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The Urban Rescue Ranch documentary to show at the Waco Indie Film Festival

Mathew Ruggieri is a former Robinson ISD student whose documentary is showing at the Waco Independent Film Festival. His film is called The Urban Rescue Ranch.
Posted at 5:32 PM, Jul 01, 2024


"I mean this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I have to go, and I’m so glad I went,” filmmaker Mathew Ruggieri said.

Matthew Ruggieri has been making films his whole life.

But his world was forever changed the day he made a documentary about Ben Christie.

He's a Baylor alumni who started his own wildlife rehabilitation facility here in Waco.

"I just kind of submitted to it on a whim and I wasn't really expecting much because I’m a student and I’m competing against professionals,” Ruggieri said.

He started working on the film last December. Now, his documentary is being shown at the Waco Indie Film Festival.

"So that was really hard, it was basically like go to school, come home, edit until midnight and then repeat, for two weeks straight,” Ruggieri said.

Carrie Wick is on the committee that selects the films for the festival. From the 120 films submitted, only 20 were selected.

"I think there's often something relatable that you can find in them, that really resonates with you, and that you can appreciate and go hey I know what that feels like,” Waco Indie Film Festival marketing director Carrie Wick said.

Mathew told me his favorite part of the film making process.

"The most rewarding thing is to see people's faces get lit up as they watch your film and providing them with a different perspective on things. In my case, it's wildlife rehabilitation and also not giving up on your dreams,” Ruggieri said.

Mathew's film is a part of the family friendly block — you can buy tickets for $5.

"This whole Waco Indie Film Festival is about bringing people together to see films they've never seen before and just to be open to new ideas,” Ruggieri said.

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