Cult Classic Indie Filmmaker Mike Cuenca Debuts Double Feature May 19 in Hollywood

Mike Cuenca, photo credit: Christopher Yi

Mike Cuenca, photo credit: Alxis Ratkevich

Mike Cuenca, photo credit: Alxis Ratkevich

Official artwork from the motion picture "In the Ditch" directed by Mike Cuenca

Official artwork from the motion picture “In the Ditch” directed by Mike Cuenca

Prolific Indie Auteur Mike Cuenca to Premiere Double Feature in Los Angeles on May 19, 2024


Prolific Indie Auteur Mike Cuenca to Premiere Double Feature in Los Angeles

“By the Wayside” and “In the Ditch” World Premieres Set for May 19th at American Cinematheque

BY THE WAYSIDE / IN THE DITCH – Double Feature / World Premiere

American Cinematheque – Los Feliz 3 Theatre

Sunday May 19th; Doors 6:00pm, Screening 6:30pm

1822 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Visionary independent filmmaker Mike Cuenca is set to world premiere his latest feature “In the Ditch” as a special double feature screening along with his earlier film “By the Wayside,” on Sunday, May 19th, at the American Cinematheque’s Los Feliz 3 Theatre in Los Angeles.

Cuenca, praised for his raw, visceral style exploring themes of identity through a grassroots aesthetic, will debut:

“By the Wayside” (2012, 74 minutes), called part John Cassavetes and part Jean-Luc Godard, this award-winning, documentary-styled comedy follows four friends descending into 24 hours of excess.

Also screening will be “In the Ditch” (World Premiere, 109 minutes). Picking up eleven years after “By the Wayside,” the characters are pulled back together, forcing them to confront loss, regret, mortality, and second chances.

The double feature begins at 6:30pm, with doors opening at 6:00pm, at the American Cinematheque located at 1822 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027. A Q&A with Mike Cuenca and actors Julie Pepin, Brittany Samson, Joey Halter, Dan Rojay, and Steven Escot will follow the screenings.

The prolific Cuenca, who works outside the studio system with limited resources, has an uncompromising vision and ambition that defies his micro-budgets. He is set to release a total of seven new feature films in 2024 alone.

Prolific Writer / Director Offers Uncompromising Vision on a Shoestring Budget

The uncompromising Cuban American auteur from East Hollywood has already made four acclaimed feature films, and he’s not slowing down. Cuenca is releasing a staggering seven new features in 2024 alone. The self-taught writer / director is building an impressive body of raw, visceral work centered on themes of identity and imbued with a strong grassroots aesthetic. Cuenca’s micro-budget filmmaking process lends an authenticity that money can’t buy, populating his movies with a stunning array of non-actors, hipsters, drug addicts, misfits, and forgotten souls.

Jessica Gallant, who has been praised by “Variety” for her exquisite visual aesthetic and lighting and serves as cinematography on most of Cuenca’s projects, states “Mike Cuenca is an amazingly good and unjustly overlooked director. Anyone who’s ever been to a punk show or any kind of underground counterculture event will immediately recognize the characters in his films. Mike can take the simplest idea or premise and get an insane amount of cinematic mileage out of it while keeping it engaging and entertaining the entire time.”

What unifies Cuenca’s eclectic, genre-blurring output is his uniquely absurdist perspective that finds humor and pathos in unexpected places. Like few filmmakers working today, he has a gift for transforming mundane moments into riveting drama. In his deft hands, even something as simple as two kids drinking coffee becomes a mesmerizing cinematic experience, according to The Hollywood Sentinel.

In addition to his filmmaking pursuits, Cuenca expresses his artistic impulses through music as well, recording dark alternative tracks with his band Some Daggers Wear Red. Cuenca states, “I have about four album releases I am putting out later this year too.” Those include works under his projects called “Dignitary,” and “Some Daggers Wear Red,” as well as what the director / musician refers to as “some Replacements-styled stuff that I might put out under ‘Just Mike.'” He states that he will be doing a live show later this summer.

With seven new titles set to expand his prolific filmography in 2024, Mike Cuenca’s uncompromising art is best appreciated with an open mind and a willingness to be challenged.

For more information on Mike Cuenca, visit:

Official website:






Bruce Edwin
Hollywood Sentinel Public Relations
+1 310-226-7176
email us here
Visit us on social media:

The Films of Mike Cuenca

Originally published at