Matinee Film Screening of "Smuggled"
Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 1:30 PM (PDT)
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Tickets: $9 adv., $12 dr. Director and NALIP member Ramon Hamilton's film Smuggled tells the story of 9 year-old Miguel Rodriguez and his mother, Hilaria Rodriguez, as the pair are smuggled into the U.S. in a small, hidden compartment of a tourist bus. Most of the film takes place in the tiny compartment. The film's awards, since late April, include: Best Dramatic Feature (Mexico International Film Festival), Best Feature (Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival) and the Founders' Award (Riverside International Film Festival). Additional screenings of the film include the Tupelo Film Festival and a special screening and director's workshop at the SoCal Student Film Festival, in which Hamilton shared his knowledge and experience with high school students from around Southern California. Hamilton's personal story and Latin background are quite different. His mother came to the U.S. legally from the Dominican Republic as a student. She married an African-American man and remained in the U.S. becoming a beloved teacher in Boston, MA where Hamilton grew up. Raised speaking Spanish, Hamilton is completely bilingual and prefers to identify himself simply as American. While his latest film tells a story of illegal immigration, it also draws on his personal relationship with his mother, which is one of the strengths of the film that audience members pick up on. "It's an amazing film!" hailed on audience member. "I highly recommend it. The film is not only dominated by the harsh reality of human trafficking but also focuses on the loving relationship between a mother and her son." Hamilton agrees. "One of the greatest compliments to me about the film is when people speak of how moved they are by the mother-son relationship and when people tell me that the story helps them have empathy for the journeys and risks many immigrants take to be in this country." Hamilton wrote, shot, directed and edited the feature-length film, which is primarily Spanish-language, and made the film with a very small crew and budget. Its cast and crew also reflect the diversity of U.S. Latinos. For example, the film's first A.C. considers herself a talented 3rd generation American and Texan with parents that are Mexican and Native American. The lead actor, Ramsess Letrado, who speaks only Spanish in the film, is actually a 2nd generation bi-lingual 12 year-old whose parents are from Mexico and El Salvador. While lead actress Denisse Bon, who also only speaks Spanish in the film, is bilingual and traces her roots to Mexico. A U.S. citizen born in the U.S., she lived in Tijuana until 1988 and has been in the U.S. (San Diego and now L.A.) since then. There were also other 2nd and 3rd generation Latinos who worked on the film in various capacities (acting, make-up and production assistants).
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