Aaron Burns (Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images North America)
Aaron Burns (Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images North America)

We covered writer/director Aaron Burns’ feature film debut “blacktino” when it premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in 2011; it would eventually be released in 2013, after some further film festival play. Burns, the self-described “blacktino nerd from Austin, Texas,” got his start at Robert Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios doing visual effects on films like “Grindhouse” and “Machete.”

His feature debut “blacktino” is a comedy about “an overweight black Latino nerd named Stefan Daily, who was raised by his African American grandmother in a medium-sized suburb of Austin, TX. Struggling to find his place in a mostly white high school, Stefan finds sanctuary among the eclectic mix of social outcasts in the school’s Theatre Department.”

The film is available on home video (you can rent it online on Vimeo; see the video player below).

His second feature film, a psychological thriller titled “Madre,” is making its world premiere at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival, which kicked off yesterday, March 10, screening tonight in the Narrative Spotlight section. Announced in conjunction with the premiere, Netflix has acquired the global streaming rights to “Madre” with an end of 2017 release eyed.

“Madre” follows the story of Diana Prieto, a four months pregnant wife and mother of Martin, who is severely autistic and whose special needs have become overwhelming for her. After a chance encounter with Luz, a gifted Filipino caretaker, Diana regains some sanity in her life as Martin begins to adapt and communicate quickly under the supervision of Luz. However, as he has only been taught to communicate in Filipino, Diana begins to suspect that Luz is using the language barrier to turn Martin against her and into something much more sinister.

Madre is written and directed by Burns (who’s also an actor, having appeared in 2 Eli Roth films, “Knock Knock” and “The Green Inferno”), and stars Chilean actress Daniela Ramírez, Cristobal Tapia Montt, Matías Bassi and Aida Jabolin.

The film is produced by Nicolás López and Miguel Asensio Llamas.

A first-look teaser at “Madre” is embedded below. Underneath it, you’ll find a trailer for Burns’ feature debut, “blacktino” which you can rent online.

And here’s a look at “blacktino” which you can rent on Vimeo: