Bronx Coming of Age Film Nominated for 10 Awards in Berlin
By: Clarisel Media for Bx3M
This past December, BX3M was nominated in eight categories at the IFF Milan 2016, where Monica Delgado won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mona, and Tadeusz Ciesielski came away with a trophy for Best Cinematography.
"It's an epic on a city block," said Escalona of her latest feature soon to be released online. Escalona grew up in the Bronx and knows these characters intimately as friends, neighbors, and the subjects of gossip. The screenplay offered actors complex roles to work on, challenging them to bring these characters to life on the screen with Escalona's steady directorial hand to guide them.
"BX3M presents an aspect of inner city life often overlooked in pursuit of the sensational,"
Portraying the lives of inner city girls sets this urban drama apart from most films of the genre. These portraits of Latina adolescents are memorably different, yet their struggle is universal. Michael's story, too, draws on the conventions used to represent ghetto life but with unique and unpredictable moments. "I choose mythology and universal resonance over modern-day social pathological interpretations. Both modalities actually coincide and function as approaches to understanding the behavior of my characters and what BX3M is ultimately about––the freedom to love," the director added.
ABOUT THE FILM
Things are heating up in this coming of age story, as Maria, Mona and Michael take on the challenge of their senior year at James Monroe H.S. For Maria, senior year means fulfilling a dream. A straight A-student, Maria is on her way to becoming the first person in her family to go to college. But all will not be that simple. When Michael, her true love, begins a self-destructive descent into the streets, Maria is forced to choose between him and a better future.
Michael is headed down the wrong path with the wrong people, turning to drugs to numb the pain of seeing his mother killed when he was only three. A latch key kid, Michael grew up fending for himself down the mean streets of the Bronx. When his best friend Pus-Head dies, Michael goes after his killer in an act that fuses his past and present.
An aspiring photographer, Mona wants to go to the famed art school Cooper Union. But a lover's triangle with Seneca, a high school track star, and Sam, a Cooper art student, threatens to derail her plan. Her dilemma is a well-kept secret, till her mother discovers Sam is a girl. The duality of the Mona character inspired Escalona to cast two actresses in the role. IFF Berlin Supporting Actress Nominee Monica Delgado is one of them. Casting two actresses in the same role also pays homage to Luis Buñuel who similarly used two actresses in his final film That Obscure Object of Desire.
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ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Judith Escalona is a filmmaker, writer and gallerist. Her recent film BX3M garnered two awards at the International Filmmaker Festival in Milan 2016. It had been nominated in 8 categories, including Best Feature Film and Best Director.
ABOUT THE CAST
The cast of Bx3M represents the diverse Latino diaspora of the United States. Since filming wrapped, many of the actors have advanced in their careers. Jazmin Caratini, nominated for Best Leading Actress, plays Maria. She is a television star in Puerto Rico: "I am super emotional to be nominated as best actress in the Berlin film festival," Caratini said.
Monica Delgado says she is honored to be nominated in the Berlin film festival for her role as Mona: "I'm so proud to be part of this beautiful film. The stories in it are so relevant and deserve to be seen around the world. Because of this I am extremely grateful that after winning in Milan I am once again nominated for my role as Mona in BX3M."
Michael, the third "M" in BX3M, is played by Mario Eusebio. The actor is now a church leader, working with the East Harlem Fellowship to feed the poor and provide services to seniors: "To be nominated is a surprise and a great feeling. When I get to do something I love, the reward is pretty much instantaneous. To have those efforts recognized is a special validation. It reminds me of those initial feelings and reasons why I did it in the first place," Eusebio shared.
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
Since 2006, the International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema has showcased the work of independent filmmakers. From its humble beginnings in Tenerife, the festival now hosts events in some of Europe's greatest cities. BX3M will screen on October 6 at the IFF Berlin 2017 festival.
The nominations are:
Best Lead Actress
Best Supporting Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Feature Film
Best Cinematography in a Feature Film
Best Original Screenplay of a Feature Film
Best Original Score
Andrew David Sotomayor
Best Editing of a Feature Film