Hollywood  

Ricardo Montalban Presents

The Nosotros Latin Filmmakers showcase begins December 1

By Henry K. Priest
Published on LatinoLA: November 18, 2003


Ricardo Montalban Presents


Latin filmmakers: When it comes to diversity in the entertainment industry, the Nosotros Latin Filmmakers Showcase on December 1st, 2003 is the answer to Hollywood?s quest for Latin talent behind the camera. A goal set back in 1970 by Ricardo Montalb?n, ?to improve the image of Latinos in the industry? comes to fruition in an outstanding 3-hour, 7 pm-10 pm FREE event. Eight short films written, directed or produced by members of Nosotros, an organization founded to promote the careers of Latinos in the entertainment industry will be showcased.

The evening is hosted at the upscale ?Falcon? restaurant (7213 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90046) and will come alive in an array of ways. With special surprise guests appearances by Hollywood's Latin celebrities, a festive outdoor covered patio setting, an industry networking party, and food and beverages the event is ?the place to be? for Hollywood professionals looking to meet the up and coming Latin filmmakers. Dinner reservations: (323) 850-5350. (Dinner reservations and full bar services available but not mandatory for film showcase admission.)

All films are in English and cover a variety of topics from a coming of age story about a boy who joins a high school wrestling team and struggles for acceptance, to a young man waiting at a bus stop only to be called on the local phone by his grandmother in heaven. All topics appeal to mainstream audiences and are produced by Latin filmmakers based in the Los Angeles area.

The filmmakers are diverse as the films themselves? from Chicanos in East Los Angeles to Cubanos in Miami these filmmakers represent the diverse Latino cultures found in the US landscape.

THE FILMS AND THEIR MAKERS

UNDERDOG:

For every winner there are dozens of losers. Odds are you're one of them...

"UnderDog" is a comedy about a young boy who is the worst wrestler on his team. Struggling with the desire to be accepted by his teammates, our hero learns that feeling like a winner can happen even when you lose.

Directed by Scott Leberecht (Visual Arts Director: Sleepy Hollow, Spawn, Flubber) Film Festivals: AFI Fest 2003. Featured Nosotros member: Henry K. Priest (Executive Producer) is an East Los Angeles native. After high school he had no aspirations to attend college and to his surprise his high school wrestling coach gave him a $300 scholarship to attend college. While wrestling on the Rio Hondo Community College wrestling team his new coach sent him on an audition for a movie about high school wrestling titled Spooner, starring Robert Urich (Disney, 1989). He got the part as a featured wrestler and since then has been the liaison between Hollywood and the Amateur Wrestling community, choreographing wrestling scenes for Nike, Adidas and many other commercials.

He eventually returned to teach at Rio Hondo and has been a community activist, eventually giving back $25,000 in scholarships.

The film Underdog brings him back to the high school wrestling mat and introducing 30 high school wrestlers to the film industry as actors. ?You should be given an award for your efforts to represent the wrestling community in Hollywood? says wrestling legend Dan Gable. Film sponsors include: Asics Athletics, USA Wrestling ? the governing body of the US Olympic Wrestling Team, Pin2Win.com, and Wrestling One. Also, he produced ?I Came Here for Love?, a short film that is currently airing nationally on the American Latino Filmmakers Showcase. More on Henry: http://www.HenryKPriest.com

UNGUARDED:

As a girl reads a book, cosmic forces race to take and protect her soul. This film was shot on 16mm over two weekends in East Los Angeles and Monterey Park. Shot without sound and no permits were sought. Music from Lo-Fidelity All-stars. Featured Nosotros Member: Joey Mendez (Direction and Camera) Four-year renegade film student, focusing on Writing and Directing films that are heavy on visuals. Have attended UCLA Extension Film Program and Los Angeles City College Film School. Previously received a degree in business from Cal. State University Long Beach. Planning three new film projects to be completed in 2004. Film Festivals: Unguarded has been shown at various underground events throughout Los Angeles, but no official festivals.

ROSE?S GARDEN:

Rose Norton has been scarred by the event that led to her disability. She has lost the zest for living until 11-year-old Nathan moves next door. Nathan and Rose find comfort in their friendship when Nathan uncovers something about Rose?s past that ventures hope. Film Festivals: Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival Featured Nosotros member: Shawna Baca (Writer / Producer) started as an actress in attempt to build a reel to obtain an agent, she stumbled across filmmaking. She produced, starred and wrote her film film, ?Impersonal Impression? which went on to many film festivals and won the Slamdance Anarchy competition April 2002. Her second film, ?Rose?s Garden,? marks her directorial debut and stars Tippi Hedren. More on Shawna: http://www.ShawnaBaca.com

PARIS FALLS: (Animated Series)

Variety calls it "A soap opera with Puppets!? Join us for a racy soap opera with puppets, centered around life in the demented town of Paris Falls. It's a hybrid mix of low-tech puppets, cutout animation and state-of-the-art digital imaging. We like to think of the show as "All My Children" meets "The Simpsons" on Viagra in a creepy old movie theater (sticky floors!). Film Festivals: Debuted on CinemaPop.com in 2000. The series won the Grand Prize for Animation at the 2001 Showdance and Digidance film festival in Park City, Utah. Paris Falls also made history as the first syndicated episodic show available over the wireless Internet into a Palm Pilot type device. Featured Nosotros member: David and Erik Meiselman "The Boricua Bros" (Directors / Producers) Independent and daring, Boricua Films will present original works, unsung heroes, and established champions of the Latino world, by producing innovative cutting edge This visionary new film company brings you the diverse Latino experience of the Americas. From the harsh urban barrios to rural lush Campos, Boricua Films will expose the human condition at its worst and best films for the cinema and uncensored, uncut shows for television. More on Boricua Films: http://www.BoricuaFilms.com

DECISION RADICAL:

Once the choice is made...the FRIGHT begins." A dangerous affair with a sadistic criminal's wife forces a man to drastically lose everything, including his sexual identity, ultimately driving him to murderous revenge. Film Festivals: The Zephyr Film Fest. (First place in it's category) Featured Nosotros member: Emanuel Gironi (Writer / Director) Made by Cuban-Italians--born at Mount Sinai,Miami Beach? This volatile concoction drove him to write at eleven, act in Gables High and get a B.F.A. from the University of Miami. Leadroles worldwide include "MARIAELENA" (Lucia Mendez), "TRES DESTINOS" (Lumi Cavazos)"CADENA BRAGA"(Carlos Vives), "ANGELES"(Patty Manterola), etc...Nosotros associates in film: Carlos Albert ? Actor , Others: Actor - Julio Oscar Mechoso from ?Greetings From Tuscon? co-stars.

IN HOT PURSUIT:

Lupita Lopez is cursed. All she needs to break the curse is a lime, an egg, exactly three yards of red thread and... a camel hoof. Along the way she meets Richard and all of a sudden Lupita finds herself attracted to somebody who does not fit the job description. Film Festivals: Guadalupe CineFestival Film Festival, Palm Beach International Film Festival, Arizona International Film Festival, Cine Las Americas, Portland Women?s Film Festival (POW), Las Vegas Mercury Short Film Festival, CineSol Latino Film Festival, Los Angeles Latino Film Festival, New York Latino Film Festival, Los Angeles Shorts Festival, Temecula Valley Film Festival, Urbanworld Film Festival, Ohio Independent Film Festival, USC First Look Festival. Featured Nosotros member: Yeni Alvarez (Actress) As an actress with great versatility, Yeni has developed a successful career in television, film and stage. Yeni gained national attention in her starring role as Anita Beltran on the Columbia/TriStar and Sony Pictures sitcom ?Los Beltran.? Audiences may also remember Yeni Alvarez as the sassy hostess of "Miami Hoy", a TV magazine show. Her latest projects include a guest star role on "Resurrection Blvd" for Showtime and leading roles in the films "Prisoner of Fate" and "Brothers and Sisters". Born in Cuba, Yeni was raised in Miami, Florida and currently resides in Los Angeles. Nosotros associates in film: Actors - Eugenia Cross, Jose Solano, Maeria Paezz, Cara Chacon and Karina Murillo More: http://www.InHotPursuit.com

ROOM 32:

It's Heart of Darkness meets Body Heat - all in less than ten minutes! Room 32 charts the dark terrain of one woman's obsessive desire for revenge and the unexpected consequences. Crew includes: Dan Stoloff (Director of Photography - Academy Award Nominated film, Tumbleweeds), Victoria Larimore (Emmy Winner). Film Festivals: Toronto Italian Film Festival, Sex On Screen, YardFest, F4, Northampton, Cinequest, Melbourne Film Festival, and Method Fest Featured Nosotros member: Susan Johnston (Producer / Co-star) has recently produced Room 32, Webliners and LA Noir trailers, Inga and Raquel Osbourne Music Videos and The Hidden Realm-HD TV Pilot as well as two international co-productions, Jesse & Jessie and opposites attracting. More on Susan Johnston: http://www.SelectServicesFilms.com

Nosotros is an arts advocacy and educational non-profit institution established in 1970. "To improve the image of Latinos through the Entertainment Industry, to promote employment in-front and behind the camera, and to provide educational opportunities for Hispanics in the Performing Arts" by Ricardo Montalb?n. Nosotros provides production companies, producers, writers, and others with cultural and technical advice on motion picture and television programs with Hispanic themes, to encourage the accurate and sensitive portrayal of Latinos. With credibility, experience and talent on our side, Nosotros.org is the first place people think of when they are seeking out talented Latino/Hispanic artists.

The Nosotros Latin Filmmakers Showcase is produced by Nosotros members Henry K. Priest and Shawna Baca. They say it?s the ?answer to Hollywood?s diversity campaign? which provides what Hollywood executives have sought after, more Latinos in front of the camera and behind the camera producing quality work that can reach ethnic and mainstream audiences. For event Information go to http://www.Nosotros.org

About Henry K. Priest:
As an avid member of Nosotros, Henry currently serves on the US Generation committee and is also the chair of the Nosotros Latin Talent Directory. http://www.HenryKPriest.com or (213) 739-3385 or Henry@BoricuaFilms.com




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