Nothing Like The Holidays Opens This Friday
Nothing Like The Holidays Opens this Friday! Let’s show our support to Alfredo, Freddy, Rick, Bob, Rene and the whole team!
The below story about Freddy Rodriguez's role in the film ran in the Los Angeles Times today, December 11.
By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
In the Christmas movie "Nothing Like the Holidays," Freddy Rodriguez plays an Iraq war veteran honorably discharged with a slight eye injury, but racked with guilt over the belief he may have caused the death of his buddy during a skirmish with insurgents.
To prepare for the film, opening Friday, Rodriguez talked with several who had served in the war -- and he ended up feeling more than a little shamefaced.
"This is a terrible comparison," confesses the 33-year-old star of such films as "Planet Terror" and the HBO series "Six Feet Under." "But I remember being in Napa Valley making my first film, 'A Walk in the Clouds.' I was 19 and so incredibly homesick and culture-shocked. It was my first time away from home, and I was still living with my parents."
Rodriguez shakes his head with embarrassment. "Here I was feeling the way I was feeling at 19, sitting in a cushy hotel room, eating from craft services and getting to act opposite Keanu Reeves and Anthony Quinn," he says.
"That was so minuscule to what these guys were going through. I wanted to capture what they must have gone through on their return home and as they try to get reassimilated."
The ensemble drama -- about a Puerto Rican family from Chicago which reunites after several years to celebrate the holidays and the fact that the youngest son, Jesse, has returned from the war -- also marks Rodriguez's first foray into executive producing.
It stars Alfred Molina and Elizabeth Peña as the parents, John Leguizamo as Jesse's older brother, who is a high-powered attorney with an ambitious executive wife (Debra Messing), and Vanessa Ferlito as the older sister, who is a struggling actress in L.A. Rodriguez makes clear that he doesn't consider "Nothing Like the Holidays" a "Latin" film.
"It's an American film that happens to revolve around a Latin family," he says. "That was our objective when we were putting it together. We wanted to make these people as general as possible, because if you are not Latin, you will be able to relate to the family."
Producers Robert Teitel and George Tillman Jr. ("Soul Food") grew up in Chicago and have known Rodriguez for several years. Teitel came up with the idea to do a Christmas movie about a dysfunctional family. Rodriguez says the concept appealed to him: "I always try to do something different. I was interested in producing, and Bob said, 'Why don't you come on board and help me put it together?' "
The film was shot in Chicago's predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood of Humboldt Park, where Rodriguez was born and reared. Though Rodriguez spends most of the year living with his wife (who was his high school sweetheart) and their two children in Los Angeles, they spend summer and Christmas holidays in Chicago.
"Christmas is a big deal in my family," he says. "Christmas is a pretty packed house."
And is it all as dysfunctional as his movie family?
"Even more so," he says, laughing.
Nothing Like the Holidays comes to theaters this FRIDAY December 12.
Call for Entries: New Mexican, Latino, Narrative & Documentary Films
White Sands International Film Festival
[alamogordo, new mexico]
April 23-26, 2009
WSIFF Is now accepting film submissions. Categories for entry include Narrative, Documentary, Latino Film Showcase & New Mexico Film Showcase. Cash prizes and/or special jury awards will be given to winners of each category. Films shot in New Mexico will receive a waived entry fee.
In particular we are interested in...
* FIlms that deal with contemporary issues
* Films that celebrate the human spirit
* Films that deal with the Latino/Hispanic ulture
* Films that have been made in New Mexico
* Good story telling, writing, acting, and direction
* Interesting and provocative scripts
For further submission information please visit our website at www.wsiff.com or submit your film on Withoutabox.
The WSIFF is dedicated to bringing filmmakers and audiences together to better appreciate the art of cinema. The WSIFF screens outstanding short and feature length documentaries and narratives of all genres from around the world. With a special focus on Latino and New Mexican filmmaking we celebrate outstanding cinema in the amazing back drop of Southern New Mexico. We hope to see you at this very unique, intimate and fun festival in the Land of 20 Enchantment!
PAST GUESTS: Alejandro Monteverde, Director, Producer, "Bella"; Arturo Ripstein, Director,"La Reina de la Noche" ; Paz Alicia Garciadiego, Screenwriter, "Profundo Carmesi" ; Mark Medoff, Writer, Director, "Children of A Lesser God" ; Ali Landry, Actress, "Bella" ; Jamison Jones, Actor, "He Was A Quiet Man", "24" ; Elliott Lewitt, Producer, "At Close Range"; Jordan Roberts, Director "Around the Bend"; Rick Shroeder, Actor, Producer, "Black Cloud", Rocky Lang, Producer, Writer, "White Squall", "How I Broke Into Hollywood"; Wes Studi, Actor, "Last of the Mohicans"
Call for Entries: Cine Las Americas International Film Festival
12th Cine Las Americas International Film Festival May 7-14, 2009. Austin, Texas, USA
Cine Las Americas invites filmmakers, producers and distributors to participate in The Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, now in its twelfth consecutive year. The festival showcases contemporary films from North, Central, South America, the Caribbean and Spain. Works made by or about Latinos and native groups of the Americas are eligible to participate.
To be eligible for these competitive sections, projects must have been completed after January 1, 2007. All film entries are also eligible to participate in the festival's non-competitive sections. For all works where the spoken language is not English, English subtitles or narration are required.
Submissions should be at the Cine Las Americas office by the following dates and times:
Deadline: January 30, 2009 at 5:00pm (Non-refundable entry fee US$20)
Late Deadline: February 12, 2009 at 5:00pm (Late entry fee US$40)
Youth Films Deadline: January 31, 2009 at 5:00pm (Youth Films pay no entry fee)
Call for Entries/Convocatoria/Convoca available through hompage: http://cinelasamericas.org/