Off-kilter Cuco

Francisco Lorite receives an Imagen Award Nomination

By Mona Elyafi
Published on LatinoLA: May 26, 2005

Off-kilter Cuco

Spanish actor/writer-director Francisco Lorite continues to make his dreams come true by writing, producing and directing "Cuco Gomez-Gomez is Dead!", the off-kilter comedy-noir short that is catching the entertainment world by surprise.

The 10-minute fast-paced whodunit gathers an all star cast of talented Latino actors including Lola Sanabria ("Between" Sundance 2005), Marlene Forte ("Real Women Have Curves"), Patricia Rae ("Maria Full of Grace"), Octavio Gomez Berrios ("Fun with Dick and Jane), and Enrique Arce ("Showtime's Fidel"), among others.

Cuco might be "dead!", but he is very much alive on the film festival circuit. After successfully premiering at a private screening hosted by the Spanish Consul in Los Angeles, the short has already won the "Best Cine Latino" Award at the DC Independent Film Festival and was a finalist in the SKYY Vodka Short Film Competition 2005. It was also selected as an official entry to this year's highly competitive Aspen Shortfest, the Hong Kong International Film Festival, the San Diego Latino Film Festival and, mid-May, will be part of the "Cannes Market" (Le Marche du Film) in conjunction with the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.

It was recently acquired for broadcast by SITV and is scheduled to air on the network's "Not So Foreign Filmmaker" show on June 6th, 2005 .

This journey that begun only a few months ago, now reaches another peak: an Imagen Award nomination for "Best Theatrical Short."

This year marks the Imagen Awards' 20th anniversary. The Imagen Awards celebrate extraordinary achievement by Latino talent and recognize the best of Hollywood's portrayal of Latinos and the Latino culture. It has become the most prestigious Latino Award in the entertainment industry. This nomination is a true victory for Lorite who completed the short with:

1) NO CREW: The film was made WITHOUT A CREW. Actor/writer-director Francisco Lorite used HIS CAST as the crew. Each actor played a part but also participated in the production (line-producing, location scouting, art direction, etc.) by contributing his/her filmmaking skills.

2) NO MONEY: Each actor provided the initial financing, making a symbolic jump-starting donation of $100 to the production and thus all becoming co-producers of the film under the A COOL CO-OP shingle.

3) NO CASTING: Each role was specifically written for the actors Francisco Lorite wanted to work with and who were willing to get involved in the making of this short.

... a cuckoo challenge to bring "Cuco" to life, but Lorite is certainly proving that inspired dedication goes a long way!

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