. In just a matter of twenty-four hours, though, our Gringo is thrust into a world he would never imagine, and realizes that in order to “work” both sides of the border, playing the dumb “yankee” will no longer cut it in the deep-rooted underworld of drugs and guns that make up our US-Mexican border.

FROM GRINGO TO GRAVE promises to shed light on a subject that both sides of the border refuse to accept.

Film was shot on location in Mexico and the U.S. on a Samsung Galaxy S10 smart phone.

We are currently seeking creatives, movie-lovers, investors, and cast to join our feature film, which is based off this short. Learn more here: