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Award-winning director to attend local screening of film

Date of release: 09/15/98

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Award-winning director Severo Perez will be in San Marcos for a special screening of his film adaptation of Tom‡s Rivera’s classic novel ...and the earth did not swallow him Sept. 23 at 2 p.m. at the Showplace 3 Cinema. Perez will speak after the film and take questions from the audience. A reception will follow at 5 p.m. at the South-western Writers Collection. All events are free and open to the public.

The film and novel depict the lives of a South Texas family of migrant farm-workers during the 1950s. Rivera’s novel, first published in 1971, is widely considered a modern classic and is taught in literature courses around the country. Perez’s quiet, yet powerful film has won international acclaim, including top honors at several film festivals. Both Perez and Rivera are alumni of Southwest Texas State University.

The screening coincides with the Southwestern Writers Collection’s exhibit Mythic Journeys: The Film Archives of the Southwestern Writers Collection. The exhibit offers an insider’s look at the creation of several popular films including Lonesome Dove. The exhibit features the works of Bill Wittliff, Tommy Lee Jones, Sam Shepard, Larry McMurtry, Sissy Spacek, Robert Duvall, Severo Perez, William Broyles Jr., Angelica Huston, Horton Foote and many others.

Perez has loaned the Southwestern Writers Collection many items from the making of ...and the earth did not swallow him for the current exhibit, including a beautifully crafted foto esculptura used as a prop in the film.

A San Antonio native, Perez moved to Los Angeles in 1972 to pursue a career in the motion picture industry. His productions have won more than 50 awards, including three CINE Golden Eagles. He is also a successful playwright and has worked extensively with Luis Valdez’s El Teatro Campesino. Most recently, Perez was the 1997 playwright-in-residence at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

Perez will also be a special guest at the annual Tom‡s Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award reception Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Southwestern Writers Collection. SWT established the award three years ago. This year’s winners are author Pat Mora and illustrator Raul Colon for their work on Tom‡s and the Library Lady.

Perez’s visit to SWT is sponsored by the Southwestern Writers Collection and the University Lecture Series, with additional support from the Hispanic Writers Endowment, the Center for the Study of the Southwest, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and the Center for Multicultural and Gender Studies. Leticia Garza-Falcon, director the Multicultural and Gender Studies program at SWT, will introduce Perez at the screening of the film.

The Southwestern Writers Collection is located adjacent to the Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern & Mexican Photography on the seventh floor of the Albert B. Alkek Library on the SWT campus in San Marcos. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday; 1-5 p.m. Saturday; and 2-6 p.m. Sunday.