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Praise from BLACK LIST critics

Better to Chase a Dream, Than Live Without One

"The script has a clever sense of humor"

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"The world of the story feels very real, very honest"

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Carlos Through the Tall Grass - Official Trailer #1

Carlos Through the Tall Grass - Official Trailer #1


The Black List

Carlos Through the Tall Grass has the honor of making Black List's prestigious Top List,  which has included such notable scripts as Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Whiplash, The Revenant, Slumdog Millionaire and The King's Speech.

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Young Carlos Avila is so brilliant he's mathematically proven he'll never be happy.  And if all a big brain does is prove you can never be happy, what good is it?  Still, when the chance to head east to an Ivy League School comes, he should at least find satisfaction all his scholastic hard work has paid off, right?  Nope.  Carlos feels guilty.  He can see the eventuality, the outcome, of everyone else's life and where their decisions are leading them. They're doomed.

Starting with his best friend Rhonda; a girl with enough energy to power a small city.  She’s not going to college, so every time we see her she’s dressed as something different (firefighter, roller derby queen, lounge singer) hoping for inspiration as to where her career lies.  Her problem is she’s terrible at everything.  He also has a rich, underachieving girlfriend who’s way out of his league and will probably forget him the second he's out of her driveway. Rounding out Carlos' life is Perry; an innocent man he’s trying to free from prison; an overly emotional cousin who might have a pregnant girlfriend; his grandmother, who refuses to push her medical alert bracelet no matter how many times she falls down and Carlos' mother; the ultimate helicopter-parent, who suddenly will be all alone.


Throughout, Carlos is plagued by uncertainty: “What if he’s not brilliant? What if he’s just neighborhood smart? Is he really afraid of abandoning everyone, or is he just scared of leaving his comfort zone?”


The film is a coming of age story about realizing you can’t get anywhere new if you stick to the same familiar roads, and sometimes your dreams are just out of sight, waiting for you, beyond the tall grass.

It's been an extraordinary journey! The film is absolutely amazing and we're not going to settle for anything less in our editing, score and sound design.


We are extremely grateful to Film Independent for granting us 501 (C) (3) tax exempt status, which means all donations to us are now fully tax deductible! Please help bring Carlos home by using the link to Film Independent's website where you can contribute. 


Thanks to all those who helped get us this far!


Team Carlos 



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Carlos Through The Tall Grass  will be the

OPENING NIGHT FILM at the 13th Annual

DTLA FILM FESTIVAL , which is Los Angeles' premiere independent film festival. 

For further information about the DTLA Film Festival,

please visit: https://dtlaff.com/13th-annual-dtla-film-festival-announces-2022-festival-lineup/ 


SEPT. 14, 2022 @ 7 PM



Carlos Through The Tall Grass  recently won

a prestigious REMI AWARD at the WORLDFEST - HOUSTON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, the oldest international film festival in the world.


The mission of the festival is to “recognize and honor outstanding creative excellence in film and to validate brilliant abilities.” 


Carlos Through The Tall Grass  was an OFFICIAL SELECTION & had its WORLD PREMIERE at the



Please visit: https://danceswithfilms.com/carlos-through-the-tall-grass/ for further information about the World Premiere.




Rick Dominguez 

Director / Writer / Producer 

Rick’s first feature “Violent Times” premiered at The Newport Beach International Film Festival and was named one of Orange County’s 10 Best. It also screened at The New York Independent Film Festival and The Telluride Indiefest. He’s proud of his great success in The Latino Community, including having a screenplay optioned by the producers of “Selena”, having his work showcased by the National Hispanic Media Coalition, winning the Director’s Award at The Short & Sweet Latino Play Festival, having the screenplay for “Carlos” make Black List’s prestigious Top List and now seeing it come to life as a feature film.


Patti McCarthy


Patti McCarthy received her MFA and PhD from USC Cinematic Arts and worked in the film industry at RASTAR Productions with Producer Ray Stark on Harriet the Spy (Rosie O’Donnell), To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday (David Kelly, Michelle Pfeiffer), Random Hearts (Harrison Ford), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt, Kate Blanchett), and American History X (Ed Norton, Eddie Furlong), at the Turman-Morrissey Co.. She’s also enjoyed success co-producing the documentary, Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way, with executive producer, Clint Eastwood and producing a series of short biographical films about George Lucas with Lucasfilm. She currently teaches screenwriting, film studies, and film production at Whittier College in the Los Angeles area. After reading “Carlos,” she fell in love with the story and was determined to produce it. Right away, she knew “Carlos” was a story everyone could relate to on a deep, personal level; it’s about growing up and letting go, finding your own way, but never ever losing sight of those you love and those that love you. It’s ultimately a story about remembering the people who make us what we are and help us find out who we want to be.


Jennifer S. Holmes

Co-Producer / Casting Director

Jennifer S. Holmes has cast and produced many a production in the past twenty years. Carlos through the Tall Grass is her first independent film project. Jennifer has been directing and teaching for the past twenty-five years. Some of her most memorable productions include Lorca in a Green Dress by Nilo Cruz, at the International Theatre Festival in Barranquilla, Colombia, Seeing the Deep—a performance script inspired by Gilgamesh—at the Leon Katz Rodolphi International Theatre Laboratory in Smolyan, Bulgaria, Tattoo You by Lisa Kenner, at the Road Theatre in Los Angeles, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis, at Whittier College’s Studio Theatre, The Distance Project at the Lynden Sculpture Garden & Gallery in Milwaukee, WI, and Good Person of Sichuan, by Bertolt Brecht at Whittier College’s Robinson Theatre. Jennifer teaches classes in directing, voice & movement, world theatre at Whittier College in the Los Angeles area. Jennifer studied Studio Art as an undergraduate at SUNY Purchase, and studied Acting, Directing, and Performance Studies as a graduate at Northwestern University.


