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Be Generous: Sin City Producer Elizabeth Avellán on How El Paso Resembles Austin in the ’90s

September 28, 2023

Elizabeth Avellán has produced films that have earned more than a billion dollars at the box office, including the Sin City and Spy Kids franchises. But she’s still so tapped into the indie-film ethos that on the latest film she’s produced, Deadland, she cooked for the whole production.

Avellán, whose creative partnership with former husband Robert Rodriguez goes all the way back to his 1992 DIY breakthrough El Mariachi, spoke at the El Paso Film Festival Thursday about the indie sensibilities she has put into practice for years.

She helped make Texas the film capital it is today, in part by her co-founding of Austin’s Troublemaker Studios, and said Thursday that she sees some of the same qualities in El Paso that she found in Austin in the ’90s.

“I’ve been in this business 30 years — wow,” she said. “I will tell you what I see here that is common to what happened in Austin back in the late ’80s, early ’90s: You’re investing in yourselves and you’re investing in each other. This community has that ability, and it’s already doing it, and the people are wonderful.”

Avellán spoke at a panel on video games, graphic novels and film as part of the Creative Ways panels led by the El Paso Film & Creative Industries Commission at Visit El Paso and supported by the El Paso Film Festival. Her fellow panelists were Dr. E.C. Dukes of DUKEScomics and Xalavier Nelson Jr. of StrangeScaffold, who just released the new game El Paso, Elsewhere.