ASU student makes his big-screen debut in an independent film


On Friday, the Tucson-based indie “ALL WE HAVE” hits three Harkins Valley Theaters: Avondale, Mesa and Glendale.

The film, which centers on themes of love and the past, began production in 2018. It follows Andres and Natalia, whose romance begins on campus and quickly escalates when someone from the past of Natalia wins.

“The origins of the film are inspired by something I experienced in 2016. Based on this core, I created characters and events to accompany it,” said Edgar Ybarra, writer and director of the film. . “The previous experience felt like the film had written itself – the ideas just popped out.”

While the film’s foundation was backed by strong real-life based scripts, production didn’t come easy, Ybarra said. Working out the film’s logistics began with a detailed crew approach.

“The process of creating ‘ALL WE HAVE’ was like taking a test every other weekend. You do your prep, learn your lines, and then challenge everything,” Ybarra said. “It’s by examining every nook and cranny that you become intimately familiar with every moment of the film.

“I knew we had something special, and I felt it all the way because of the refinement process and confident execution.”

While getting to grips with the fine details adds an extra dimension to the film, you can’t overlook a solid acting foundation, Ybarra said. Finding the right people for the job came when he least expected it, especially lead actress Karen Marroquin.

“I met Karen out of the blue and it was an absolute pleasure working with her,” Ybarra said. “I met her in her senior year of high school. She was a powerhouse – undeniable in her talent. She came through with all the professionalism in the world. Her work ethic is absolutely amazing.”

Marroquin, a junior journalism and mass communication student, discovered the filmmaking opportunity through her modeling manager. Although she was shy and fearful of what people thought of her, Marroquin, who plays Natalia, said the project helped her gain the confidence to come forward.

“One day the woman I modeled for called me and said, ‘Hey Karen, there’s this audition in Tucson tomorrow, you have to be there early in the morning,'” Marroquin said. “At first I didn’t think about it. I didn’t know if I should go. After talking to my parents, I felt I just had to give it a try – I didn’t want to waste an opportunity.”

Change can be daunting, Marroquin said. But the opportunity to be Ybarra’s film protagonist meant a change for good, giving her the latest knowledge to take charge of her life goals, she said.

“When I seize opportunities that could change my life, I get excited,” Marroquin said. “It was so great to do something on this level, before I was just doing acting. I loved it, but I always wanted to be in front of the camera. It was my dream come true.”

While starring in “ALL WE HAVE” fueled Marroquin’s dream of being on camera, his future goals go beyond comedy.

While studying at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Marroquin hopes the next camera she finds herself in front of will be in the broadcast journalism industry. Although acting and journalism may seem different, the actress said she sees parallels between the two.

“The reason I do journalism is because I’ve always loved telling stories. Choosing journalism as a field was a no-brainer. It’s my love for storytelling that drives me,” Marroquin said. “My plans for the future are hopefully to work in broadcast journalism, but I’ll take whatever God gives me. My ultimate goal is to bring important stories to light on camera.”

For Marroquin and Ybarra, the development of the film and its eventual release in Arizona theaters make them extremely proud.

For Marroquin, that means people have supported her in her goals of becoming a storyteller. For Ybarra, that means her message of hope and determination can be carried to the heart of Arizona.

“I’m so proud to bring ‘ALL WE HAVE’ to the Phoenix area. For a low-budget indie film, it’s amazing to bring it to the big screen,” Ybarra said. “It has heart, twists and turns, and I hope this film can serve as a reminder that if you have a dream, you can run out there and make it happen. We made this little film – if we can do it, other people can do what makes them happy, too.”

“ALL WE HAVE” premieres in the Phoenix metro area at Chandler Fashion 20, Gateway Pavilions 18 and Superstition Springs from April 25-22. Schedules and tickets are available in line.

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