“What We Leave Behind,” Sosa’s first feature film, won two special jury awards at SXSW: the Louis Black “Lone Star” award and the first-ever Fandor New Voices award.
Described as a personal and poetic love letter to family, “What We Leave Behind” tells the story of Sosa’s grandfather, Julián, who starts building a house in rural Mexico after a lifetime of bus rides to the United States to visit his children. In addition to directing, Sosa also narrated the film in Spanish.
Sosa constructed “What We Leave Behind” by filming her grandfather’s work over the course of several years. The documentary unfolds as Julián, at the age of 89, takes a final trip to El Paso, Texas to visit his children and their children. It’s a long and strenuous journey, one that he would make every month for decades. After returning back to Mexico, he begins to erect a house in the empty parking lot next to his home. Though he’s not visiting his family in person, he’s hoping the new establishment will bridge the distance between his loved ones across the border.
After its world premiere at SXSW, “What We Leave Behind” later played at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.
Sosa previously co-directed the documentary short “An Uncertain Future” with Chelsea Hernandez. The film, which was co-produced by Firelight Media and Field of Vision, premiered at South by Southwest in 2018 and won a jury award for best Texas short.
Sosa also co-produced the Emmy-nominated feature documentary “Building the American Dream” and worked as a field producer on the Emmy-nominated non-fiction series “And She Could Be Next.” She is currently an assistant professor at UT Austin in the department of radio-television-film.