Proud to Be the Most Rasquache, Or Is It Rasquache-ist?

Indie film "Smuggled" receives top honors at the recent Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival

By Jennifer Fischer
Published on LatinoLA: May 29, 2012

Proud to Be the Most Rasquache, Or Is It Rasquache-ist?

SMUGGLED: Proud to Be the Most Rasquache, Or Is It Rasquache-ist?
Smuggled, the latest film from Think Ten Media Group http://www.thinktenmediagroup.com and Latino-American Director Ramon Hamilton www.ramonhamilton.com 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.

At the recent, Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival, it received top honors, winning Best Feature, this following its win of the Founders' Award at the Riverside International Film Festival earlier this month. Both accolades, of course, are sources of honor and pride for the director and crew.

Winning Best Feature at the Rasquache Fest seemed particularly appropriate as rasquache art is described as using the most basic and simplest means necessary to create the desired expression. Rasquache art creates the most from the least.

While the term originally had a negative connotation in Mexico regarding being impoverished or lower class, the Chicano arts movement transformed the term and many rasquache artists consider their humble sources a source of pride and honor. This aspect of the film makes it a film that other indie filmmakers need to watch, as it demonstrates high quality filmmaking with a limited budget.

Hamilton wrote, shot, directed and edited the feature-length film, which is primarily Spanish-language, and made the film with a very small crew and budget. His preparation and careful story are what make the film work.

"The Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival was a great event. I was so honored to be there, and winning the award for Best Feature was like the icing on the cake. Our film embodies the Rasquache spirit. We had a limited budget, but knew we could tell an important story and tell it in a way that the audience would find compelling. Aside from the award, the audience feedback was another great element of the festival," explains Hamilton.

One audience member comments included saying, "It's an amazing film! I highly recommend it. The film is not only dominated by the harsh reality of human trafficking but also focuses on the relationship between a mother and her son."

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.

To stay updated about the film's next screenings, go to Facebook and like SMUGGLED , or follow the director, @ramon_hamilton , or producer, @IndieJenFischer, on Twitter.

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