Talent Guide

David Rodriguez Estrada

  • Discipline:Director, Writer
  • Program Year:Project Involve 2009


David Rodriguez Estrada was born in Brownsville, Texas in 1987 but grew up in the city of Durango, Mexico. At the age of 12 he discovered a keen interest in writing and journalism while hosting a children’s radio show for the national radio broadcaster Radiorama. At age 17 he moved to California and enrolled at the Art Institute of CA – Los Angeles where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Digital Filmmaking and accepted the Outstanding Achievement Award for both his narrative short films.

His first film Suripanta, a different portrayal of the American dream, earned a nomination for an Imagen Award in 2008 and was recently selected as part of the official selection of Frameline 33, the largest LGBT film festival in the United States. Suripanta has also won Best Short at the Long Island Latino International Film Festival 2008 and Summer Shortsfest 2008 in Westwood, CA.

Existes?, his thesis film, is a paean to orgasm, God, onanism and the nature of Existence, as different people engage in their own sexual pursuits in different cities around the world. It had its world premiere at the Palm Springs International Shorts Fest in June of 2009. And it has also played at the 34th Cleveland Film Festival and MIX Brasil 2009. It has also played at the 34th Cleveland Film Festival, MIX Brasil 2009, Monterrey Film Festival 2010 and Lakino Berlin.

Upon his graduation Estrada started working as assistant to Mexican filmmaker Patricia Riggen, director of Under the Same Moon. He was also part of the core production team of the 2009 NALIP (National Association of Latino Independent Producers) Conference.

Estrada is now presenting his first feature screenplay titled Trip, a coming of age road trip drama.The story is about Maria Sabina, a famous shaman in Oaxaca, Mexico and her legacy as part of the psychedelic revolution. Three young southern California surfers will go on a road trip looking for waves and one of them specifically looking for her hippie father who lives in Oaxaca. They will unexpectedly encounter and give a ride to the young daughter of a recently murdered drug lord and as they find their way to the south of Mexico they will realize that they might not make it all.

Estrada currently works for the Mary Pickford Institute as a filmmaking instructor for children and teenagers from under represented communities in the East Los Angeles and South Central areas.

Current Project

Trip (Narrative Feature)


Three young American surfers, in search of the legend of Mazatec Shaman Maria Sabina, and a well to do mysterious Mexican girl embark on a dangerous journey of self-discovery.