San Diego Latino Film Festival opens March 7Bottom Highlights, Scene Out Thursday, March 7th, 2013
Social Chaos: Scene Out
We attended the Latino Film Festival media kickoff party Feb. 21 at Gang Kitchen in Downtown San Diego. We saw many familiar faces from the community and one that we recognized but couldn’t pinpoint from where. He started charging his phone behind us and then it hit us that it was Douglas Spain. He’s one of the actors in But, I’m a Cheerleader, Star Maps and the list goes on and on. His movie, Mission Park, will be showing March 11 and March 15.
Mission Park tells the story of four friends who grow up together but whose lives take different paths as they reach adulthood, ultimately pitting them against each other on opposite sides of the law. It’s one of the first films to be completely shot and filmed in San Antonio, Texas.
Spain will be in attendance for the March 11 screening along with cast members Jeremy Ray Valdez, Walter Perez, Manny Rey and William Rothhaar together with director Bryan Ramirez. You won’t want to miss it.
Opening night for the festival is March 7. We’ll be checking out Filly Brown starring the late Jenni Rivera and recommend Violeta Went to Heaven; a moving portrait of Chile’s famed folk musician and poet Violeta Parra which we saw at Sundance last year. Operación E and Mariachi Gringo will also be playing followed by the opening night party at Café Sevilla. The festival runs through March 17 at the Digiplex Mission Valley Cinemas at Hazard Center.
San Diego Tet Festival
The eighth annual San Diego Tet Festival (Feb. 15), the Vietnamese New Year celebration, moved from its usual home at Balboa Park to Mira Mesa this year. The festival’s attendance is about 20,000 each year. There was plenty of fun stuff for the whole family to enjoy such as carnival rides, games, lion dancing, firecrackers and many offerings of food. There were also entertainment programs throughout the day. We didn’t win any prizes so it is a good thing we go for the food and entertainment.
The festival is organized yearly by the Vietnamese-American Youth Alliance (V.A.Y.A), an organization that promotes youth leadership, cultural awareness, social awareness and community development for Vietnamese-American youth.
Once Upon a Wedding
We always wanted to attend an interactive show so when we saw that Once Upon a Wedding presented by Laughing Tree Productions was occurring at The Lafayette Hotel we were intrigued. Not only for the show but to see it at the hotel that has pool parties we hear about all summer.
Once we entered we were greeted by the bride’s mother and took a photo with the groom who let us know that if we were interested he still wasn’t married! We were then seated for the ceremony where a panicked wedding planner received a phone call that the bridesmaids and groomsmen were stuck in Mexico where they partied the night before.
This is when members of the audience were plucked up to replace the “missing people”. Ana was selected as a bridesmaid and walked down the aisle with an older gentleman that wouldn’t let go of her arm. The participants took their roles very seriously and even consoled the groom when the bride became infuriated when she noticed she didn’t recognize any of the people in her wedding party.
With no wedding occurring they couldn’t let the food go to waste. The audience made their way down to the reception area for dinner, wedding cake, coffee service, champagne toast and more interactive entertainment.
The family goes looking for the bride and finds her crying under the table. They convince her to go on with the wedding as the audience enjoys their meal. The bride is upset because her parents are fighting and most marriages end in divorce according to the Web site she’s been consulting on her smartphone. Everyone eventually makes up and the new couple invites audience members to come up and renew their vows alongside them.
It was a fun evening full of music, dancing and hilarious interactive entertainment for all ages.
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