Viva Latino Film Fest Int’l Opens With ‘Strike One’ Starring Danny Trejo
— Coming-of-age drama reveals racial disparities in juvenile criminal system —
HOLLYWOOD, CA – January 28, 2015 – (HISPANICIZE WIRE) – The 1st Annual Viva Latino Film Festival NYC International (VLFFI) has chosen David Llauger-Meiselman’s award-winning indie Strike One, starring Danny Trejo, for its Opening Night to screen on Thursday, February 19, 2015. VLFFI runs February 19 to 23nd and will be held at the Film Anthology Archives located on 32 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003.
“Our film brings 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”
Strike One is a story set in Boyle Heights and utilizes this Los Angeles community as an integral character. It also stars break-out artist Johnny Ortiz, Maria Isa Perez, cast along with veteransBilly Gallo, Alma Martinez, French Stewart, James Russo, Lawrence Smilgys, Reginald VelJohnson, and Zahn McClarnon. “We’re thrilled Strike One is premiering at VIVA’s Inaugural event. It is a great story. We’re truly humbled,” stated Steven Del Castro, Viva’s founder and co-executive director. While Strike One is an anatomy of the dangers of living in low-income and at-risk communities, it is also about the injustice of California’s controversial Three Strike Law – where justice is determined by which side of the street you live on. Actor-Screenwriter Lawrence Smilgys has created a family in one of those “where life chose me” situations. “This law seems to insinuate that some people are born criminals and can never change,” said Smilgys. “Our film brings a more realistic voice to a group of people that are generally ignored,” stated director Llauger-Meiselman, “and for the most part are truly an important piece of American culture.” “We are really excited about this movie as it appeals to a wide range of audiences and families due to its rich subject matter, great direction and terrific performances by Danny Trejo and the entire cast,” said the film’s distributor, Steven Istock, president of California Pictures, Inc. Manny Garcia (Trejo) is determined to steer his nephew Juan (Ortiz) away from falling victim to the trappings of a prejudiced juvenile criminal system. “Manny is an endearing character,” said Smilgys, “no matter how many times you knock him down, he is going to get up and forge ahead despite the shadow of the bureaucrat laws that exists beyond his understanding.” Film producer Felipe Alejandro, a Boyle Heights native, said the making of Strike One was a labor of love. “The film reverberates with Latino audiences because it is a story that is made for us by us,” said Alejandro. “And, it’s about righting a very wrong law, and bringing justice to all the Latino and Black ‘Juan Garcia’s’ unfairly convicted and sentenced.” Strike One’s east coast premiere is on Thursday, February 19, 2015, 7:20 PM, at the Film Anthology Archives in NYC. For more information, visit: http://www.vlffi.com. To purchase tickets, visit: http://peatix.com/event/69354?utm_source=featured&utm_medium=ptxtop&utm_campaign=featured-events Strike One Feature | USA | 100 mins. Cast: Danny Trejo, Billy Gallo, Alma Martinez, Maria Isa Perez, Johnny Ortiz, French Stewart, James Russo, Reginald VelJohnson, Zahn McClarnon, 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 Viva Latino Film Festival NYC Int’l The Viva Latino Film Festival NYC International (VLFFI) is the newest Latino international film festival in the country, co-founded by Steven Del Castro and Richard Rodriguez. VLFFI’s mission is to showcase the content of emerging and established Latino filmmaking talent in the U.S., Mexico and Latin America. For more information: www.VLFFI.com or email: [email protected] 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. In 2009 Boricua Films founded the 501 (c) 3 non-profit American Latino Theatre, (AmLT). The AmLT’s first productions were exploratory ventures targeted at providing entertainment to LA’s Latino community. www.boricuafilms.com. About California Pictures, Inc. California Pictures produces and distributes motion picture content worldwide. The company was founded in 1944 by Howard Hughes and Preston Sturges, and was reincorporated in 2008 by Steven Istock. California Pictures also advises domestic and international producers on film structuring, finance, production and distribution for a variety of projects in the beginning, middle and closing stages of development, production and distribution. The company produced along with Family Productions the family movie A Warrior’s Heart, the science fiction action movie Scavengers and Steven Istock was an executive producer on the James McAvoy film Filth based on the novel by the same name. California Pictures is focused on producing and distributing great film and television content with dynamic characters, strong and personally identifiable themes and powerful journeys for a worldwide audience. CPI is located in Hollywood on the Paramount Studios lot. www.Californiapicturesinc.com.