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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.
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."
"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