Saturday, March 28, 2009

Latino sci-fi drama debutes in film festival

Sci-fi drama "GB2525" debutes at San Diego Latino Film Festival
Robert Aguilar Jr., San Diego Film Industry Examiner

One of the highlights of this year’s San Diego Latino Film festival was the premier of the American Latino urban sci-fi drama, “GB2525” Presented by New Legacy Entertainment and produced by John Estrada, GB2525 features the multiple talents of Writer, Director and Actor Jojo Henrickson ("Ladron Que Roba Adron” Lionsgate 2007)

Henrickson’s story is a journey to the dark urban landscape of Los Angeles in the year 2525. A two year truce between rival gangs is broken when the leader of the powerful 54th street gang is murdered in a drive by shooting, His successor, Puppet, seeks a vengeful retaliation but is held off by another gang member named Supa’man. Supa’ is one of the voices and level headed minds that helped to initiate the truce in the first place and he is determined to maintain the peace. So Supa’man and a few of his friends must do what ever they can to find the truth and salvage the truce. But his journey takes him far beyond what he could have ever imagined.

Outstanding performances by Frank Alvarez as “Supa’man” and Richard Azurdia as “Puppet” cap off an outstanding ensemble of soon to be discovered actors. Other stand out performances include Jossara Jinero as “Yoli”, a reformed gang member who has joined Supa’man is his quest for peace. And Ricardo Molina as “Sherlock” a member of a rival gang with outstanding fight skills and an unsteady mind.

GB2525 delivers a strong political message about society and the perception of mankind and it’s future by those who dictate our reality. The use of a futuristic setting lends a whole new element to the traditional gangland tale. Their tagline “In the future the only things that have changed are the weapons” gives a true picture of the nature of man and the way we relate to each other now and how the basic nature of man hasn’t changed. Survival is key and peace is desired but we may never see the two existing together at the same time.

As we participated in a question and answer session at the end of the film a collective gasp came over the crowd as writer/director Jojo Henrickson mentioned that the entire film was shot for less than $50,000. Of course that included a 2 1/2 year shooting schedule and the cooperation and talent of several dedicated actors and crew, but GB252 is a true testament to the passion and drive a filmmaker can have when they believe in their project and their talents.

The future of Latino film is uncertain. Demographics and studio systems dictate that Latino film is a sub culture and that people like John Estrada and Jojo Henrickson are destined to tour the festival circuit for their entire careers. But films like this give hope to an ignored culture. That mainstream entertainment will some day recognize the reality of our society. Organizations like The Media Arts Center and the Latino Film Foundation have helped to bring these talented people to the forefront. And I look forward to the day where Latino filmmakers are featured on the cover of traditional magazines and not the “Latin Edition”.

It is unclear right now if "GB2525" will see theatrical distribution but you will see it on DVD and I encourage everyone to go out and buy it. Set it on your shelf next to your copy of “Gang’s of New York” and don’t think twice about it. It’s not a Latino film. It’s just another great film.

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