OC Film Fiesta Celebrates Cinema, Music, Food, Latino Jews and Rita Hayworth in Santa Ana

OC Film Fiesta Celebrates Cinema, Music, Food, Latino Jews and Rita Hayworth in Santa Ana

A late summer-through-fall season of film festivals kicks off Saturday with the third annual OC Film Fiesta in downtown Santa Ana. Over three weeks, the Artists Village will be overtaken by a cinematic celebration that this year includes nods to "Tin Tan," indie rockers, silent bonds, young farmers, lucha libre, non-toxic pottery, unbreakable artistic dreams, screen siren Rita Hayworth and Latino Jews (Or should that be Jewish Latinos?).

Presented in partnership with the city, The Road Less Traveled, Grand Central Art Center, United Artists of Santa Ana, the Mexican Consulate, OC Weekly, MX Live, Stay Connected and Aztec GoldTV, the Film Fiesta includes free screenings at various downtown locations, with live music and tasty food served up to accompany certain titles.

Indeed, there is so much deliciousness packed into director Sandra "Pocha" Peña Sarmiento's program, which runs in conjunction with downtown Santa Ana's massive annual Fiestas Patrias Mexican Independence Celebration, that we won't dare try to present it all in depth here. Instead, you'll get the immediate highlights first, a brief overview of what else is coming to end this post and updates as the festival drags on with more specifics about events later in the program.

And away we go . . .


OC Film Fiesta kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday with live music by

the Moan


the Tequila Worms

in the Second Street Promenade, off Broadway, to properly usher in the 8 p.m. outdoor screening of

Akira Boch

's tragicomedy that "follows the ups and downs of the greatest band in the world ... that no one's ever heard of." Set in Echo Park, the film stars

Teresa Michelle Lee


Katie Hipol


Jeff Torres


From emerging director

Stephen Crutchfield

and acclaimed writer

Stephen Metcalfe


Pretty Woman


Mr. Holland's Opus

) comes this 20-minute drama about an autistic boy who strikes up an unusual friendship with an elderly Mexican migrant worker. Film star

Louie Olivos Jr.

attends the 1 p.m. Sunday screening in the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art
, 117 North Sycamore, Santa Ana.

OC Film Fiesta Celebrates Cinema, Music, Food, Latino Jews and Rita Hayworth in Santa Ana

See the work of tomorrow's directors today, at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art

Sean Fine


Andrea Nix

's coming-of-age documentary about 15-year-old artist


, who refuses to let homelessness and her tough life as an undocumented immigrant keep her from achieving her artist dreams. How tough? Her father was deported for domestic abuse, and her alcoholic and defeated mother of four once took her daughter by the hand to jump off a bridge together. Inocente lived an endless shuffle through overcrowded homeless shelters while under the constant threat of deportation--and yet she will manage to make it to the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art for Sunday's 3:30 p.m. Sunday screening, with

Matt D'Arrigo

of ARTS (A Reason To Survive) by her side.


Saturday, Sept. 8: Perdida, a documentary from a member of the Calderon family who explores stories she was told about her family making some of the worst films in Mexican cinema history, at 1 p.m. . . . Gilda, the 1946 King Vidor classic about a sinister South American casino boss who finds out his new wife (Rita Hayworth) already knows his right-hand man (Glenn Ford), at 3:30 p.m. with an accompanying fashion show courtesy of Santa Ana's Mi Moda and Elegante Boutique that is inspired by the 1940s' cinema sexpot. . . . Taste of Santa Ana, featuring food served by Artists Village restaurants, at 6 p.m. ($10). All events today are in the Santora Arts Building, 207 N. Broadway, Santa Ana.

Sunday, Sept. 9: Presented in association with the Anti-Defamation League are Tijuana Jews, a documentary about the European Jews who wound up settling in the border town, at 1 p.m. (with director Isaac Artenstein in attendance); the newly restored 1922 silent film Hungry Hearts, based on Anzia Yazierska's short stories about an immigrant Jewish family living in New York City's Lower East Side, at 2:30 p.m. (with composer and original score restorer David Spear in attendance), and a 4 p.m. Jewish Community Reception with music and a Jewish-Latino fusion menu prepared by Pocho Catering. All events today in the Santora.

The Greenhorns
The Greenhorns

Saturday, Sept. 15: The Greenhorns, a documentary that explores the lives of America's young farmers that is co-presented by The Road Less Traveled and The Grain Project, at 1 p.m. . . . Tin Tan, a documentary on Germán Cipriano Gómez Valdés Castillo's famous titular character known for his "pachuco" style, use of Spanglish and rapid comedy improv, at 3 p.m. . . . Followed by an interactive Boogie Woogie dance demonstration, all in the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art.

Sunday, Sept. 16: Brilliant Soil, a documentary on Herlinda, an indigenous Purepecha potter who uses alternative lead-free glazes unlike others in her community, in the Yost Theatre, 307 N. Spurgeon St., at 1 p.m. (and co-sponsored by the Yost, Grand Central Art Center and Bulbo of Tijuana and Los Angeles). . . . El Santo en el museo de cera (El Santo in the Wax Museum), starring everyone's favorite masked lucha libre film star, at 5:30 p.m. . . . Tales of Masked Men, a PBS documentary on Mexican-style wrestling, at 7 p.m. The lucha libre films are at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art.

Visit www.ocfilmfiesta.org for more information.


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