Danny Trejo in “Strike One” Set for L.A. Premiere at LatinoMediaVisions Series
— David Llauger Meiselman’s Award-Winning Indie Film Focuses on the Effects of California’s Three Strikes Law on Latino Youth —
— Thursday, September 17th, 8PM at the American Cinematheque’s Historic Egyptian Theatre in the Heart of Hollywood —
— An American-Latino Urban Drama, Stars: Danny Trejo, Johnny Ortiz, Alma Martinez, James Russo, French Stewart, Billy Gallo, Jocelyn Cruz, Maria Isa, Lawrence Smilgys, and Reginald VelJohnson —
HOLLYWOOD, CA – August 19, 2015 – (HISPANICIZE WIRE) – David Llauger Meiselman’s award-winning indie, Strike One, has been selected as the first film to premiere at the LatinoMediaVisions Series launch on September 17th at 8:00pm the iconic Egyptian Theatre located at 6713 Hollywood Blvd., in Los Angeles. LatinoMediaVisions is a co-presentation of Latin Heat Media Institute and the American Cinematheque and is a monthly series, which showcases Latino media content, offers entrepreneurial incubator and accelerator programs for the independent content producer, and recurring opportunities for community networking.
The coming-of-age drama stars Danny Trejo and breakout artist Johnny Ortiz (American Crime, McFarland U.S.A.), and sheds light on the cruel and unfair Three Strikes Law. Shot on location in Boyle Heights, an East Los Angeles community that is predominantly Latino. The film depicts the type of neighborhoods most affected by the controversial law, and details the story of a teenager’s journey through a legal system streamlined to declare him guilty and lock him up.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to launch our LatinoMediaVisions series with such an important film as Strike One,” said Bel Hernandez, Executive Director of Latin Heat Media Institute, the non-profit organization. “We especially want to focus on films that carry a social message and Strike One definitely fits the bill.”
“Strike One is a cautionary tale, not a gang movie,” said veteran actor, Billy Gallo, who portrays Police Sgt. Veritas. Gallo’s character does what he can to steer Juan clear to keep him out of trouble and devotes time mentoring and encouraging him to make the right choices. “Sgt. Veritas tried everything but sometimes you are a product of your environment and it is really easy to get trapped,” Gallo added.
Teen Caught Between His Uncle’s Sins
Juan Garcia, a teenage boy (Ortiz) is on the threshold of manhood, living in a gang-controlled neighborhood, when he is wrongfully accused of a crime he did not commit. His uncle, Manny Garcia (Trejo), a man Juan loves and admires, is an ex-5th Street Muertos shot caller, now turned actor, sacrifices himself by agreeing to do one more job for the gang in an attempt to save Juan and protect him from a prejudiced juvenile criminal system. But something goes horribly wrong when Manny’s plan backfires leaving the teenager caught in the middle of a crime he had nothing to do with. Juan’s older sister, Angie (Maria Isa) engages the services of war-torn defense attorney Alan Hartford (Smilgys). But Alan’s fight is an upward battle against a judicial system that profiles those born on the wrong side of the street.
“The Strike One story could easily have been my life,” admitted young Ortiz. “Were it not for my acting career, I might have ended up in prison. This movie’s message changed my life. I’m humbled and honored to be a positive role model and help all the Juan’s from our communities.”
Screenwriters Lawrence Smilgys and Howard Cohen synthesized several real-life cases to craft Strike One. Together they created a family in one of those “where life chose me” situations. “The one incident that stood out most was about a young Latino who was an unknowing accomplice to a crime. Rather than take a plea deal, he decided to fight the charge and found the judicial system was more than eager to declare him guilty and level punishment,” said Smiglys. “This law seems to insinuate that some people are born criminals and can never change.”
Strike One is a gritty urban American Latino story in English with an impressive cast. The soundtrack consists of original hip-hop and Latin beat music. “Johnny Wilson did a phenomenal job with composing the music,” said Llauger-Meiselman. “Strike One is the story of the majority of non-violent Latino and Black youth prisoners doing years in adult prisons for crimes that do not warrant the sentence.”
Strike One will be available to the public for viewing in September 2015 on the new LatinHeat Cinema online streaming platform that will present American stories through a Latino lens. Stay tuned for the exciting news of this new joint American Latino Theater, a non-profit organization and Latin Heat Media, LLC venture.
“The most important thing about Strike One is being able to bring a more realistic voice to a group of people that are generally ignored and for the most part are truly an important piece of American culture,” Llauger Meiselman stated.
The Strike One Los Angeles premiere is sponsored by Lowell & Vanderbilt, Inc. http://www.lowellvanderbilt.com.
Strike One Social Media:
Producer: Roberto Longoria’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWcXKUwM0-s
Feature – USA – 100 mins.
Cast: Danny Trejo, Johnny Ortiz, Billy Gallo, Alma Martinez, Jocelyn Cruz, French Stewart, Maria Isa, James Russo, Reginald VelJohnson, Zahn McClarnon, Lawrence S. Smilgys, and Felipe Alejandro Ramirez
Director: David Llauger-Meiselman – Writer: Lawrence S. Smilgys, Howard Cohen
Producers: Danny Trejo, Felipe Alejandro Ramirez, Roberto Longoria, Ric Aguirre, James Tumminia, David Llauger-Meiselman, Lawrence Smilgys – Music Composer: Johnny Wilson
Distributor: California Pictures, Inc. For more info on film, visit: www.boricuafilms.com.
About Boricua Films
Boricua Films is a production company focused on the development of high quality, culturally diverse feature-length motion pictures, television programs, and theatre. Boricua Films has successfully developed and produced moderately budgeted commercials, short films, feature films, documentaries, and theatre specializing in the urban Latino experience. www.boricuafilms.com.
About LatinoMediaVisions Series
The yearlong multi-event LatinoMediaVisions Series presents Latino content, offers entrepreneurial incubator and accelerator programs for the independent content producer and a recurring opportunity for the community to network. Created by LatinHeat Media Institute (LHMI), in association with the American Cinematheque and with the assistance of the consulting firm of Alex Mendoza & Associates (AMA) and Impresario Global Media Group (IGMG).
About LatinHeat Cinema
A joint venture between American Latino Theater, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) and Latin Heat Media LLC, together these two entities created a new online streaming company that offers a selection of Latino original first run films, original series, made-for-LHC movies and documentaries. LatinHeat Cinema offers a revenue share business model to Latino filmmakers and producers. The LatinHeat Cinema online streaming service will be available in September 2015.