Reel Success!

6th Annual U.S. Latino film fest at Cal State L.A. honored Luis Valdez and filmmakers

Published on LatinoLA: June 2, 2009

Reel Success!

The 6th Annual Reel Rasquache Festival of the U.S. Latino Experience in Film & Art ÔÇô a West Coast celebration of films by and about U.S. Latinos, held May 15-17, 2009, at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex at California State University, Los Angeles, ended with a star-studded tribute and celebration for 2009 Career Achievement recipient, Mr. Luis Valdez.

The Festival's closing night program (produced by Bel Hernandez of Latin Heat Entertainment and Miguel Torres of Angel Flight Media) saw Los Angeles' only 40th anniversary public tribute screening of Luis Valdez and El Teatro Campesino's I Am Joaquin and tribute screening of Luis Valdez's 1981 Zoot Suit in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of his landmark 1979 Zoot Suit stage production.

These sold-out anniversary screenings were followed by the 2009 Rasquache Awards MC'd by Radio 92.3 FM's Josefa Salinas and where Lupe Ontiveros, Enrique Castillo, Esai Morales, and Edward James Olmos shared their professional and cultural enrichments working with Luis Valdez. Edward James Olmos presented the Career Achievement Award to Luis Valdez who gave a moving account on the history and state of U.S. Latinos in Hollywood. Other luminaries in attendance to honor Mr. Valdez included David Barrera, Evelina Fernandez, Cris Franco, Mike Gomez, Sal Lopez, Pepe Serna, Jesus Salvador Trevi??o, and Jose Luis Valenzuela. Esai Morales presented to Mr. Valdez, commendations from California Senator Alex Padilla and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

The Rasquache Awards Show also included for the first time, formal trophy presentations for the 2009 Best Webisode, Best Short Film, Best Documentary, Best Dramatic Feature and Audience Choice to Ylse (Producer Ruth Livier, Director Joe Camareno), Braceros (Director Belinda Carre??o), Chicano Rock! The Sounds of East Los Angeles (Director Jon Wilkman), Cruzando (Directors Mando Alvarado, Michael Ray Escamilla), and GB 2525 (Directors Jojo Henrickson, Kieron Estrada), respectively.

The 2009 Rasquache Student Filmmakers' Showcase drew the participation of nine local high schools with some seventy-five youth submissions: Amino Film and Theater Arts Charter High, Bell High, Belmont High, Boyle Heights Technology Center, Cleveland High, Echo Park Film Center, Lincoln High, Roosevelt High and San Pedro High. Seventeen winning world premiere youth films were screened. L.A.-32 Neighborhood Council sponsored the High School Showcase program that, in addition to the film showcase program, included two youth filmmakers' workshops and a youth filmmakers' reception.

The Reel Rasquache Festival of the U.S. Latino Experience in Film & Art was presented a commendation from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

2009 Reel Rasquache sponsors include California State University, Los Angeles, L.A.-32 Neighborhood Council, Fox Entertainment Group, Sony Pictures, Latin Heat Entertainment, WGA-West, Professional Latinos in Entertainment, International Documentary Association, El Teatro Campesino, CASA 0101, Angel Flight Media, Anheuser-Busch, LA Weekly, Univision Radio, Brooklyn & Boyle, and KPFK 90.7 FM.

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