Our Vision: 

We seek to create an internationally renowned film festival. We are able to rely on the collaboration of the two countries to provide wider coverage of cultural events, where we look to encourage more citizens to participate in the many activities we will sponsor, like film competitions.

All of this will promote the art of cinematography between our cities, both of which have a history of internationally famous actors who have visited and made motion pictures in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora.

Our Story:

The Borderland Film Festival, formerly known as the Santa Cruz County International Film Festival, is an annual event that is held every October in Ambos Nogales (Arizona and Sonora) and Santa Cruz County.

It is a grassroots effort that is driven by a core group of volunteers who are passionate about movies and filmmaking, the rich history of cinematography in Santa Cruz County and the incredible potential that visual arts hold as a force of change in this region.

The Borderland Film Festival is a celebration. We celebrate the beautiful scenery of the San Rafael Valley and other scenic locales in Santa Cruz County, Arizona,  and Northern Sonora, Mexico, that have, since 1913, provided picturesque vistas for more than 130 films and television shows, including Oklahoma! and Traffic.

We not only celebrate the history of filmmaking in Santa Cruz County and Northern Sonora, but the present-day visual art that interprets and shares various facets of life on our international border with Mexico, infusing the history, people, culture, art and areas of fascination that are unique to this portion of the world.

We look forward to you joining us!

Meet the Team

The Movers and Shakers behind the film festival!
Samuel Saunders

Samuel Saunders

A creative visionary, artist, and entrepreneur, Samuel Saunders, grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended The University of Oregon, University of Arizona, and L'Universita Di Firenze.
Samuel, in concert with his partner, Edward Holler, brought to fruition an antique and design enterprise specializing in Latin American Motif, garnering the attention of countless Collectors, Designers, and Architects for more than a quarter century.