East Side Sushi won the audience Award at San Jose’s Cinequest Film Fest where it played to four sold out screenings this past March. At the CAAM Fest it was nominated for a Jury Selection award. Written and directed by Oakland native Anthony Lucero, the film stars Mexican actress Diana Elizabeth Torres.
East Side Sushi tells the story of a single mother Juana (Torres) struggling to make ends meet as a fruit cart vendor. Through some unforeseen circumstances she ends up working in the kitchen of a Japanese restaurant. There she discovers a whole new world of cuisine and culture and her desire to become a sushi chef, only to learn she is the wrong race and gender. The film explores the clash of culture and gender, and Torres is smack in the middle of it all in this beautifully delicious looking film.
Before shooting began Torres was put through an intensive sushi making training to for the role. Shot in Oakland in 2012, the film and the conservatory-trained Mexican actress have garnered much praise. “It has been a privilege for me to be part of a film that opens the dialogue about crossing ethnic and gender lines,” the Sinaloan, Mexico actress tells us.
Torres has steadily has been building upon her success in the U.S. She recently worked alongside Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Maya Rudolph and Academy Award wining actor Benicio del Toro in Inherent Vice which is set to release in January of 2015.
East of Sushi was directed by Anthony Lucero and produced by Julie Rubio.