Notes to editors and news directors:
To arrange interviews with Claudia Rodriguez, Dionne Espinoza or student-interviewers from Cal State L.A. or Roosevelt High School, call or email the Public Affairs contacts above.
Journalists are welcome to attend the premiere during the Reel Rasquache Film Festival’s session on short films, from 1-2:30 p.m., Sunday, May 17. To make arrangements, contact the contacts above or Reel Rasquache Publicity Director Griselda Navarro at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A photo montage from the film is available here: /sites/default/files/univ/ppa/images/LasGrandes-filmstill.jpg.
(Cutline to the photo: Clockwise from top left: Ofelia Esparza, Josefina Lopez, Martha Soriano, Juana Gutierrez and Susana Reynoso.)
‘Las Grandes de Boyle Heights and East L.A.,’ profiles five women who build their communities
Film based on interviews by Cal State L.A., Roosevelt High students will
premiere at Reel Rasquache Latino in the U.S. Film Festival Sunday
Los Angeles, CA – “Las Grandes de Boyle Heights and East L.A.,” a documentary based on Theodore Roosevelt High School and Cal State L.A. students’ interviews of five women community activists, will premiere Sunday, May 17, at the Reel Rasquache Film Festival at Cal State L.A.
The film, made with support from the California Council for the Humanities, documents the lives of five who strengthen their communities through cultural preservation, social activism, education, and art:
Ofelia Esparza, an artist known for making compelling, exquisite altars;
Juana Gutierrez of the social/environmental justice organization Mothers of East Los Angeles Santa Isabel;
Josefina Lopez, playwright best-known for “Real Women Have Curves”;
Susana Reynoso, a long-time Spanish and psychology teacher at Roosevelt High School honored as a “Hero in Education”; and
Martha Soriano, president of Casa del Mexicano and Comite de Beneficiencia, which addresses immigrants’ needs in Boyle Heights.
The project was conceived and coordinated by Dionne Espinoza, a professor of Chicano Studies at Cal State L.A.; and Claudia RodrÃ¬guez, a writer, community activist and humanities expert.
Four Cal State L.A. students from Espinoza’s oral histories course and four Roosevelt students guided by Rodriguez interviewed the subjects after researching their backgrounds.
# # #
Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 205,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center. www.calstatela.edu