This short film will screen with other short films in Block 11 | ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT
Sunday, December 11th at 2pm
Palm Springs Art Museum. Palm Springs, California.
Buy Tickets Here
The film begins with a look at the generation’s past, a snapshot of Giovanni’s father dancing with a woman back in the 1980s. This is an example of his “Fuego,” the purpose or passion in one’s life. The story that Gio tells about his Fuego is framed around his friends, Eddie and Joel in a bar on New Year’s Eve, leading up to midnight.
Gio starts off with a trip to a nightclub with his brother Francisco and his long-time girlfriend, Nadine to a salsa dancing lesson. He sees the instructor, Camila, and the spark ignites inside of him before even being asked to join. Gio takes a liking to salsa dancing and maybe even Camila herself.
The truth comes out that Francisco and Nadine were never students of Camila and Francisco was leading Gio with a lie that Camila was asking about Gio when he was too busy with work and couldn’t attend the lessons at the club that week. Gio feels betrayed and doesn’t want anything to do with Francisco, even if it means not backing up his brother when he’s about to take the biggest step of his life on New Year’s in front of the whole family.
We return back to the present as Gio’s tale ends. Gio chooses to work on New Year’s, not spending the night with Francisco or Camila, but instead with Eddie and Joel to tell this story.
Moments before midnight, Gio sneaks away to check his Instagram feed and sees that Francisco is newly engaged to Nadine, popping the question this evening. He deeply regrets not being with his brother and family tonight as he watches other happy couples and family celebrate the new year.
The festivities end with Francisco making a last-minute appearance at Gio’s bar to celebrate his engagement. The two have a heart-to-heart conversation which really shows what Gio should have been focusing on all this time while searching for his Fuego, the importance of family. Not wanting to waste any more time, he also makes amends with Camila first thing in the new year, demonstrating that moment of happiness that he sought after for the majority of the past year.
Edwin FrankO (Edwin Frank Ortiz) is a Latino film director of Puerto Rican and Mexican descent hailing from Barrio Logan of Southeast San Diego. He graduated from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with an emphasis in directing. FrankO began his artistic journey as a hip hop dancer.
Edwin discovered his “fuego” back at Point Loma High School when a film colleague asked if he can dance and act in his film. Being new to acting, he loved it and decided to pursue it. This eventually introduced him to film production and the rest is history.
With a creative portfolio that consists of acting for theatre and film, producing and directing music videos, commercials and documentaries, he looks forward to finally creating a meaningful narrative film that will highlight his talents and introduce himself to the world of narrative content.
My purpose in life is to make sure my community are pursuing what makes them happy. As ambitious, motivated and passionate as I am, I’ve come across individuals in my life, including family, who haven’t discovered or know what they are passionate about. Some of them think they weren’t meant to succeed and that bothered me. I wanted to understand why they felt this way so I can help them overcome it.
Being intrigued by this, I decided to create a story on this issue. I decided to tell the story from the perspective of someone who isn’t sure what their purpose or passion in life may be using elements from my life. I also wanted to create a project to put more people of color on the screen and create a universal theme that many people can identify with in hopes they begin keeping an eye out for their “Fuego.”