Diversity News Magazine was invited to cover the recent Latino Filmmakers showcase screenings of the selections for NUVO Point of View, Emerging Latino Filmmakers, hosted on November 15th, 2014 at the AT&T Center, Los Angeles at 1150 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90015. The films chosen for this showcase included one feature length film (Avenues) and two shorts (Luna, and Mediation).
The feature length film chosen, entitled Avenues (88 minutes), tells the story of Saul Sanchez, played by Hector Atreyu Ruiz (CSI, Law and Order) who returns home to his Los Angeles neighborhood of Highland Park, also known as The Avenues, after being incarcerated for ten years at Folsom State Prison.
Diversity News Magazine photojournalist met with writer and director Aaref Rodriguez to talk about his inspiration for the film. “I have always had a fascination of fatherhood, what it is to be a man, and what it is to be a father.” Rodriquez further related, “It is a true story based on Highland Park family. We cultivated that experience and wanted to make a film that showed the reality of being a father plus the challenges for a father released from prison.” One of the members of that original family is actually cast in a role in the film (Rene Arreola).
As the film begins, there is a haunting sense of despair and just-below-the–surface anger and anxiety. There is no one there at the prison gate to greet him as he is released, he owns nothing but a wallet with nothing in it but a tattered photograph of his daughter; and he has no home to go to. Saul Sanchez basically starts over in his hometown of Highland Park with no hope and no familial support. What happens as he finds himself, is genius; the viewer is along for a rough ride as Saul develops the new bonds he never had before with people who truly support him. Hector Atreyu Ruiz delivers an Oscar worthy performance as he draws upon his own past to make this role incredibly real.
Next, Diversity News Magazine met with Francisco Lorite (originally from Spain) to discuss his short film, Mediation. To say this film deals with a divorce mediation gone wrong, is like saying the Titanic was about a ship. This story unfolds quickly with excellent character development and a deep foreboding that something may go awry, all of which is heightened a the viewer is teased with the use of the over-saturated coloration. This is a wild, yet short ride through a couple’s divorce mediation. Francisco elaborated, “Whether you have filed for divorce or not I think we have all done crazy things for love…to get love or get it back… to maintain it.” Having a mediation that spirals out of control is a good starting point for a story about the craziness of love. The end is a true surprise and the acting was impeccable and believable.
Diversity News Magazine then met with director Antonio Perez concerning his short horror film, Luna. “It’s about a girl who witnesses the murder of her family by this killer. It’s 12 minutes of suspense while she tries to not be killed.” When asked how he got the idea for the film, he stated, “The original idea came to me on a road trip to Las Vegas.” As the name implies, this is a traditional horror flick with the obligatory full moon. But that’s where the familiarity stops. As the camera starts to roll, we see a long stretch of open road and a vacuous desert. There is the tiniest hint of a sunset over the horizon. A lone police car stops for an abandoned vehicle on the side of the road. As the sun continues to set, strange things occur on a nearby farm. Shot in short scenes with definite film noir stylizations, just when you think you have it figured out you are screaming as you jump out of your chair. This film has excellent acting, but most notable was acting by Daniela Leon, who plays the girl who witnesses her family being murdered.
Want to learn more plus see the films and get the exclusive interviews of the filmmakers by host Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin, Filly Brown)? Then please tune into NUVOtvon December 4th, 2014, at 8 p.m. ET/PT to catch all the action.
For more information, please visit www.my NUVOtv.com.
About NUVO Point of View: The Emerging Latino Filmmakers: It was inspired by the creative vision of Jennifer Lopez and Nuyorican Productions to feature the top talented Latino screenwriters, producers and directors and is now presenting its third showcase since debuting in March of this year. Over 900 films have been submitted for the showcase to date and returning film jury members Gregory Nava, Frida Torresblanco and Michael Olmos were heavily involved in the selection process of the final four films. For more information visit http://www.imdb.com/company/co0021149/
Photos credit to: Christine Rogers/Chicksquad.net for DiversityNewsMagazine.com
Editor’s Note: If yo would like to see more photos visit photographer website at http://snapped4u.com/galleries/4726