Daily reviews and interviews

Up With Me

D: Greg Takoudes; with Francisco Vicioso, Erika Rivera, Brandon Thorpe, Justin Coltrain, Destiny Waters, Bernice Velos, Matt Timms, Anthony Portillo, Raya Sehgal, Kabeer Parwani

Young Francisco is growing up in Spanish Harlem surrounded by a tight circle of friends. When he gets a scholarship to attend boarding school in upstate New York, separation anxiety overwhelms his friends in various ways. Francisco is smart enough to realize he must leave home and all he loves for the opportunity that awaits him. However, a series of faulty choices made in the name of loyalty forces him into the very circumstances he was determined to avoid, creating a situation that quickly becomes life-threatening. Made as a collaboration between Takoudes and the "at risk" teenagers and their family members who star in the film, Up With Me is much more than another "escape from the barrio" story. The cast is clearly amateur, but the honesty of their voices and the often-touching poetry of their language draw you in with their authenticity, heart, and youthful determination.

Up With Me won the Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble Cast.

Saturday, March 15, 5:30pm, Alamo Ritz

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