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Tag: Rudolfo Anaya

#NMFilm Bless Me Ultima to go National

Posted by on December 21, 2012 | Comments Off on #NMFilm Bless Me Ultima to go National

Bless Me Ultima

Latin Beat Reports:

Los Angeles, CA— Arenas Entertainment Founder and CEO Santiago Pozo announced today that the independent film Bless Me, Ultima will be given a limited national release in February 2013. Arenas Entertainment is distributing and marketing the film, which had an extremely successful box office run in regional release earlier this year.

The film, Bless Me, Ultima, is based on the provocative award-winning novel by celebrated author, Rudolfo Anaya. Bless Me, Ultima opened on October 19, 2012 in just five New Mexico theaters. To date the film has grossed more than $325,000 in New Mexico and averaged a robust $16,000+ per screen on its opening weekend, making it the #1 film in the region that weekend. Similarly, the film was successful in its El Paso release in mid-September, averaging $10,000+ per screen on its opening weekend and grossing more than $100,000 since its September 21st debut in that city.

Larry Gleason, Arenas President of Distribution, said, “We are thrilled that audiences have fallen in love with this film and its rich characters and story.” He continued, “We cannot wait to bring Bless Me, Ultima to a wider audience across the country in February.”

“We firmly believe that this wonderful movie, which is based on a book that is celebrated in the American Southwest, can be embraced by the entire country,” said producer Mark Johnson, “The story of Bless Me, Ultima speaks to all of us.”

The film’s executive producer Christy Walton added “I kept and read the book by Rudolfo Anaya for over 25 years, always thinking that it should be shared in film. Now, I am proud to say that it is a wonderful movie as well as a wonderful book.”

“’Bless Me, Ultima’ is a truly special book that has engaged readers for decades with its universal, yet highly personal coming-of-age story,” said producer Sarah DiLeo, “We are honored to be a part of bringing this beloved story to the screen and sharing these richly drawn characters and unique culture with an even wider audience.”

Bless Me, Ultima will debut in more than 200 theaters across the country, including in cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix, Houston, Denver, Tucson and San Antonio.

Based on the controversial, first award-winning Chicano novel by acclaimed author Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima is a turbulent coming-of-age story about a young boy, Antonio (Luke Ganalon), growing up in New Mexico during World War II. When a mysterious curandera (healer) named Ultima (Miriam Colon) comes to live with his family, she teaches him about the power of the spiritual world. As their relationship grows, Antonio begins to question his strict upbringing by his parents (Dolores Heredia & Benito Martinez). Through a series of mysterious and at times terrifying events, Antonio must grapple with questions about the nature of divinity and his own destiny.

The film Bless Me, Ultima was written and directed by Carl Franklin (Devil in a Blue Dress), the executive producer is Christy Walton, producers are Mark Johnson, Sarah DiLeo and Jesse B’Franklin. The film is based on the novel by Rudolfo Anaya and stars Miriam Colon, Luke Ganalon, Dolores Heredia, Benito Martinez, Castulo Guerra and Joaquin Cosio.

The initial national release of Bless Me, Ultima will be in the following cities:

California: Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Monterrey, Palm Springs, Fresno, Bakersfield

Arizona: Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma

Texas: Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Harlingen, Austin, Laredo, Odessa, Corpus Christi, Lubbock

Nevada: Las Vegas

Colorado: Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo

Illinois: Chicago

Florida: Miami, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa

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Bless Me Ultima, New Mexico Calling

Posted by on August 6, 2012 | Comments Off on Bless Me Ultima, New Mexico Calling

UPDATE 8/27/2012: A (*240 SEAT CAPACITY) New Mexico Premiere has been scheduled for Oct. 17 at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, details here.


After a dust-up surrounding the fully booked El Paso, TX world premiere of the New Mexico inspired, shot and beloved film, Bless Me Ultima, local industry insiders are talking.

Albuquerque Film Office Director, Ann Lerner says, “I believe they (the producers) were looking for an unbiased audience reaction to their movie – with an audience that was probably not so familiar with the story of Bless Me Ultima as all of us New Mexicans are. The story is quite dear to our hearts after all!”

Local crew and actors who worked on the production have been widely disappointed along with rabid fans of the literary work (by Albuquerque resident and iconic author Rudolfo Anaya), on which the movie is based, to learn that there is no local screening currently scheduled.

A rep for one of the production companies behind the movie, Monkey Tree Films, has assured locals that a New Mexico premiere is in the works.

State Film Office Director Nick Manianatis confirms to OHI, “We’ve been working with the producers in planning a cast and crew screening in NM – more to come.”

While local talent awaits their time to screen this passion project, Anaya himself has had a private viewing the film. The author had this to say to La Bloga:

The movie is excellent, it captures the story and characters. Every single person attending the screening gave it fantastic, positive reviews.

