Valley director releasing locally produced movie “Killing Chavez”

KC Pic Trims-21
Local actor, John Hernandez, as Cesar Chavez in Roy Dorante’s Killing Chavez


BRAWLEY — Imperial Valley film director Roy Dorantes will release his locally-produced film about Cesar Chavez, a farm worker turned labor leader and civil rights activist, on May 27.

The independent movie, featuring local actors, narrates the events of a plot to kill Chavez in 1971 by two hitmen out of Bakersfield, CA. The plot of the film follows the attempted assassination and culminates during an explosive era in Delano, CA between the farmers and Chavez’ union, the National Farm Workers Union. The story is reprised from FBI files now made public.

Bill Hodge, a former mayor of Calexico, plays the lead in the movie with supporting roles by Edward Castillo-Rubio and John Hernandez as Chavez. Hodge is the leading law enforcement character in Killing Chavez, a choice director Dorantes purposefully made he said, so Hodge could pull from his real life career.

The purpose of the movie is to create “dreamers” in today’s youth,” Dorantes said. “They need a dream and then run with it.”

“The movie was done with work and effort by those who believed in my vision,” Donates said, crediting those who helped make the movie possible.

The movie will premier in the Valley between May 27 with two shows at the Calexico 10 Theaters and then will tour independent theaters in California.  The cost is $5 and tickets may be purchased at the chamber offices in El Centro, Brawley, and Calexico. Dorantes plans on entering his work in Film Festival screenings.

Other works by Dorantes include the locally-produced movie about veterans called “Respect Due,” as well as  “Respect Due 4-Vets,” which will soon air on KSWT Channel 13.

For further information, Roy Dorantes may be contacted at or on his phone at 760-234-1940.

Sonny Castillo-Rubio as hitman Sticks.
Sonny Castillo-Rubio as hitman Sticks.
Gary Hopper as FBI agent Ski.
Gary Hopper as FBI agent Ski.
Marchers at a Chavez Rally. Members of the Hidalgo Society.
Marchers at a Chavez Rally. Members of the Hidalgo Society.


Director Roy Dorantes at film shoot in Calexico.


  1. I was in the field with school buses from central high we were there to help when all hell broke loose and chavez was shot

Comments are closed.