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Established 1995 serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.


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Edward James Olmos and William H. Macy at Cinequest FF

Academy Award-nominated actor/director Edward James Olmos will receive the Maverick Spirit Award at the Cinequest Film Festival, which opens on today in the city of San Jose, California.

Nominated for both the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for his role as a tough-love principal of a Los Angeles inner city high school in the film STAND AND DELIVER (1988), Olmos has received many awards for his theater, film and television work.

Olmos began as a rock musician, forming several “garage bands” in the early 1970’s. When a friend suggested that, with his flair for the dramatic, that he consider an acting career, Olmos began taking acting classes and finding small parts on television, and Off-Off Broadway. His first big break was a starring role in Luis Valdez's play, ZOOT SUIT in 1978, for which he won the Los Angeles Dramatic Critics Award. The play eventually moved from Los Angeles to New York’s Broadway, and led the fledgling actor to a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor. .

Olmos sound found acclaim and national recognition for his role as a tough police lieutenant on the groundbreaking police series, MIAMI VICE. Nominated twice for Emmy Awards and Golden Globes for the part, Olmos won a Best Supporting Actor Emmy and Golden Globe Award in 1985 and was nominated again in 1986. The busy actor has continued working in television, mainly in original made-for-television movies, including Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated roles in THE BURNING SEASON (1994).

His Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for STAND AND DELIVER (1988), solidified his reputation as one of the best known faces in the Latin American acting community. The actor won an Independent Spirit Award as Best Actor for his riveting performance. In 1992, Olmos tried his hand at directing, with an autobiographical story of Mexican-American teenage gang members in East Los Angeles, in the moving drama AMERICAN ME.

Olmos is currently at work on his most recent directing project. The film, WALKOUT, set in the turbulent 1960s, is the story of the birth of the Chicano civil rights movement and a testimony to the inspired leadership and courage of those who led the way.

Olmos is also being honored for his work as an activist, particularly on the needs and rights of children. He is an outspoken spokesman for offering education and social services to the disadvantaged in Los Angeles. His visible role in trying to stop the riots in Los Angeles in 1992 has made him a beloved figure in his home city. He has served as an ambassador for UNICEF and has used his influence to pressure the Hollywood studios to hire more Hispanic actors on television and in film.
the real issue. The issue, quote end quote, is, ‘Are you really the best you can be?’..."

A past Maverick Spirit Award winner, William H. Macy (FARGO), returns to the Festival to give a talk following the screening of EDMOND, his latest collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter David Mamet. The film, directed by Stuart Gordon (RE-ANIMATOR), was one of the most talked about films at the Telluride Film Festival.

The film, adapted by Mamet from his stage play, follows a cynical businessman as he sets out on a terrifying, existential search for truth, self-discovery and salvation.
The film also stars Julia Stiles, Joe Mantegna, Bai Ling, Mena Suvari, Denise Richards and Dylan Walsh.

The Festival opens on March 1st with the US Premiere of MANUAL FOR LOVE STORIES, a Brazilian romantic comedy directed by José Roberto Torero. The Festival Closing Night film is MY JEALOUS BARBER, an irreverent comedy from Norway, directed by Annette Sjursen.

The Cinequest Film Festival, which is known for its embrace of young filmmakers and independent films, will screen an ambitious mix of American independent and international films during its 11 day stint. The Festival’s motto is “Inspiring The Maverick in All of Us”…..a worthy goal for such an event.

Sandy Mandelberger
Industry Editor

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