Pilsen filmmaker prepping HD feature for production in Mexico and Chicago

Dalia Tapia (center) and her crew will shoot the HD feature “Princesa Tarazca” in Mexico and Chicago starting this August.

Pilsen-based filmmaker Dalia Tapia is off to Guadalajara this month to oversee pre-production for her debut feature film, “Princesa Tarazca” (the film’s working title), based on Tapia’s short film “In Search of Lity.”

The short film screened at the Chicago Latino Film Festival and the Segundo Festival UNIACC in Santiago, Cuba. “Lity” has also been selected to play in the Los Angeles International Latino Film Festival.

“The reception that ?In Search of Lity’ has received gave me the courage to make a feature,” she said.

The HD feature, budgeted at $50,000, will shoot Aug. 4-22 in Mexico, including Guadalajara, Villanueva and Michoacan, then shoot in Chicago the second week in September. Two fundraisers to help the movie will be held this summer.

“Princesa Tarazca” follows a girl from her early childhood in Mexico, where she is raised by her grandparents, to the time that she joins her parents in Chicago at age 8. The title refers to a Mexican tribe from which the girl has inherited her indigenous features.

“The film deals with the discrimination that exists, even within the family structure, based on skin color, and also the separation that exists when parents come to the States and they leave someone behind,” Tapia said. “We know these are larger societal problems, but we haven’t dealt with them.”

Tapia and her colleagues are taking advantage of strong support from businesses and individuals in Pilsen’s Mexican-American community to raise financing and in-kind donations for “Princesa Tarazca.”

“When I tell people about the film, they say this is the first time someone has come from within this community taking this kind of angle to make a film,” Tapia said. “I’m bringing a new voice of the Latino immigrant experience.”

Tapia plans to seek video distribution for “Princesa Tarazca.”

“I see this project as paving the way for other projects where Latinos portray the way we want to be portrayed in film, rather than the studios in Los Angeles determining how we are represented.”

DP is Mark Menet, who shot “In Search of Lity.” First AD is Tadeo Garcia, director of the feature “On the Down Low,” which just wrapped pickup shooting.

The first “Princesa Tarazca” fundraiser will be from 6:30-10:30 p.m. June 27 at Goodbar, 2512 N. Halsted. Then on July 19, the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum will host a gala night fundraiser, at 1852 W. 19th St.

Reach Tapia at daliatapia@hotmail.com. ?by Ed M. Koziarski, edk@homesickblues.com