A chance meeting at an airport in Cannes, France in 2011 between Niki Roberts (Out of Darkness screened here) and Jose Yenque (on the Red Carpet promoting Miss Bala) led to an international award-winning short film in 2012!”
Botes Al Amanecer (Cans At Dawn) will screen at the San Diego International Film Festival on Saturday, September 29th at 1PM at the Gaslamp Quarter’s Reading Theater located at 701 5th Ave. in San Diego, CA 92101.
During filmmaker Niki Roberts and actor Jose Yenque’s serendipitous airport meeting led to Roberts handing Yenque a script for Botes Al Amanecer to read. Fast forward one year and Botes, a gripping tale of resilience, screened successfully in the US. And at the 65th Cannes International Film Festival this past May.
A native of Baltimore, Roberts is based in New York where she presides over her film collective, Rocketlight Films. Yenque, a native New Yorker has had plenty of history with film festivals but as an actor and never as an executive producer. As a result of their chance encounter, Roberts was able to assemble a stellar team. And the result is a film that is human, impactful and sheds light on the often ignored, modern-day problem of poverty in the most affluent cities in the U.S. and does so with heartfelt performances from its gifted cast anchored by Max Weideman, the talented and beautiful Marita De La Torre and Jose Yenque.
Botes Al Amanecer is the story of Ernesto, a young boy who collects cans with his mother every morning at dawn. Abandoned by his father in Los Angeles, Ernesto (Max Weideman) is left to assist in the role of bread-winner, helping his mother (Marita De La Torre) provide for the family. As they work and hope for a better life, Ernesto comes to learn more than just the value of a dollar—he learns about his own resilience.
Lead actress Marita De La Torre, a native of Brownsville, Texas, is thankful because the film has been a life-changing journey. “‘Botes’ is the catalyst to the events leading up to going back to Brownsville this November. I visit my family around that time of the year since the passing of my brother in 2004… so in a very fitting manner, this trip will also include the making of my short film ‘LODO’ and I truly owe it to my participation in ‘Botes’,” she said.
Botes Al Amanecer was recently awarded winner of the Best Short Film category at Chicago’s 2012 Mexican Film Festival of the Americas. At the Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles 2012, Botes was winner of Best Film of all films screened.
Other awards and recognitions came from Court Metrage Corner, 2012 Cannes International Film Festival, 9th Annual Reel Rascuache Film Festival 2012, among several others.
“As artists, we are committed,” says Jose Yenque of his role, “to bringing to the screen stories that go beyond the stereotypes, to provoke thought, conversation, and action.”
For more information on tickets, call Gaslamp’s Reading Theater at 619-232-0401.
–Elia Esparza, Editor-In-Chief