DANNY TREJO will star as Manny Gerardo, an ex-gang member in new slice of life film, based on a true story, entitled STRIKE ONE, Director/Producer DAVID LLAUGER-MEISELMAN announced today. Set to begin principal photography in Boyle Heights, CA on June 13, 2011, the film marks the inaugural movie presented by Strike One Films, LLC and Altadena Films in association with Boricua Films, Inc. Latina Hip-Hop artist and actress, MARIA ISA, will co-star in the film as Angie Gerardo. The film is written by LAWRENCE S. SMILGYS and HOWARD M. COHEN. To learn more about the film, please visit www.strikeonefilms.com.
The film Strike One is about a high school boy named Juan Gerardo who is on the threshold of manhood. He lives in a gang-controlled neighborhood. His role models couldn't be further apart. His older sister is Angie Gerardo, a single mom struggling to gain a foothold in the white corporate world, while his uncle, Manny Gerardo, is an ex-gang "El Muerto" member recently released from prison, who is now pursuing an acting career portraying gang bangers. With the future on his doorstep, Juan, like most boys his age, is preoccupied with girls. He is unaware of the judicial system's hard line stance against gang affiliation, and as a result is wrongfully accused of a crime he didn't commit.
Principal Photography for Strike One will commence in Boyle Heights, CA on Monday, June 13, 2011 and continue through Saturday, July 2, 2011. The newly formed production company, Strike One Films, LLC consists of David Llauger-Meiselman (Director/Producer): Lawrence S. Smilygys (Writer/Producer/Actor); Felipe Alejandro (Producer/Actor) and Howard M. Cohen (Writer). Other key members of the production team for Strike One include: David Andrew Christenson (Cinematographer); Jade DeCosta (Line Producer/Producer); Jeremy Ian Thomas (Editor/Producer); Johanna Jenkins (Production Designer); James Tummina (Producer/Actor); Maria Isa (Actress/Songwriter) and Steve Moyer Pubic Relations (Unit Publicist).
Regarding his participation in the new film, Danny Trejo said: "I love playing the bad guy in movies, because the bad guy always dies. That's the real world. If someone asked me to play a bad guy that always gets away with it, I'd pass. That's the very message I preach to youths who are in crisis and in trouble...the bad guy always loses and the good guy always wins. It's the one-thing movies and real life see eye-to-eye on."
David Llauger-Meiselman said: "I think the most important thing to me about this movie is being able to bring a more realistic voice to a group of people that are generally ignored and for the most part are truly an important piece of American culture. Being Puerto Rican myself, I was raised in the inner city of Chicago during a time of great change, poverty, drugs and violence. I can easily identify with the struggles and decisions of a working class Mexican American family living today in one of the most affluent and internationally recognized cities in the world, Los Angeles. The people of East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights thrive. They live and prosper, like any other American community. This movie is an opportunity to express that and to show that making the right or wrong decisions will affect you and your family no matter what ‘barrio' you live in. This movie is a morality, social justice and anti-gang piece. It's a movie about choices, and the ramifications of those choices."
Llauger-Meiselman continued: "Our production company is making it a priority to draw resources from the community being depicted on screen by casting local talent. By doing so we will create opportunities for those who do not typically receive them. There is a wealth of talent that goes untapped right in our own back yard."
Felipe Alejandro, one of the producers of the film, will be overseeing Strike One Films' Educational Intern Program, which will introduce local youth to the art of filmmaking. The free eight-week internship program will offer young people opportunities in Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production. Applicants must be between the ages of 16 - 21 years of age. The application deadline is Friday, May 20, 2011. To learn more, please visit the website, www.strikeonefilms.com <http://www.strikeonefilms.com> .
About The Artists:
Danny Trejo (Manny Gerardo) has developed a prolific career in the movie business, yet his road to success has been hard earned and everything but typical. From imprisonment to helping young people battle drug addiction, acting to producing, the name, face, and achievements of Danny Trejo are well recognized in Hollywood.
Trejo grew up on the streets of Los Angeles. Despite spending the latter part of his youth and early adulthood incarcerated, he rose to great accomplishment. Upon his release from San Quentin, he became involved in programs aimed at helping those who, like him, battle drug and alcohol addictions.
Years later, Trejo went to the set of "Runaway Train" to offer support to a man he'd been counseling. He was immediately offered a role as a convict. He has since gone on to star in dozens of films including: "Desperado," the "From Dusk ‘Til Dawn" film series, "Heat" (Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino), "Con Air" (Nicholas Cage), "Once Upon A Time In Mexico" (Johnny Depp), and the series of "Spy Kids" movies.
The actor can also be seen in the independent films "Sherry Baby" (Maggie Gyllenhaal), "Delta Farce" (Dan Whitney aka "Larry the Cable Guy"), and both Rob Zombie films, "The Devil's Rejects" and "Halloween." He was seen in Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's "Grind House" which led to a spin-off movie from the original trailers called "Machete" in which Trejo plays the anti-hero of the story with a gift for wielding a blade.
Recent projects include: "Violet & Daisy," in which he stars alongside James Gandolfini and Alexis Bledel, the "Muppet Movie," "Bad-Ass," "Predators" directed by Nimrod Antal, in which Trejo stars opposite Topher Grace and Adrian Brody, and "Death Race 2" with Sean Bean and Ving Rhames.
