Latino Art Beat to Host Youth Filmmakers Showcase

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

By: Ashmar Mandou

Latino Art Beat, a national not-for-profit visual arts organization that encourages higher education through the award of college scholarships, will present its Youth Filmmakers Showcase, hosted by Instituto Cervantes, 31st W. Ohio St., on February 17th at 6p.m. The Youth Filmmakers Showcase will include a preview screening of “The Dance,” the second film written by Manny Reyes III and directed by Nikola Stojkovic and produced by Latino Art Beat. “The Dance,” follows the adventures of two high school teens that always seem to get in trouble and encounter mummies, ghosts, and the like. Recently, Lawndale Bilingual Newspaper spoke with two of the actors involved in “The Dance,” Alissa Ortiz and Fernando Borges.

Lawndale Bilingual Newspaper: How did you become involved with the short film “The Dance?”

Alissa Ortiz: I was involved in the movie because my father, Luis Ortiz, was involved with Latino Art Beat, an organization that Don Rossi has led. My father was a council member for an Art Scholarship lead by the organization, and would annually take me to the competitions with Don Rossi. So I was always exposed to Don Rossi’s work. When they were looking for actors for the movie they asked me when Don and Manny came to a school musical I was in, plays with my parents.

Fernando Borges: Don, the producer, came to my school and auditioned boys for the role. As soon as I heard about it, I signed up for an audition. After I auditioned I was called back several times for the role. It was a bit nerve wracking, but I enjoyed the entire process.

Can you tell me a little bit about your character without giving too much away?

Alissa Ortiz: My character is a very strange and a little bit creepy young girl with a lot of secrets. She definitely stands out from your typical high school girl. Unfortunately, that is all I can tell you, you would have to watch the movie to find out the rest!

Fernando Borges: Ernesto is a very introverted individual. He doesn’t really interact with anyone outside of Clint because he is very introverted. He is a very sweet kid who has an undying love for his friends.

The special screening of the “The Dance” is on Tuesday at Instituto Cervantes. What would you like audience members to take from the film and from the youth showcase?

Alissa Ortiz: What I want the audience members to take from the film is to most definitely understand how much work, effort, dedication, as well as time into making a well put together production when working with a budget and what many famous directors would call low standard equipment. The kind of magic this team has put together is so magical! Film production is a sticky and personal experience for many people from picking the actors to actually getting all of the scenes on tape. This film festival takes regular Hispanic young adults who try to do what they love and represent themselves in a very successful organization. Everyone who does these films is really dedicated people and deserves the upmost respect.

Fernando Borges: That film is a beautiful art form that should be appreciated and supported.

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