Marisol Torres’ semi-autobiographical feature has local debut Oct. 9 at CIFF

After garnering a strong response at the Tribeca, UrbanWorld and New York Latino International film festivals, Marisol Torres’ debut feature “Boricua” has its first hometown screening Oct. 9 at the Chicago International Film Festival.

“The response has been phenomenal,” said Torres, who teaches film and video at Columbia College. “It’s a film that inspires conversation.”

Torres’ semi-autobiographical script is a “Do the Right Thing”-style portrait of a neighborhood, focusing on three Humboldt Parkers: a college student in a romance with a street hustler, a real estate agent pressured to rip off his neighbors, and a beauty pageant contestant whose ethnicity is called into question. The three stories intertwine and climax at the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

“Her action scenes convincingly erupt with stunning violence,” Ronnie Scheib wrote in Variety after “Boricua’s” Tribeca premiere last May.

Torres and her producing partners Sam Sanders and Richard Sweren are still exploring distribution possibilities. “Of course we’d love to get a theatrical release,” she said. “It’s a tough game but we’re still playing it.”

Executive producer Sweren, also an EP on “Law & Order” was primary financier through his Snapping Turtle Productions. Torres and family and friends put up the remainder of the budget through her Big Dumb Yellow Dog Productions. Chris Rejano shot on Super 16mm over 26 days in 2002.

“Boricua” stars Aimee Garcia, Ramses Jimenez, Frankie Davila, Christina DeLeon and Victor Gonzalez. Manuel P?rez P??a was production designer. Music by David Adler. Editors, John Farbrother and Paul Miglio.

Torres is polishing the script for a 70’s heist story, and will go to Iraq in December to research her next screenplay.

Boricua screens Saturday, Oct. 9 at 5 p.m. at the Thorne Auditorium, 375 E. Chicago, and Sunday, Oct. 10 at 3:45 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 11 at 6:15 p.m. at AMC River East, 322 E. Illinois.


? by Ed M. Koziarski,