David Hebrero

Director of Photography / Associate Producer

Directors of Photography and other professionals taught him the discipline, technique and artistry of lighting and framing. He has shot over 25 Short films, 2 TV shows, countless Music Videos and currently works shooting branded content for Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, Wired, W, Architectural Digest and many more publications having had such talent as Winona Rider, Cara Delevingne, Orlando Bloom, Aubrey Plaza, Dave Batista, Milly Bobby Brown and more in front of his lens.


Miguel Angel Garcia

Carlos Avila

In addition to starring in the feature film “Carlos Through the Tall Grass,” Miguel has booked a recurring role on the Fox drama series Deputy, starring Stephen Dorff, from Entertainment One and Fox Entertainment. He also stars opposite Dennis Quaid as a co-lead in the upcoming Endeavor Content feature On The Line


Ammy Ontiveros

Rhonda Oveda

Ammy Ontiveros is an actor, comedian, and content creator of ridiculous things. She has worked with Comedy Central, Google, GIPHY, LOreal, and was featured on WhoHaHa. Ammy performs at Second City and UCB as part of her sketch team Latinx Pachanga and makes comedy videos with her other team One Outta Three. 


Ruby Gonzalez

Ana Avila

Ruby Gonzalez is an American-born actress who has appeared in numerous independent films including Rules for the Heart, Donna Ray and Rise of Revelation.   She began acting in college where she received theatre and dance training from the University of California San Diego. In her spare time, she tutors children in math.  

Director Rick Dominguez

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Additional Cast


Rick Dominguez



Esteban Martinez

Ruben Sanchez


Gary Sandoval

Mr. Alvarado


Lucy Diaz

Natalie Galdamez


Chuck Redman



Ryon Thomas

Mike Buckner

Yvonne C. Romeros

Garrett J. Spejcher

Mr. Garrety 

Mario Hernandez



Yale Party Aunt

Hangers Uncle

Mr. Kinzler

Carlos’ Dad


Garage Customer

Woman Helping Grandma

Prison Guard

Prison Guard 2


Jewelry Store Customer 


Grandma Beltran


Greg Benevent

Matt Gomez Hidaka

Lena Marie

Yolanda Garcia
Cecilia Rodriguez

Ernie G.

Ethan Boyle

Ricardo Mendoza

Stephee Bonifacio

Moises Zepada

Michelle Viramontes 

Gregg Wallin

Jess Hess

Luke Bolle

Metzli M. Garcia


Garage Customer 2

Garage Customer 3 

Kissing Party Aunt

Party Guest

Jessie McCollum

Brandon Ordonez

Diane Dominguez

Roddy Rodriguez

Isaac J. Simpson

Sigfredo A. Martinez

Jessica Landa

Ian Carson

Sandra Leyva

Emerson Little

Riley Ramirez

Samantha Solorzano

Hunter Konecny-Pena

Benjamin Pedroza

Cecilia Maya

Lauren Ryks

Jacob Viramontes

Jakob Rippe


Directed by          

Written by             

Produced by


Executive Producers

Rick Dominguez

Rick Dominguez

Patti McCarthy

Rick Dominguez

Tony Dominguez
Daniel Dominguez

Yan Sum Alvarado

Diane Dominguez


Associate Producer 

Line Producer/UPM 

Director of Photography 


Jennifer S. Holmes

David Hebrero

Patti McCarthy

David Hebrero

Rick Dominguez

Casting Director 

Production Designer 

Set Decorator 

Prop Master 

Asst. Props 



Make-Up Asst. 

Production Coordinator 

Production Sound

Camera Operator 


Additional Cinematography 


Jennifer S. Holmes

Anukriti Singh
Natalia Venegas

Natalia Venegas

Tris Macklin

Columbine Loza

Sydney Summers

Stephee Bonifacio

Jessie McCollum

Kelly Santos

Brady Newcomer

Corey Hour

Paul Araujo

Ricardo Pomares

Paul Araujo

Key Grip 


1st AD 

2nd AD 

Location Manager 

Script Supervisor 

Ricardo Pomares

EJ Manalo

Jess Hess
Keanu Reus

Riley M. Ramirez

Riley M. Ramirez

Hannah Diedrich

Still Photographer 


Craft Service


Production Assistant

Graphic Design

Digital Marketing 


Emerson Little

Lena Marie

Luke Bolle

Luke Bolle

Jeremy Brookover
Jake Bradbury
Sarai Morales
Andy Chen
Sebastian DeLongstaab
Grace King
Josh King
Emerson Little
Chazz Medrano
Brandon Ordonez
Jakob Rippe
Angela Salazar
Isaiah Walk

Emerson Little
Dorian Peña
Lauren Swintek

Brandon Watt


Additional Cast


Rick Dominguez



Esteban Martinez

Ruben Sanchez


Gary Sandoval

Mr. Alvarado


Lucy Diaz

Natalie Galdamez