The 8th Annual Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival (RRAFF) wrapped up another successful year with a closing night celebration sponsored by Heineken at El Portal restaurant in Pasadena, California. The evening kicked off with the Los Angeles Premiere of "The Myth of Time", written and directed by Jaguar X followed by the 2011 Reel Rasquache Awards ceremony.
This year, the 2011 Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival Awards honored two extraordinary Latina artists for their creative vision, commitment and dedication to their respective art form. The 2011 Reel Rasquache Featured Artist, Margaret Garcia graciously accepted the 2011 Reel Rasquache Vision Award which was presented to her by 13-year-old mentee and future filmmaker Alberto Celis. The 2011 Real Rasquache Trailblazer Award was presented to film director Gabriela Tagliavini ("Ladies' Night") who was not able to attend due to her trip to the Cannes Film Festival and was accepted on her behalf by festival co-director Bel Hernandez.
In addition, film awards were also given in 5 categories presented to filmmakers for their outstanding film projects in each given category and voted on by audience members in attendance. Filmmakers were on hand to accept their award and give a brief speech and thank you. The award for "Best Dramatic Feature" went to Director, Joe Camareno for "Revenge of the Bimbot Zombie Killers". The "Best Documentary" award was presented to Director, David A Ranghelli for "The Calling". Director Carlos Zelaya was awarded "Best Web Series" for "Police Chicks". And "Best Short" was presented to Director, Brian Parada for "En Tiempo de Guerra" / "In Time of War". The "Audience Choice" award was presented to Director, Alfredo Ramos for his comedy "Food Stamps" that premiered to a full house on opening night at the festival.
Festival favorite "Food Stamps" was attended by Director, Alfredo Ramos ("Road Dogz") as well as several cast members including Valente Rodriguez ("George Lopez"), Ron Alvarez ("Off the Map"), Rolando Molina ("Bruce Almighty"), Noel Gugliemi ("The Fast and the Furious"), Walter Perez ("Fame"), Ruben Gonzalez ("Selena"), Dyana Ortelli ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"), Renee Victor ("Weeds"), David Wheeler and Maria Inez Perez.
The festival also welcomed Writer/Director/Producer of the highly anticipated web series "Los Americans", Dennis Leoni ("Resurrection Blvd."), Producer and cast member Esai Morales ("Caprica") (both pictured) as well as other members of the cast including Raymond Cruz ("The Closer"), Blaise Embry ("The Suite Life on Deck"), JC Gonzalez ("Parks & Recreation") and Jovan Armand. Reel Rasquache is proud to be one of the first and few Latino film festivals that include Latino-themed web projects.
Other festival highlights included star-studded appearances by Enrique Castillo ("Weeds"), Emmy Award winning actress Marabina Jaimes, actors Yennifer Behrens, Mauricio Mendoza and comedian Ernie G.
As the 8th Annual Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival bids farewell to another year, festival directors John Ramirez and Bel Hernandez wish to thank festival sponsors Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures, Latin Heat Entertainment, MTA, Heineken, Jarritos and California State University Los Angeles for their support of the festival and their commitment to the American Latino film community.
The festival also wishes to thank the filmmakers, festival guests and staff whose tireless efforts, made this festival possible.
For information about the upcoming Reel Rasquache Art Exhibit featuring works by Margaret Garcia and other local artists, please visit: www.reelrasquache.org.