Latinos Rock Hollywood with the Maya Indie Film Series at Shops at Sunset Place

In the golden age of Hollywood, Hispanics didn't get much screen time, and when they did it was usually playing a character that depicted Latinos in a poor light. After decades of playing maids, landscapers, rapists, banditos, and the like, Latino actors have finally come into their own.

The Maya Indie Film Series, which screens seven films in seven days at AMC Sunset Place 24, showcases some of the coolest indie films that have come along in years. And for the record, keep your stinkin' badges.

Jeff Valdez, co-chairman of Maya Entertainment, who also spearheaded having a "girl's only" screening as well as working closely with the director during the editing process of Without Men (one of the films in the series), says although the series is meant to celebrate Hispanics in film, it is a real treat for anyone who enjoys good films with fantastic acting and powerful stories. Valdez says the true purpose of the series is, "To expose audiences to great new stories and a different point of view that they often don't get from the traditional media."

The films all have a Latin influence, be it through the actors or theme, but you can also catch some non-Hispanic hipster favorites such as Laura Linney, Juliette Lewis, and Christian Slater. Mark Ruffalo, another indie darling, also makes his directorial debut with Sympathy for Delicious, which has all the makings of being a kick ass flick.

It's the story of a trendy underground DJ who becomes paralyzed in a motorcycle accident. After being turned on to faith healing (think Evangelical) he uses his newfound healing abilities to seek fame and fortune by joining a rock band fronted by Orlando Bloom. This movie has been garnering buzz for months now and with Juliette Lewis playing the bassist in Bloom's band and Laura Linney as their manager, we can see why. Check out the trailer:

We asked Valdez about Ruffalo's directing debut and he counted it as one of his favorites in the series, but of course, it's only one of seven. "My personal favorites are Sympathy for Delicious as it has some powerful acting, and Without Men, because it's funny. That said, all the films have qualities that a large variety of people can enjoy."

All films will be screened at AMC Sunset Place 24 (5701 Sunset Dr., Miami) starting Friday at 1 p.m. with Blue Eyes. Each film has multiple showtimes per day. The last screening of the series is at 9:40 p.m. on September 29 with All She Can. For a detailed schedule and ticket prices visit mayaindieseries.com or call 888-AMC-4FUN.

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