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Bloody Maria

Cold Open, Hollywood, California, 1944. Lupe Velez commits suicide by overdosing on pills. In her final desperate moments, she ignores the warning of the Virgen de Almas Olvidadas and summons the evil spirit of Bloody Maria who traps Lupe’s spirit in an enchanted mirror.

Modern day East L.A., leader of Las Chivas and the baddest Chola around, La Loca, discovers rival gang leader, Baby Dreamer (leader of Las Niñas), macking on her man, Lil Sleeps. The two get into a fight at their Catholic school and get sent to the Sister Superior, Sister Cara-De-Pocos-Amigos. After Sister Cara doles out some punishment, they break out into another fight, knock the Sister unconscious and crack the enchanted mirror, summoning Bloody Maria, who curses them! They see demonic versions of themselves in the mirror which sends them screaming into the halls. After the girls flee, a haunting and decomposing Lupe Velez crawls out of the cracked mirror and prowls the Catholic school.

Director Biography – Iris Almaraz

Iris Almaraz is a badass filmmaker who has been based out of East LA, CA for almost two decades. Iris’ formative years range from homelessness, missed schooling, time in Juvenile Hall to family vacations in Europe, and attendance at one of the most prestigious arts magnet schools in the country. At the LA County High School for the Arts Iris ditched one day of school just so she wouldn’t receive the perfect attendance award two years in a row. After receiving her BFA in Cinema from San Francisco State Iris’ first short film made its premiere at the top-tier international film Festival in Rotterdam. Her 30k feature film “Delusions of Grandeur” debuted at Cinequest with an encore sold-out screening. The LA premiere at the Mann’s Chinese Theater sold out before the Dances With Films festival began (a festival first). In 2013 the film was listed as a top-five Latino film pick by festival programmers. This international award-winning filmmaker’s unabashed embrace of urban feminine sexuality from a working-class woman of color’s perspective is unique to her voice which doesn’t apologize or attempt to educate. It merely illuminates.

Iris was the Festival Director for the 2022 L.I.F.E (Latina Independent Film Extravaganza). Her hope is that the festival continues to grow support for the Latina Directing community in order to help it thrive and prosper.

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