I am positive la gente is going to love the movie. Like my friend John Nichols said, a novel becomes a short story when turned into a movie. Don’t expect to see the full novel on screen. Everyone knows that.

Carl Franklin did a great job with the story and bringing characters together as familia. Except for Miriam Colón, the cast are actors that don’t have big celebrity names. I hope they do after their roles in the movie. Everyone did excellent work.

Carl Franklin, the director, did talk to me and asked me questions, but the screenplay is his work. I approved his work. Some themes in the novel are left out, but the story works.
Carl Franklin

I met the director several times here at our home. I was invited to play a role in the movie and attend all shooting events, but I stayed home. My feeling was to let them do their work. I don’t make movies.

I met all the actors at the cast party. They had only positive things to say of the process. Miriam Colón visited me here at our home. She is lovely, a perfect Ultima. Her face shines in the movie, so does Luke (Ganalon) who plays Antonio.

…the people will love it. Will there be critics? Of course. All art is criticized if only by responding to it. Let the people enjoy and judge. I feel confident the movie will be around in 50 years.

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#NMFilm Bless Me Ultima Trailer

Posted by on July 12, 2012 | Comments Off on #NMFilm Bless Me Ultima Trailer

UPDATE 7/21/12: via Manny Baca – Follow-up story about how the Premiere of Bless Me Ultima was fully booked up before anyone in New Mexico even knew about it, thus excluding New Mexico Cast members from the premiere. Tune in to KOAT 7 at 10PM tonight..

Gracias Manuel

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Casting Call Bless Me Ultima

Posted by on September 15, 2010 | 10 comments

UPDATE 9/22/10 CASTING SANTA FE, NM: “Hispanic and Caucasian children from 1st grade to 6th grade and High school teens to be in a school scene in Bless Me Ultima from Oct 29th 2010 thru Nov 3rd 2010 [needed].

…Adult Hispanics to be in a Chuch scene, Farm scene and angry mob scene in Bless Me Ultima from Oct 7th thru Dec 8th 2010

…Cars and trucks dating from 1930 thru 1944 for background in Bless Me Ultima from Oct 4th thru Dec 8th 2010”

Marian Hall, 3rd Floor
224 East Palace Drive
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

E-mail: blessmeultima10@gmail.com for additional information.
Or contact Robert Baxter at (505) 310-3404

UPDATE 9/18/10: NEXT CALL >> Another open call for northern N. Mex.

“Bless Me, Ultima! is having a casting call. We are looking for all ages and all ethnicities!

When: Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Time: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Where: Abiquiu Elementary School, Hwy 84

Abiquiu, New Mexico 87510

If you are interested in being in the movies come to the casting call.

Or contact Robert Baxter at (505) 310-3404

E-mail: blessmeultima10@gmail.com for additional information.”

From the New Mexico Film Office

Bless Me, Ultima! is having a casting call. We are looking for all ages and all ethnicities!

When: Saturday, September 18th

Time: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Where: Marian Hall

224 East Palace Drive

Santa Fe

If you are interested in being in the movies come to the casting call or contact Robert Baxter at (505) 310-3404 or e-mail

bbaxbox@yahoo.com for additional information.

» Read the full post

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NM Author Speaks Out on Lit. to Film

Posted by on September 6, 2010 | Comments Off on NM Author Speaks Out on Lit. to Film

Among the many who are passionate about this novel is local investigative reporter extraordinaire and fan, Jeremy Jojola who was recently able to sit down with New Mexican author Rudolfo Anaya who shares his feelings about his classic work, Bless Me Ultima moving onto film.

Here’s hoping we catch at least a glimpse of each of thee above (Jojola à la Transformers and Anaya à la Stan Lee in Spider-Man), and many, many more locals in front of and behind the camera.

Local “people hoping to be cast in the film can send their photo to castinnewmexico@yahoo.com” – KOB.com

Casting for feature roles as previously reported here.

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Ultima Access Only

Posted by on August 24, 2010 | Comments Off on Ultima Access Only

As we told you here the hugely popular, classic novel Bless Me Ultima by native New Mexican Rudolfo Anaya is big screen bound.

And as promised current casting deets (extras+ will have diff. specs) are as follows…The long and the short of it is this; SAG actors only and said SAG actors MUST be registered on Actors Access and have “Red Agency Las Vegas” added to their account.

If you’re SAG and Access ready read on for the specs on the currently listed roles…
» Read the full post

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Bless NM Ultima

Posted by on August 18, 2010 | 2 comments

As we told you here the beloved book that is soon to be a stage production is now set to become a feature film.

Bless Me Ultima, the classic novel by native New Mexican Rudolfo Anaya will be written and directed for the big screen by Carl Franklin (High Crimes, One True Thing, Devil in a Blue Dress).

Production is slated to begin as early as next month in Nuévo Mexico!

Casting deets soon to follow.

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