Robert Rodriguez keen to encourage budding directors to follow his El Mariachi example

Moviemaker ROBERT RODRIGUEZ is going back to his roots to offer budding directors the chance to make their dream film on a budget.

The Sin City mastermind became an overnight sensation when his low-budget 1992 film El Mariachi became a cult hit, and now he's keen to give wannabe filmmakers an opportunity to follow in his footsteps.

Rodriguez is working on a reality show for his new El Rey TV network, which will give visionaries the chance to make a film for just $7,000 (GBP4,400).

He tells the Los Angeles Times, "I want to do a show called "The Mariachi Project" where I give $7,000 to a filmmaker to go make a feature. We'll show it on the network, give it some critiquing. At the end of the season the winner, chosen by the audience, will get to remake the film with a bigger budget, a real crew and bigger actors."

Rodriguez insists the concept will be easy for savvy filmmakers - because he could make El Mariachi for $700 (GBP435) today.

He adds, "The biggest expense was the film stock and now everybody shoots digitally. The film camera I had was so noisy, I had to record the sound separately. It sounded like all my money running away."

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