September 14, 2001

Showtime and Sí TV Select Winner of Its Second Annual "Latino Filmmaker Showcase"

Four Short Films to Premiere in September During Hispanic Heritage Month

Showtime and Sí TV are honored to announce that Galo Recalde is the $30,000 prizewinner of its second annual Latino Filmmaker Showcase. The award money will be used towards the production of a new short film, which will have its exclusive world premiere on SHOWTIME. In association with Sí TV Productions and Executive Director Jeff Valdez, SHOWTIME provides the opportunity for up-and-coming Latino filmmakers to express themselves through the showcase, which complements the network's commitment to offer diverse programming to all its viewers.

During Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), Recalde's short film, entitled "Primer Día," will debut on SHOWTIME Tuesday, September 25 at 8:30 p.m. It will be the centerpiece program for the network's second Latino Filmmaker Showcase. In addition to the winning film, the showcase will premiere three films from finalists Francisco Menendez, co-filmmakers Dan Lopez and Doug Van Bebber and Juan Carlos Zal-divar in the same block. SHOWTIME will also individually air all four shorts throughout Hispanic Heritage Month.

Recalde's "Primer Dia" was selected as the winner by a blue ribbon panel comprised of actor Tony Plana (SHOWTIME's "Resurrection Blvd."), director Miguel Arteta, actress Ada Maris, actor Cheech Marin and writer/director Allison Anders (SHOWTIME's "Things Behind the Sun"). In addition, Sí TV's own Jeff Valdez, CAA agent Steve Tellez and last year's grand prizewinner of the Latino filmmaker Showcase, Matt Casado, served as panelists. Showtime Networks' Pancho Mansfield, Senior vice President, Development, Original Programming, serves as Showtime's creative executive for the Latino Filmmaker Showcase.

Poignant, creative and though provoking, the following films expose a wide range of talents found within the Latino community.

"Primer Día" (winner) - Writer/Producer Galo Recalde tells the compelling story of a young boy's first day at a new high school and the dilemmas that he immediately encounters. It is heartfelt and brilliant in its ability to capture the boy's personal life as well as the lives and struggles of those in his own South American country. The audience is left with a lasting impression of this young protagonist and his search for meaning in life.

"Medio Tiempo" - Written and directed by Francisco Menendez, "Medio Tiempo" is the story about Carlos Bonilla, an immigrant from El Salvador who is determined to make an honest living in Las Vegas. Carlos hopes to get his `adopted' younger brother out of the gang culture by setting him up for part-time work at a restaurant. However, a robbery shows Carlos that he is unable to control his brother's destiny. In the end, Carlos realizes that he only has control over his own life, and that his brother will have to choose the right path for himself.

"La Femme Ballon" - Directed by Dan Lopez and written by Dough Van Bebber, "La Femme Ballon" tells the story of a man who sinks into the depths of despair after his fiancé leaves him. Told in French with English subtitles, it is wonderfully funny yet sad as we see the man begin and end a sordid affair with a blowup doll. Risqué and inviting, Lopez gives an excellent depiction of the love between a man and his blowup doll.

"The Story of the Red Rose" - Inspired by the fairy tales of Oscar Wilde, writer/director Juan Carlos Zaldivar gives us a visual feast. This film is a tale of the origin of the first red rose. Sirah is a half bird creature who is captured by a hunter, with whom she falls in love. Challenges by the princess he loves to find her a red rose, the hunter is heartbroken knowing the request is impossible to fulfill. Wanting to please him, Sirah goes on a long journey in search of a red rose. In her quest, Sirah learns she must take a white rose and pierce it through her heart in order to make it red. She does so and dies for it. The hunter finds the red rose with Sirah lying dead nearby. He buries the creature and gives the rose to his princess, who in the end rebukes him. Forlorn, the hunter returns to his home to find that a red rosebush has grown out of Sirah's grave.

Sí TV, set to launch as a cable network in 2002, produces the popular family comedy "The Brothers Garcia," which debuted its second season on Nickelodeon this past April. The Sí TV Network will feature mostly original programming, including first-run episodes of the company's signature programs: talk show "Café Ole" and "Funny Is Funny!," a stand-up comedy showcase hosted by comedian Carlos Mencia. The company also produces the annual Latino Laugh Festival, a live comedy/variety festival held in San Antonio, Texas.

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