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¡VivaFest!, The Tech Museum of Innovation, and CasaQ Partner on Film Showcase and new Festival Events

Press Release Date 
Monday, 20 August, 2012

San Jose, CA - For the third year, ¡VivaFest! the San Jose Mexican Heritage and Mariachi Festival has partnered with the Tech Museum of Innovation on a series of films celebrating Latino cultural heritage from independent Latino filmmakers. New this year is a partnership for Cine y Cena™ dinner and movie events with CasaQ by Darlene.

“It has been a wonderful partnership for ¡VivaFest! and The Tech Museum to bring culturally appropriate and timely films to the festival,” said Marcela Davison Aviles, Executive Producer of the festival and President and CEO of the Mexican Heritage Corporation (MHC). “and we are delighted at the curatorial additions of Darlene Tenes of CasaQ, with film and food events celebrating the 20th anniversary of the film Like Water for Chocolate and the end of the Maya Calendar. “

An eclectic series of films will launch the week-long ¡VivaFest! from September 8 -30. Screenings will take place at The Hackworth IMAX® Dome Theater at The Tech Museum.  Schedule and tickets are available at The Tech Museum box office or online at www.thetech.org

"As The Tech Museum is committed to reflecting Silicon Valley's richly diverse community and collaborating with Bay Area institutions, we are proud to be part of the long-standing tradition of Vivafest!, serving yet again as a stage for America's largest celebration of Mexican culture and customs," said The Tech Museum President Tim Ritchie. "Vivafest! is a wonderful opportunity to recognize a vibrant tradition and culture while building bridges across communities in Silicon Valley and around the world.”

Series highlights include Mosquita y Mari, a Sundance Official Selection, and a screening and panel discussion of the documentary Tijuana Jews with Hollywood director/producer Isaac Artenstein (A Day Without A Mexican) and festival veteran Michael Ronstadt and Ronstadt Generations.

The opening film on Saturday, September 8, is a special screening that also comes from a Hollywood veteran -- Taco Shop, created by comedian/writer/director Rick Najera, will be shown at the Hackworth IMAX Dome Theater at 7 p.m., and will be preceded by actual taco trucks parked outside of The Tech Museum at 5 p.m.

On Monday, September 10, the classic Mexican movie night Doña Bárbara starring Maria Félix, the most iconic leading lady of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.

On Wednesday, September 12, Tijuana Jews  portrays an authentic and living testimony set against conceptions and misconceptions of this near-mythic border city, and is a personal exploration of this unique community, which blended Jewish and Mexican cultures and customs in an unlikely place and time. Preceding the screening at 6 p.m. will be a musical performance by Ronstadt Generations, whose family is comprised of German, Jewish and Mexican heritage. A panel discussion and Q &A with the film’s director, Isaac Artenstein, Michael Ronstadt and other guests will follow.

Thursday, September 13 features a timely film, The Weight of the Nation™. Presented by Kaiser Permanente, The Weight of the Nation™ documentary series and public health campaign present a unique opportunity to spotlight the severity of the obesity epidemic, to showcase strategies that work and, most importantly, to catalyze action to end obesity.

On Friday, September 14, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the movie Like Water for Chocolate, the festival screening will include a chocolate tasting.  An event curated for the festival by CasaQ, the evening includes a tempting array of chocolates by Casa de Chocolates.

Saturday, September 15 brings an amazing cross-cultural story of how an American adventurer and self-taught Mexican artist transformed a dying desert village into a home for world-class ceramics. Included in the event is a showing of Mata Ortiz ceramics by Victoria Martino, an expert and a dealer in these fine ceramics. The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz.

All screenings , except Mesquita y Mari, will take place at the Hackworth IMAX Dome Theater at The Tech Museum. Visit  www.thetech.org  or www.vivafest.org to see the complete schedule and to purchase tickets.  Ticket prices range from $8 to $20 per event, with discounts available for The Tech Museum members.

Also, on Wednesday September 19, the series screens Mosquita y Mari, the Official Selection 2012 of the Sundance Film Festival, directed by Aurora Guerrero. It tells the story of a “first crush” between two Chicana girls growing up in Los Angeles. This film will be screened on the campus of San Jose State University, Morris Daily Auditorium, and is being sponsored by a Horizons Foundation grant, and the San Jose State Student Union. The film will be followed by a panel discussion with the director and the actors in the film.

About The Tech Museum
The Tech Museum is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum—located in the Capital of Silicon Valley —is a non-profit learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge presented by Cisco, our annual team-design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials, Inc., The Tech Museum endeavors to inspire the innovator in everyone.

About the Mexican Heritage Corporation
Now in its 21st year, VivaFest! is Northern California’s leading Latino cultural destination event. With a mission to affirm, celebrate and preserve the rich cultural heritage of the Mexican community and showcase multicultural arts within the region and nationally, MHC both presents and produces a vibrant array of multi-disciplinary arts programs in theatre, dance, and music education and in the visual arts. Visit mhcviva.org or vivafest.org.