Reel Rasquache Film Fest Rich with Creativity

The U.S. Latino experience in film and art at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State LA, May 30 - June 1

By Bel Hernandez
Published on LatinoLA: May 22, 2008

Reel Rasquache Film Fest Rich with Creativity

The 5th annual Reel Rasquache Film Festival a West Coast celebration of films by and about U.S. Latinos will be held May 30-June 1, 2008, at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex at California State University, Los Angeles.

Reel Rasquache 2008 will host 25 films, all premieres, including 5 new dramatic features. The 2008 line-up's diverse array of genres includes animation, comedy, documentary, experimental, family drama, and horror.

Opening night, May 30 will showcase the uproarious feature film, Pancho Goes to College directed by Arizona filmmaker, Rub?n Reyes, whose feature directorial debut has been described as the "Latino Animal House." Opening night programs will be followed by the fest's kick off reception, open to all in attendance.

The Saturday, May 31 line up includes the world premiere documentary Casa Libre/Freedom House directed by Roberto S. Oregel and produced by UCLA's Chon Noriega on the Los Angeles shelter for homeless undocumented children and teens. Mu??eca, produced and co-written by New York artist and filmmaker Christina Soto, is the World Premiere centerpiece to a program that explores Latina experiences in the face of cultural and social constraints. Award-winning director, Adam Schlachter's debut feature horror film, The 7 makes its East Los Angeles premiere in a program designed to blur the horrors of fantasy with those of history.

Sunday, June 1, the fest is pleased to offer a fun-packed family program that includes the East Los Angeles premiere of Alondra Smiles, a heart-warming quincea??era tale by family production team, Conchita Nora Villa and Juan Francisco Villa.

The Closing Night feature is the Los Angeles premiere of USA/Argentina co-production, 3 Am?ricas by New York filmmaker Cristina Kotz Cornejo.

Reel Rasquache 2008 is rich with inventive and compelling shorts that include Dead News Network, the fourth animation in the four act animated opera by John Jota Lea??os and Sean Levon Nash; award-winning Ni??a Quebrada by Jen Kleiner and Diana Romero on U.S. Mexico sex trade; A Day at the Theatre, Kenneth Castillo's fifth installment in his silent, black & white Misadventures of Cholo Chaplin; Dolissa Medina's haunting experimental memorial to casualties of human smuggling, 19: Victoria, Texas; Tyrone HuFF's hilarious exploration of Latino and African American relations in Chiles; Spanish filmmaker, Abel Gonzalez's comedy of errors Crossing Numbers in which the body of a Mexican is found lying literally on the US-Mexico border; and Emilio Rosa's The Sun Shines on the Other Side of the Street, the touching tale of three generations of men grandfather, father, and son struggling to hold together in the face of poverty and generational differences starring Latin jazz master Tito Puente Jr. who will be in attendance.

Reel Rasquache 2008 is proud to showcase the jury selected works of students and alums of the California State University. From Cal State L.A., Johnny Kirk's Shine shares the Opening Night spotlight; Rocco Rodriguez's Ganandose La Vida/Making a Life is in Saturday's documentary program as is the program's centerpiece film Casa Libre by alum Roberto S. Oregel; Cal State L.A. alum James Avelar's Look at Me and CSU Long Beach alum Rick Escamilla's Redevelopment kick off Saturday's programming; and CSU Fresno alum Tyrone HuFF's Chiles shares the fest's Sunday family comedy centerpiece program. In addition, the fest will showcase films by Cal State L.A. recipients of the 2007-08 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Student filmmaking Fellowships including Steve Ayala's Existence and Daniel Anthony Ross's Rock On.

At least fifteen of the line-up's filmmakers will be in attendance through the fest weekend for post screening Q&A and most will participate on the Sunday, June 1 Filmmakers' Roundtable 3:30-5:30, moderated by Franc. Reyes, director of Empire, Illegal Tender, and the upcoming The Ministers.

The Reel Rasquache 2008 High School Showcase program Film for Thought - boasts ten participating schools: Animo Film and Theatre Arts Charter High School, Bell High School, Belmont High School, Cleveland High School, Echo Park Film Center, Lincoln High School, Roosevelt High School, San Pedro High School, Sylmar High School, and Washington Preparatory High School.

In addition to an exciting schedule of films, Reel Rasquache 2008 weekend will be host to a spectrum of the arts. There will be a display of U.S. Latino art in the Luckman Intimate Theatre lobby throughout the weekend. The Saturday afternoon High School Showcase reception will include live music by the local bands, Lounie Tunes & Geeoh Luciano and Gavica & the Cry for Love. Sunday afternoon 3:00-5:00 p.m. the fest is pleased to bring back to its programming, live poetry and performance featuring the award winning Chicana poet/author Michele Serros and the nationally acclaimed multimedia performance group Brown Lotus.

According to Festival Director John Ramirez, a Cal State L.A. media studies professor, "The range and caliber of this year's films, filmmakers and artists are by far the best yet. The festival's 2008 fifth year celebration promises to take Reel Rasquache to a new level of growth, recognition, and demand. "

Tickets to individual programs are $9 general and $5 for students and seniors. Weekend passes are $50 general and $25 for students and seniors. For details, call the Luckman Box Office (323) 343-6600.

Festival sponsors include The Walt Disney Company, mun2, Sony Pictures, Fox Entertainment Group, LATV, Cal State L.A., CSULA Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, and Latin Heat. For details about available sponsorship opportunities, call (323) 343-5061.


About Bel Hernandez:
Reel Rasquache Press Contact: Bel Hernandez; (310) 464-5290 Ext. 812

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