He's also appeared on numerous television shows. Including a recurring role on the series "King of the Hill," as well as the new Warner Bros. animated series "Young Justice" airing on the Cartoon Network, in which he voices the character of Bane, Batman's Nemesis. Trejo has also appeared on "Monk," starring Tony Shalhoub, "Desperate Housewives," "Stargate: Atlantis," "Breaking Bad" starring Bryan Cranston and "The Goodguys" starring Colin Hanks.
In 2000, Trejo formed his production company, Starburst, where his first endeavors into producing was the award winning short "An Eye For Talent" followed by "The Animal Factory," directed by Steve Buscemi. "My Father's Flag" is the next feature in development under that banner, which depicts a young soldier's conflict between his father and country, and his evolution into a patriot.
Trejo continues to create for Trejo 4.0 Productions, producers of the film "High Hopes," which was acquired by Maple Pictures/Lionsgate Canada. Despite his impressive list of credits, it's his continual role as a devoted father of three and as an intervention counselor are what brings him the most satisfaction.
Maria Isa (Angie Gerardo/Songwriter for the Movie) Born and raised in the Twin Cities to Nuyorican parents, singer/songwriter/emcee and renowned Hip-Hop artist, Maria Isa learned at an early age the traditional Puerto Rican rhythms of Bomba and Plena. At the age of 14, she realized that she could fuse her love for Hip-Hop and R&B with her Latin roots. She recalls, "It made me feel at home! My family didn't just listen to one style of music. Now, through combining all of the musical elements that I love, and weaving in stories of the past, I invite everyone to push the boundaries, honoring and uniting all cultures."
Beginning her arts education at El Arco Iris Center for the Arts in 1992, Isa quickly progressed from the role of student to the role of singer, songwriter, emcee and performer, cranking out several hits and playing to a sold-out historic First Avenue Nightclub in Minneapolis for her now-historic CD release, "Street Politics." She has been featured on the cover of Twin Cities Metro and other major magazines.
She was nominated for a Minnesota Music "Best Hip-Hop Artist" Award, and was recognized as a 2010 Rising Star by the National Hispaña Leadership Institute for her outstanding work with Youthrive on behalf of incarcerated youth throughout the Twin Cities. She has also been honored for her involvement with Peace Jam on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize laureates. She recently received the Best Urban Artist award from Univision 13, a Certificate of Appreciation from the Governor of Minnesota for her outstanding songwriting and contributions to the Latino Community, and a David Laffyette Award for her dedication towards the peace movement through the arts.
She has appeared on the International Bazaar stage at the Minnesota State Fair, as Mimi in the musical "Rent" at the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre and at New York's BMI Latin Alternative Music Conference showcase. Her music has reached audiences around the world, including Asia and the United Kingdom, Latin America, the United States and Puerto Rico. She has performed alongside and shared the stage with International acts such as Slick Rick, Tego Calderon, Plena Libre, Los Pleneros de La 21, The Roots, Digable Planets, Julio Voltio, Lil Rob, Chingo Bling, La Bruja, Miguel Alegrin, Alice Russle, Bomba Esterio, Brother Ali, The Alkoholiks, Semisonic and Paracumbe, to name a few.
David Llauger-Meiselman (Director/Producer) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He is the son of songstress, choreographer and educator, Milagros Llauger and renowned playwright and screenwriter, Arthur Meiselman. He has produced and directed numerous plays, poetry slams, television pilots, radio shows, documentaries, animated series and the feature-length motion pictures, including: "El Matadero," "Paris Falls," "The Saving of Jessie O," "Urban Graffiti" and "Sunday Evening Haircut." Llauger-Meiselman is the principal owner and partner of Boricua Films, Inc. located at ‘The Lot' (formerly Warner Hollywood Studios). He was a member and co-founder, along with Felipe Alejandro, of the Ricardo Montálban Repertory Theatre Company, where they produced and directed respectively: "Love, Lies, and Revolution," "Transformations" and "Virgin Love." Upon the success of these productions, Llauger-Meiselman and his partners went on to form their own theatre company, The American Latino Theatre Company, which will be partnering with CoActive Content to present an upcoming production of "The King of the Desert" ‘Live at The Lot" in the near future.
Lawrence S. Smilgys (Writer/Producer) is a first generation American, the son of Eastern European World War II refugees. He began his theater training at Santa Monica College and was part of an inaugural exchange program with England's prestigious Guilford School of Acting. He earned his Bachelor's degree from the University of Florida and upon returning to Los Angeles, he began studying with legendary character actor Allan Rich. He has appeared in numerous films, episodic television shows and commercials. Smilgys' credits include: "The Crow," "Raven," "Blink of an Eye," "League of Old Men," "Charmed," "The Outsiders," "Tour of Duty" and "The Big Leaf Tobacco Co.," among others. As an actor, he has appeared in over 40 productions in the Los Angeles area. He is a founding member of the American Latino Theatre Company. He has also been a member of several other theatre companies over the years, including Ricardo Montálban Repertory Theatre Company, West Coast Ensemble and Kentwood Players.