SUPPORT REEL RASQUACHE 2014!

Chinatown Colors by Angela María Ortíz S.

Contribute to our IndieGoGo campaign today! We need your help to make it happen!

Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival (RRAFF) has been bringing undiscovered and underappreciated films and art by U.S. Latinos to the people of Los Angeles for more than TEN YEARS…and now we want to make it BIGGER and BETTER THAN EVER with your help!

GREAT PREMIUMS…GREAT PROGRAMMING…*TWO* TICKETS FOR EVERY DONOR of $20 or more!

In 2014, RRAFF wants to continue more than ten years of growth by giving Boyle Heights and East L.A. THE BEST LATINO FILM EVENT OF THE YEAR. And we’ve lined up some INCREDIBLE INCENTIVES for donors of any size.

TWO FREE TICKETS to the Opening Night Event, Closing Night Gala, or any single even on Saturday or Sunday with any donation of $20 or more! (Limited quantities, of course!) Read the rest of this entry »

Some Laughs, Some Scares, and a Season (series?) Finale for Latinos on Thursday

Kevin Hernandez Finding Jack

Cameron Diaz, talkin’ about The Other Woman, begins and ends a day of Latinos on TV, with the last Parks and Recreation in the middle:

  • First you’ve got Cameron Diaz, who was on Fallon last night, starting the day on Live with Kelly and Michael (syndicated, so check your listing)
  • You can scare yourself to death with Jay Hernandez in Hostel, 7P on SyFy
  • Aubrey Plaza and the Pawnee people celebrate a new pregnancy on the season finale of Parks and Recreation, 8P on NBC. No firm word if it will be back next fall, but chances are good.

    Cameron Diaz The Other Woman

  • Michael Trevino chills and thrills on The Vampire Diaries, 8P on The CW
  • Sara Ramirez turns in another solid surgical performance on Grey’s Anatomy, 9P on ABC
  • Jennifer Lopez joins us in watching the results show on American Idol at 9P on Fox
  • George Lopez, David Zayas, Diana Maria Riva, Danny Trego, Olga Merediz and so many more makes us laugh on Saint George at 9P on FX
  • Kevin Hernandez joins Christopher Meloni on the already doomed sitcom Surviving Jack, 9:30P on Fox

And we end as we began: Cameron Diaz on a talk show, this time Late Night with Seth Myers after midnight on NBC

The Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival Needs YOUR HELP!

2013: RRAFF Angela María Ortíz S., actor/producer Douglas Spain (Mission Park feature), RRAFF John Ramirez, actor Pepe Serna (Pioneer Award), Elijah Velarde (The Shooting Star Salesman short), writer/director Kenneth Castillo (Trailblazer Award), Cecilia Garcia accepted for actress/activist Carmen Zapata (Career Achievement Award), Juan Solis (Feature Artist-Vision Award), RRAFF Juan Escobedo, and writer/director Kico Velarde (The Shooting Star Salesman short). Photo: Wilki Image

Water & Power Film Postcard signed by: actor Edward James Olmos, writer/director Richard Montoya and cast members Emilio Rivera, Wanda de Jesus and Jacob Vargas–the film is in theaters May 2 and we were privilege to get these copies. Two of a One of a Kind!

Most of you know that I’m the co-director of the Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival and the publisher of Se Fija! and that’s why I’m doing this post.

We’ve been asked why our IndieGoGo campaign is so short, the honest truth is, we were waiting to hear from our sponsors (old and new). And this year, our past sponsors budgets have been cut and our potential new sponsors said, “hit us up next year.” Hence our late start on the IndieGoGo campaign.

If everyone who reads this post can contribute, $1, $5 or $10, it will help with this year’s festival and some help for next year’s.

We are down to 4 days left on the campaign and like I said before, any size donation is welcome. And please share our campaign link.

Thanks for reading this and supporting us. Click here for the IndieGoGo link.

Se Fija! Catches Up with Actress Yvette Yates

Se Fija!’s Angela Ortíz and Yvette Yates

It has been a while since we sat down and caught up with Yvette Yates (El Gringo, Without Men), we’ve written about her many times; check out one of my favorite post here.

YvetteYates In the Blood

Yvette just wrapped a comedy vampire feature, Bloodsucking Bastards, opposite Chilean Pedro Pascal (Graceland, Game of Thrones), Emma Fitzpatrick (Social Network), Joel Murray (Mad Men), and others. And later this year, we’ll see her in Warner Bros Thomas Pynchon adaptation Inherent Vice, starring Benicio Del Toro, Joaquin Phoenix, Sean Penn, Maya Rudolph and many more.

Her film In the Blood is in theaters now and she’s also in Richard Montoya’s Water & Power, which comes out in theaters on May 2. Listen in on our video conversation below.

It’s Ba-a-a-ack: “Paranormal Activity,” with a Surprisingly Latino Taste, Drops as a DVD on Tuesday

Gabrielle Walsh, Renee Victor and Se Fija!’s publisher Angela Ortíz
©2014 Anselmo Sinclair Ortiz

Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz and Se Fija!’s Ortíz
©2014 Anselmo Sinclair Ortiz

It’s no secret that Latinos, as a group, are big fans of the horror genre, though horror movie producers rarely get that message and actually respond. Still, that’s exactly what they did with the fifth movie in the Paranormal Activity franchise, The Marked Ones.

