Oakland’s film maker, Rodrigo Reyes, wins the Vanguard award!

Congratulations to Oakland’s film maker, Rodrigo Reyes, for winning the Vanguard award!

Oakland Filmmaker examines the Spanish Conquest 500 years later in his experimental documentary. “499” is the fourth feature film from Mexican-born American filmmaker, who lives in Oakland.

This film will stream at 23rd San Francisco Independent Film Festival (sfindiefest2021.eventive.org) with over 80 films from around the world virtually Feb. 4-21, 2021.

Rating: IMDB 7.3 out of 10.


See video:


Described as a “hybrid documentary,” 499 examines colonialism almost five centuries after Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés arrives in the Aztec Empire and claims Mexico on behalf of Spain.

The film combines documentary and fiction to tell the story of a ghost-like Conquistador arriving in modern Mexico as the 500-year anniversary of the Spanish Conquest approaches.

SF INDIEFEST honored Reyes with the Vanguard Award and 499 will screen at the festival next month.

The film has been screened internationally and is picking up awards at film festivals along the way. It debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2020 and won for Best Cinematography in a Documentary Film and the Special Jury Prize at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival last year among others.



El Tecolote spoke to Reyes about his award-winning film 499, growing up in two cultures and releasing a film during a pandemic. Read his newspaper interview here!

Here’s another interview from Diablo magazine here!