Reel Rasquache Art and Film Festival, May 17-19 in LA

The Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival, L.A.'s showcase of U.S. Latinos in art and film in its many genres, will celebrate its tenth anniversary with a three-day event May 17-19 at CASA 0101 in Boyle Heights (east of downtown Los Angeles.)

Held annually since 2004, the film festival has established itself as a premiere forum celebrating the U.S. Latino experience in art and film. From feature-length films and documentaries, to film shorts, webisodes, animations, and experimental films, the festival's program covers the rich diversity of U.S. Latino cultures, themes, and histories. 

The festival opens with Latinos Beyond Reel, a full-length documentary from Miguel Picker and Chyng Sun, exploring the stereotypes and breakthroughs of Latinos in Hollywood over the years. Opening night will also include an art exhibit reception with featured artist Juan Solis. Closing night festivities include the premiere of Jules Nurrish's dramatic short Kiss Me, and the west coast premiere of Kenneth Castillo's Counterpunch, a drama about boxing and the triumph of the human spirit. Both opening and closing night events include "after parties," complete with appearances by many members of the featured films' casts and crews. Sunday's closing night celebration also includes a reception and an awards ceremony after the film premieres. 

The festival is also known for its career recognition awards; this year's recipients include actress Carmen Zapata (Career Achievement); actor Pepe Serna (Pioneer Award); writer/director Kenneth Castillo (Trailblazer Award); and artist Juan Solis (Vision Award). Recipients from previous years have included directors Chris Weitz, Luis Valdez, and actors Tony Plana and Wilmer Valderrama.

For ten years, the Reel Rasquache Film Festival has brought together a broad base of grassroots and professional community members with U.S. Latino film and video independents and entertainment industry professionals.  In recent years it has included an exclusive gallery exhibition of major Latino visual artists , including creators like Patricia Krebs, Margaret Garcia and Eloy Torrez. 

"It's hard to believe that Reel Rasquache has been part of the L.A. film scene for ten years," said co-director Dr. John Ramirez, a media studies scholar in the Department of Television, Film, and Media Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. "We've come a long way, just as Latinos in Hollywood have┬ľand we all have a bright future."

All of the 2013 festival events are taking place at CASA 0101, beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 17. CASA 0101 is located at 2102 First Street, Boyle Heights, CA 90033. More information on the festival is available at the festival website Tickets for the entire three-day event, or for the opening or closing night events and parties, may be purchased online through the CASA 0101 web site at