New film by BGSU instructor released, praised

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Bowling Green State University film instructor Angel Vasquez is riding high these days following the successful release of “Colma: The Musical,” which he co-produced.

The movie opened in Manhattan earlier this month and was the featured review in the New York Times July 6. The reviewer said, “An itty-bitty movie with a great big heart, “Colma: The Musical” is about how we learn to give voice—joyfully, honestly, loudly—to the truest parts of ourselves.”

Reader ratings gave five stars to the film about high school students in the small town south of San Francisco. “It's been exciting,” Vasquez said. “It's another part of the film process. It's surprising the turns it takes.”

The New York success followed a similar response in California, where it debuted in March 2006 at the San Francisco International Asian-American Film Festival. “Colma” had a “fantastic run in San Francisco,” Vasquez said.

It then found more success on the film festival circuit. “It's a great film festival movie,” Vasquez said. “It was well received and well attended.”

“Colma” now has national theatrical distribution through the Roadside Attractions company. The film opened in San Francisco June 22 and will soon be in Los Angeles, Portland, Houston and other cities with Landmark cinemas. Next it will go to DVD and be distributed through Netflix, Vasquez said.

The young filmmaker partnered with Richard Kolsanoff and Richard Wong, with whom he had previously worked, to produce the movie. He and Kolsanoff are now engaged in another project with actor Andy Garcia's production company on the great Cuban jazz singer Israel “Cachao” Lopez, set to premiere at the Miami International Film Festival next February.

Vasquez's students at BGSU benefit from his contacts and experience in the movie industry. Last November, his Concept to Distribution class viewed a reel of stunning special effects from “Superman Returns” and “Sin City” and engaged in live, online dialogue with Kolsanoff, who is also a visual effects production coordinator at the L.A. firm The Orphanage.

Passionate about film and always working on several projects at once—from experimental and political works to documentaries—Vasquez tries to involve his students as much as possible in hands-on production from the very beginning of their studies.

“To me, this is an integral part of being at BGSU, to be able to share all this with students,” Vasquez said. “To get them working on film projects and develop a relationship that goes beyond the classroom—that's priceless.”

For more on “Colma: The Musical,” visit http://www.colmafilm.com/

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Media Contact: Bonnie Blankinship, phone 419-372-2618.

 

(Posted July 30, 2007 )