Se Fija!’s publisher Angela Ortíz got a chance to hang out with stars of the film, Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz, Renee Victor, and Gabrielle Walsh. They talked about their bonding on the set, how director Christopher B. Landon was open to suggestions, and the many goodies you’ll find on the Blu-ray edition.

Paranormal Activity has been an almost unrelentingly suburban Anglo product since its beginning in 2007. But now, with The Marked Ones, a new storyline is introduced–one in which Latino culture and characters play a major role.

How does this all connect to the twisted continuing story of the earlier films in the series? Be patient; the tie-in comes in the last few minutes of the film.

It’s available Tuesday, April 8 wherever DVDs or VODs are sold.

Maximiliano Hernández Rocks Agent Sitwell in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Premiering Everywhere Today

Hernández at Frank & Son Collectables
©2014 Angela María Ortíz S

…and he talks exclusively to Se Fija! about his work, his character, and appearing on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC

It’s not like Maximiliano Hernández is a newcomer to Latino Hollywood. Just before “Agent Sitwell” moved front-and-center in The Avengers, Captain America, and even some of Marvel’s wonderful short subjects in between, Hernández was becoming famous, and then famously dead, on The Americans. And before that Ringer, Terriers, 24, and every variation of Law & Order. In fact, he’s been regularly appearing in front of us for more than ten years.

But now he’s part of the Marvel-verse, and things will never be the same. SeFija! caught up with him at a recent event at Frank & Sons Collectables in Southern California, and we had a chance to sit down and talk about his work on the Marvel movies and TV shows and on his relationship to his fans for that work and The Americans.

L-r: Saffron Burrows, Titus welliver
and Maximiliano Hernández
MARVEL’S Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Maximiliano isn’t as nearly as button-down as Agent Sitwell, and he sees portraying him as a kind of a relief: he gets to play someone other than himself. And he likes Winter Soldier because it’s “the least superhero-y of the superhero movies–more a detective movie or a political thriller.” The other stars of the film echoed that sentiment at a recent press conference. And though Sitwell is not demonstrably Latino, it’s still an interesting choice: Maximiliano is clearly ‘ethnic,’ where the original rendition of the character in Marvel Comics is a red-headed, crew-cut, teeth-gritting ultra-conservative, and was among the least ‘likeable’ S.H.I.E.L.D. agents for years before his…remodeling. Now he’s more a “protégé of Agent Coulson,” Maximiliano says. “He’s strangely meticulous; he likes things in a certain order, and he’s always making sure everything’s the way it’s supposed to be. And he gets rattled when it’s out of his control.”

Look for more Sitwell in future episodes of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and look for more Maximiliano Hernández in an upcoming feature Imperial Dreams and the post-apocalypse series The Last Ship this summer on TNT.

Demián Bichir Grabs a Drink at the Bar and Talks about “The Bridge”

Demian Bichir

The entertainment trade website The Wrap has become a major source of info for Hollywood…and it does a good job on straight interviews, too. Of course, alcohol helps…

We’ve only recently run across a cool little video series that The Wrap keep tucked away in a corner of its web site. In one recent edition, The Wrap’s Jeff Sneider talked with Academy Award nominee Demián Bichir at La Casita Mexicana in Bell, California (Hey, we’ve been there!), about this work on the FX bordertown cop show The Bridge, which has finished its first season and is set up for a second. As always, Demián’s charming as hell (if not very forthcoming with Bridge spoilers) and generous to a fault with his co-stars. Best of all, the format gives us a chance to see what this powerful actor is like when he’s actually just, you know, hangin’ out. Here you go:

Bichir is also part of Dom Hemingway, an eccentric little British pic starring Jude Law that’s premiering this week as well. And you can see a lot of great videos here, at the home of “Uploads from the Wrap.”

“In the Blood,” with a Ton of Latino Action Stars All Over the Place on Friday

Gina Carano and Luis Guzmán

Amaury Nolasco, Danny Trejo, Luis Guzmán star in an all-out beat’em-up with Gina Carano

Captain America: The Winter Soldier may be dominating the headline and the movie screens on Friday, April 4, but a gang of our best action heroes are staging an insurrection of their own with In the Blood, premiering on iTunes, On Demand, and in theaters on the same day.

Danny Trejo

The basic premise: Simply and solid: Gina Carano stars as Ava, a trained fighter with a dark past. When her new husband (Cam Gigandet) vanishes during their Caribbean honeymoon, Ava uncovers a violent underworld of conspiracy in the middle of an island paradise. Armed with a deadly set of skills, Ava sets out to discover the truth–and to take down the men she thinks are responsible for his abduction, one by one.

