Bless Me, Ultima poises to make El Paso history
Hollywood will bring its red carpet to the border when El Paso hosts the world premiere of Bless Me, Ultima Sept. 17 at the Plaza Theatre. The film is based on the controversial novel and Chicano literary classic by Rudolfo Anaya. As home to the largest Mexican-American student population in the country, El Paso was a natural choice for this historic event. The film will be released in El Paso theaters Sept. 21.
El Paso, rich in Chicano history, culture and art, was chosen by Bless Me, Ultima filmmakers to become the first city in the U.S. to debut the film because of its enthusiastic movie audience, energy and passion for all aspects of the film and novel.
“Because of its history, location and the passion shown by the arts community in El Paso we believe that the city is the perfect place to open Bless Me, Ultima to the public,” said Santiago Pozo, founder and CEO of Arenas, the Los Angeles-based company that is distributing and marketing the film.
The project has been welcomed with open arms by El Paso artists, politicians, educators and business communities to support and welcome filmmakers and the opportunity.
“Bless Me, Ultima is one of those books that never lets you go. To have Ultima come to life on the big screen in El Paso is a great honor for El Paso. One that I know we won’t forget,” said Susie Byrd, El Paso City Council representative.
Directed by Carl Franklin (Devil in the Blue Dress), Bless Me, Ultima is a turbulent coming-of-age story about Antonio Marez (Luke Ganalon), a young boy growing up in New Mexico during World War II. When a mysterious curandera named Ultima (Miriam Colón) comes to live with his family, she teaches him about the power of the spiritual world. As their relationship grows, Antonio begins to question the strict Catholic doctrine that he has been taught by his parents (Dolores Heredia and Benito Martinez). Through a series of mysterious and at times terrifying events, Antonio must grapple with questions about his own destiny, the relationship between good and evil and ultimately how to reconcile Ultima’s powers with those of the God of his church.
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