The upcoming Los Angeles Latino International Film festival (LALIFF) is shaping up to be the first time in its 17 year history where the emphasis on American Latinos is quite evident. For Enrique Castillo (Weeds, Blood In Blood Out), this news is doubly good since two of his latest films will be screening at the festival, the action thriller Kill the Dictator, based on the true story of the assassination of the Dominican Republic dictator and the family drama Homebound. KillThe Dictator screens on October 11th at 9:15pm and Homebound Screens on Saturday, OcTober 12th at 5:10pm.
Castillo is most recognized for his role of Montana in Taylor Hackford’s now cult film, Blood In Blood Out where he plays the inspirational (albeit terrifying) leader of the Mexican prison gang. A Japan a film critic said of his performance “He plays the role with the wisdom of Torquemada and strength of a Sandinista warrior”
In Kill the Dictator Castillo plays the pivotal real-life character of Johnny Abbes, the head of the Military Intelligence Service and a brutal enforcer for dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo dirty work. The bio pic revolves around Lieutenant Amado Garcia Guerrero (Amaury Nolasco, Prison Break) who was one of the main conspirators and killers of Trujillo in 1961.
When Kill the Dictator was filmed last year in the Dominican Republic it was shot simultaneously in both English and Spanish. The talented bilingual cast set filmmaking precedent for filming both language versions concurrently. The cast inculded Castillo, Nolasco and Efrain Figueroa (Desperate Measures) as Trujillo, Mercedes Renard (Hitch, Four Assassins) as Carmen Soto and Antonio Jaramillo as Lt. Andujar.
To purchase your tickets to Kill the Dictator CLICK HERE
In Homebound, Castillo makes a complete 360 from his Kill the Dictator role to playing Gilberto Escamilla, a beloved and proud owner of the local bar who is battling cancer. At odds with his son (Jeremiah Ocanas) who reluctantly returns back home when his father takes ill, as they both deal with their pasts. Castillo’s portrayal of Escamilla is both powerful, and full of heart. Directed by Fanny Veliz, who also has a featured role, Homebound screens Saturday October 12th at 2:45 PM. To purchase tickets CLICK HERE
Mr. Castillo will be participating Q&A immediately following the screening of each of the films.
“Enrique Castillo embraces his roles with the type of passion that remind you of a De Niro, Pacino, or Bardem. Like a true thespian, his versatility roars,” says Elia Esparza in her interview of Castillo for her LatinoWood blog.
An accomplished actor/writer/director, Castillo began his career with Luis Valdez’s Teatro Campesino in 1969. As part of the Teatro, Enrique participated in workshops with English theater director Peter Brook’s theater group which included now Academy Award winner Helen Mirren. In the early 70’s Enrique traveled with the Teatro to Paris when they represented the U.S. at the World Theater Festival.
He is currently working on the theatrical production of Veteranos: A Legacy of Valor, which he wrote and drects. It is a theater piece honoring the military contributions by Latinos in America’s defense which had two national tours to standing ovations and much critical acclaim. Veteranos was awarded a special recognition by the Hispanic Congressional Caucus at and received the prestigious Imagen Award for Best Live Theatrical Production in Los Angeles, CA.
As a writer Enrique has also written various screenplays including Yo Solo (I Alone), The Cobra, Valley of The Dead, Deerdancer and the screen version of The Last Angry Brown Hat. Valley of The Dead, the crime suspense thriller has been recently optioned by Concrete Images.