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UCLA Magazine Fall 2003
ˇViva Cinema!
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Fall 2003
¡Viva Cinema!
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"I TELL LATINO FILMMAKERS AT UCLA THAT THEY ARE PART OF A SPECIAL PLACE THAT VALUES THEIR HERITAGE. I TELL THEM TO FOLLOW THEIR DREAMS AND MAKE FILMS ABOUT THEIR CULTURE, EVEN IF HOLLYWOOD IS NOT ALWAYS RECEPTIVE. CHANGE COMES SLOWLY IN THIS INDUSTRY. BUT WITHOUT FILM PROGRAMS LIKE UCLA THAT CELEBRATE DIVERSITY, IT MAY NOT COME AT ALL."

DAVID VALDES

It was like that for Patricia Cardoso at Sundance when the audience shed tears for her film, set in East Los Angeles but echoing the relationship with her Colombian mother. And it was like that for Alex Nogales, who experienced racism and segregation as an 8th grader in his Imperial Valley border town.

"When people ask why I chose UCLA," Nogales concludes, "I tell them the story my father told us about how he would follow the work around the state — cotton in the Imperial Valley, grapes in Delano, plums in Gilroy and Hollister, the Central Valley for tomatoes. One day he was picking oranges in a grove in what is now Westwood. He looked up and saw this gorgeous university called UCLA. He promised himself one of his sons would study there."

Nogales laughs. "Of course, he told the same story to my brother, who went to Stanford. But like a great movie, it was beautifully told and from the heart, so who could resist it?"

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