News Release| CSULA; Cal State L.A.; Los Angeles; CSU; Las Grandes de Boyle Heights and East L.A.

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

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 Rodrìguez, 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.

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