Don't know what Rasquache means? Neither did I until I discovered Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival, and realized how perfect the selection of Smuggled as the festival's closing night film was for the festival. Rasquache art is described as using the most basic and simplest means necessary to create the desired expression, in essence, creating the most from the least. The term, originally, had a negative connotation in Mexico regarding being impoverished or lower class, but the Chicano arts movement transformed the term, and it has come to reference art that makes the most out of the least.
Smuggled, the latest film from Think Ten Media Group and Latino-American director Ramon Hamilton, tells the story of 9-year-old Miguel Rodriguez and his mother, Hilaria Rodriguz, as the pair are smuggled into the U.S. in a small, hidden compartment of a tourist bus. Most of the film takes place in the tiny compartment. Hamilton and a small crew took a limited budget and made a very powerful and moving film, which has its LA Premiere at Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival on May 20th at 6 p.m. at the Casa 0101 Theater in East L.A.
Hamilton himself wrote, shot, directed and edited the feature-length film, which is primarily Spanish-language and which received the Founders' Award at its first festival, the Riverside International Film Festival last month.
"Being accepted into the Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival means a lot to me because our film really does embody the Rasquache spirit. We had a limited budget, but knew we could tell an important story, which is always my goal as a filmmaker. I'm always trying to tell dynamic stories. Sometimes those stories are drawn from real life, which is the case with Smuggled," explains Hamilton.
Other key cast and crew for the film include: Denisse Bon (Lead Actress), Ramsess Letrado (Lead Actor), Garrett Marchbank (Supporting Actor) and Cisco Marchbank (Supporting Actor) with key songs provided by Jxel Rajchenberg, Owen Plant and Andrew Vladeck.
In addition to screening in L.A. this coming weekend, Smuggled also screens at the 9th Annual Tupelo Film Festival (in Tupelo, MS) on Friday, May 18th at 4:30 p.m.