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La Raza filmmaking

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La Raza is a film making approach to whom Ave Fenix Pictures, a Latino film studio in Chicago, mentions as Director of its films. La Raza Filmmaking combines community and non-theatrical actors portraying themselves through personal experiences, merging different abilities regardless of backgrounds.[1][2][3][4]


Producer Mónica Esmeralda León and actor Zachary Laoutides formerly worked together in community outreach and had the idea to bring urban neighborhoods together in Chicago to show their stories through film.[5] The La Raza Filmmaking movement centered on urban youth, to use their talents regardless of movie making familiarity in an encouraging way where they can share and recreate their experiences through artistic expression.[5][2]

The artistic models terminology pieces into the uniting the best together regardless of background.[6] Inspired by La Raza Cósmica, written by José Vasconcelos.[7]

Adios Vaya Con Dios was the first film to be called a La Raza movie after Laoutides and León[8] lobbied to have the film credit the Chicago community at the 2014 Bel Air Film Festival. The film was nominated for Best Picture.[9][10] The La Raza filmmaking approach was recognized for unifying musicians from different countries working together cross culturally.[10][11]

In 2016 film Arise from Darkness was the first movie to open FILA (Film Invasion Los Angeles).[12] The film's directorial credit was attributed to La Raza.[13]

Ave Fenix Pictures was presented the 2016 Reflejos Reflecting Excellence Award by Walt Disney Studios actress Julia Vera for its contributions to the Hispanic communities in Chicago through La Raza Filmmaking.[14]

In 2017 the film Black Ruby premiered at the London Independent Film Festival and the Rome Film Festival.[15]. The movie was the first film to be shot with an iPhone 7 and directorial credit dedicated to La Raza.[16]

See also[edit]

  • Documentary films
  • Experimental film
  • Film genres
  • Parallel Cinema
  • Surrealist cinema
  • Underground film


  1. "Chicagoland's own Latino film studio making its mark in cinema". WGN-TV. 2016-10-13. Retrieved 2018-06-01. The community performed and participated in the film. "It’s a new method of film making," Laoutides says. "They actually called it La Raza style of film making.”
  2. 2.0 2.1 Crosby, Denise. "Producers credit the people of Aurora for movie's success". Aurora Beacon-News. Retrieved 2018-06-01. Not only were local streets and buildings utilized, the producers relied so heavily on residents, businesses, churches, even the police department, that the film's director is listed as La Raza … or "the people" of Aurora.
  3. Baran-Unland, Denise (January 21, 2016). "Former Joliet man hoping to inspire young people through film he wrote and shot". The Herald News. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  4. "La Revolución en las Calles de Zachary Loutides - Huellas". Huellas (in español). 2016-04-24. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "La actriz, productora y directora Mónica Esmeralda León unificando artistas alrededor del mundo - Huellas". Huellas (in español). 2016-03-25. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  6. "Chicagoland's own Latino film studio making its mark in cinema". WGN-TV. 2016-10-13. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  7. "Aurora Home To Only Latina-Owned Movie Studio In Midwest". WBEZ. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  8. Davies, Janet (2016-08-10). "Award-winning Latino filmmakers thrive in Aurora". ABC7 Chicago. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  9. "Intense Performance: On camera and off stage w/ Zachary Laoutides - risks, rewards and Hollywood politics". Playbuzz. 2018-05-19. Retrieved 2018-06-01. Laoutides lobbied in Hollywood for the directorial title to be credited to them ‘La Raza,’ meaning the people.
  10. 10.0 10.1 ""Adios Vaya Con Dios"; The First-Ever Award Winning Film Made By Chicago Latino Gangs, Mexico & The UK". The Costarican Times. January 2016.
  11. "Adios Vaya Con Dios Soundtrack as compelling as the movie". AXS. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  12. "2016 Official Selections – Film Invasion Los Angeles". filminvasionla.com. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  13. Arise from Darkness, retrieved 2018-06-01
  14. Ortiz, Marco. "Reflejos honors contributions to Latino community". Daily Herald. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  15. News, Bdaily Business. "Production company joins forces Manchester, Glasgow, Chicago". Bdaily Business News. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  16. Akorede, Shakir (2017-03-12). "Brando And Montgomery Clift Performances In First Iphone7 Film". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-06-01.

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