Jaime Mariscal’s “Welcome Back to the Barrio” wins Chicago Latino Fest’s “Made in Chicago”

Director Jaime Mariscal’s first feature, “Welcome Back to the Barrio,” won the Best Chicago Made film in the just-ended Latino Film Festival.

The story is about college student, Christian, who returns home to the “barrio” to visit his family. But when he reunites with his childhood friend, Angel, the two embark on a night of fun that will change their lives.

Mariscal wrote the screenplay with David J. Miller of Mindlight (“Once Upon a Time in the Hood,” “Finding Preet”), who produced and helped provide funding for the $200,000 budget, along with Matt Pletcher of Baby Galigo Films.

Mariscal said he first created a 5-minute film as part of a Columbia College course in 1993. “I always thought of it as my first feature,” he said, but being involved with short films thereafter postponed getting back to the feature.

Then in 2004, Frausto, now living in L.A., asked Mariscal to write a screenplay for him to direct. Mariscal wrote “Barrio” and when he “talked Juan into directing it, I was surprised when he agreed,” he said.

“Barrio” was completed in August, 2006, and premiered at the New York Latino Film Festival, where it was runner-up for the festival’s audience award and his 2002 short film, “Dusk,” also was a runner up in Showtime’s Latino Showcase.

Starring in “Barrio” is fast-rising actor Ramses Jimenez. A Chicagoan with Dominican roots, he is well known in Chicago’s Latino theatre scene. His debut film was Mari sol Torres’ 2004 feature, “Chicago Boric.”

“Barrio” also stars Yara Santalion, Tony Ramirez, Carmen Cento, Tony Zurita, Jr. Phil Camacho and David Marrero.

DP Kevin Pittman shot in HD and Scott Dummier edited.

Mariscal can be reached at 773/247-8514; Email Jaime mariscalfilm@yahoo.com. Mindlight Films can be reached at 312-491-1433 and info@mindlight.com. See www.mindlight.com.