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Things You Didn’t Know About Newport Beach Film Festival Movies

by Gael Blakes 2 May 2009 187 views No Comment E-mail Gael Blakes


Image via cruzandothemovie.com

Image via cruzandothemovie.com

This off-beat comedy was my favorite film of the Newport Beach Film Festival and I wish this film the best in the future. Interviewing actor David Barrera, I was better able to understand the overall message of the movie that was not crossing the border and making it to America, but actually forgiveness and human understanding. The movie took a heavy topic (crossing the border) and used humor to make it more relatable. Both main actors, Mando Alvarado and Michael Ray Escamilla were at the screening. Chatting with them I was able to learn both their backgrounds, which are in improvisation, which explains the comfortable acting and reacting in the film. I really believed the characters were cousins and I felt like I was on this journey with the characters.


Image via deadlandthemovie.com

Image via deadlandthemovie.com

The film is shot very similar to “Blair Witch Project” because it is shot in the forest and the various sharp camera angles add to the overall superb cinematography of the film. The performances especially from Brian Tee and Gary Weeks added to the greatness of the film. Gary Weeks also wrote the film, which was inspired by his hometown in southern Georgia where the film was also shot. Throughout the festival, I have gotten to know Brian Tee and Gary Weeks and they are stand up guys who are committed to their art and they have created an excellent film together that is worth seeing. Jax is my favorite character in the movie because he is so raw as a person and it’s very interesting to see an actor embody such a real character.

Desdemona: A Love Story

Image via Desdemonamovie.com

Image via Desdemonamovie.com

The screenwriter/director, Phillip Guzman was in attendance at the screening. He was inspired by Shakespeare’s Othello when he wrote this script and he based it on his own life, in that his father died of a heart attack and he was never close to his own brother. Cindy Vela who plays Desdemona was also in attendance and speaking to her after the film I began to understand her process of transformation into a character that is kidnapped and held at ransom. She really steps foot into the shoes of the character and fulfills the role very well, her effortless acting was worth applauding.

Rudo y Cursi


This movie was for the Mexico Spotlight for the Newport Beach Film Festival. Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal have teamed up again for their last movie together, ironically a movie about two brother and their foray into professional soccer (most of the rest of the world refers to it as futbol). Directed by Carlos Cuaron, who also wrote “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” the movie that made Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal stars. This movie was a cinematographer’s dream, the shots were so interesting and made the movie fun to watch. The movie tells the story of a coach called Baton played by Guillermo Fancella who comes to a small town and wants to represent two brothers in Mexico City on national soccer teams. The characters go through some very dramatic incidents of gambling and drugs, but there are also light moments when the characters are being hazed on the soccer team, which is funny to watch. The chemistry between Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal is so refreshing to watch. The movie follows the ups and downs of fame on a soccer team and the importance of soccer to Mexican fans. I recommend this movie because not only is the acting up to par, I learned about the ins and outs of the soccer industry and mania abroad.

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