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San Diego Latinx coming out short wins AT&T Film Awards Prize

Photo credit:
Martha Rodriguez & Jonathan Sotelo

America's Finest City is on the short list of best places to be a filmmaker and San Diego State University students Martha Rodriguez, 20, and Jonathan Sotelo, 27, now join the ranks of people who got their start here. 

The filmmakers collaborated their talents on "Chips and Salsa," which won “Best Spanish Language Short" in the 5th edition of the AT&T Film Awards.

The short is only 9-minutes long but explores the family dynamic of a traditional Latinx family and how they react when their college grad son comes out to them as pansexual at their Christmas gathering.

This was just the kind of diverse story that interested Richard Porras, the Assistant Vice President of External Affairs at the communications giant. 

“The AT&T Film Awards honor aspiring creators with imaginative, undiscovered short films. We’re thrilled to have a winner here in San Diego,” said Porras. “I’m impressed by the talent and creativity these young filmmakers applied to tell this original story.”

As an AT&T Film Awards winner, Rodriguez will receive a scholarship to attend the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts Summer 2019 program and the opportunity to meet with an agent from the Creative Arts Agency. The short will also air on DIRECTV in Latin America.

The co-directors first met in their screenwriting class, Rodriguez completely intrigued by Sotelo's screenplay and its unique slice-of-life scenario. 

“Coming from a traditional Mexican family, it was very relatable to me,” Rodriguez said. “Stories like this are rarely seen on screen, especially from the Latinx community, which made it very unique and sincere. I decided to approach Jonathan after class and asked him if he would be interested in collaborating.”

They made the decision to translate the script, originally in English, to Spanish.

“Our team wanted to share the message of family and identity,” Rodriguez said. “Throughout the film we see a strong family bond and, despite changes and misunderstandings, family will still be there for us.”

The AT&T Film Awards honor and support aspiring filmmakers who use creativity, experience and technology to tell imaginative stories.

For more information,click HERE.