You’ll find Ismael Cruz Cordoba, Treat Williams, Cam Gigandet, our buddy Yvette Yates, and the guy who tried to kill an entire species–Stephen Lang, of Avatar–in this violent little thriller. And best of all, you can see it on any screen you want, since it’s simultaneously releasing on iTunes, VOD, and in theaters. Buy your popcorn and take your pick.

Yvette Yates

And here’s the coolest little bit: it’s directed by John Stockwell, who also directed Paz Vega in the action fave Cat Run (and will do it again in an upcoming sequel) as well as the hyper-violent horror film Turistas. But he’s best known for something older and truly classic: he was (and still is, sometimes) an actor, best known as “Cougar” in Top Gun and the “nice guy” who nearly dies ten times over in the John Carpenter adaptation of Stephen King’s Christine, way back in 1983. (His co-star in that film, nerdy Keith Gordon, has become a respected director as well, with credits like The Chocolate War and A Midnight Clear, along with multiple episodes of Dexter, The Killing, and many others.

Enjoy the trailer…then enjoy the action!

“Rake,” with John Ortiz and Greg Kinnear, End this Saturday–yes, Saturday

John Ortiz

It began with high hopes, then got a weird start, and never got any traction at all. Now Fox is burning off the last two episodes Saturday.

Rake, the serio-tragic story of an excellent lawyer with a gambling addiction, a broken practice, and the worst luck ever had a lot going for it: Greg Kinnear and John Ortiz, Ortiz fresh from the unintended wreckage of the HBO series Luck, were doing some of the best work of their career, portraying a charming “rake” and his solid best friend. And Fox, who’d had luck with “unlovable” character in the past, from Married With Children to House, were high on it, too: it debuted on Thursdays at 9P in January, in the coveted post-American Idol spot.

John Ortiz and Greg Kinnear

But the best laid plans and all that: ratings were anemic from the beginning, and Fox soon shoved it to Fridays at 8P where it did even worse. Now Fox has announced it will burn off the last two episodes this Saturday, April 5, from 8-10P.

What exactly went wrong? Excellent question. Certainly its weird debut date, even out of Idol, robbed it of any of the “Fall Season” momentum. And–in a move that’s all too typical these days–Fox didn’t give the show any time to grow an audience; it was shipped off to the graveyard before it even had a chance to take a deep breath. But that’s all water under the proverbial bridge at this point; at least we’ll get a chance to see Ortiz and the rest of the truly excellent cast in its last two episodes. And maybe we’ll finally find out what’s in that ratty paper bag Kinnear is always carrying around…

Zabryna Guevara is a No-Nonsense (and Surprisingly Latina) Cop in the “Young Batman” pilot, “Gotham”

Zabryna Guevara

DC Comics, much like Marvel, has always been pretty light on the Latino characters, but Zabryna Guevara may be changing that with her role as “Lt. Essen” in Gotham

This could be interesting. Zabryna Guevara, who’s been working steadily for years, is probably best remembered for her stint on the short-lived medical series 3 lbs. back in ’06, or her arc in the last season of USA’s Burn Notice. Now she’ll be playing a possible love interest for a young James Gordon in Gotham, the Fox pilot that’s creating a big buzz at the moment.

The character she’ll be playing was actually created by the legendary Frank Miller some years ago, in his series called Batman: Year One. But the character was created as a beautiful blonde–and the subject of a torrid affair with then-young-and-very-married James Gordon, soon to be the infamous Commissioner and Batman’s best buddy. That may still happen in this version, which actually stars Ben McKenzie of Southland and The O.C. as a young Gordon. The decision to change Essen’s ethnicity is laudable; neither the DC nor the TV comic book universes in general have mixed many Latinos into their worlds; this will be a welcome change.

Sara Paxton

Another Latina, the blonde and blue-eyed Sara Paxton, is rumored to be part of Gotham as well, once again playing a distinctly non-Latino role. This time it’s Bette Kane, who is destined to become either Batwoman, Batgirl, or Flamebird, depending on your universe.

Pilots, as we say so often, are just promise, and often broken, but Gotham has been getting a great deal of notice, and Fox would love to join in on the superhero frenzy that already includes Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the up-and-coming Arrow, and the soon-to-arrive Flash. So changes are good. We’ll keep an eye on it–and Ms. Guevara–as the pilot season progresses.

Se Fija! Sits Down with Diego Luna and America Ferrera of “Cesar Chavez”

“Luna’s passionate about his new film—not a “bio pic” as much as a conversation starter

Se Fija! Publisher Angela Ortíz sat in on a few roundtables with actress America Ferrera and actor/director Diego Luna. They both talked about the difficulties and successes of doing a film like Cesar Chavez. In the film, Ferrera (Ugly Betty, The Good Wife, Real Women Have Curves) plays Helen Fabela Chávez, Cesar’s wife and an activist in her own right. Luna, who is mostly known for his acting (Elysium, Milk, Y Tu Mamá También) and a few short films he’s directed, is very passionate about his film; he’s said he wanted to make a film for his son, who was born in California, and he found Chavez to be a good subject.

Sit back and listen in on the conversations in the videos below. And remember always, “Sí Se Puede”—Dolores Huerta

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