Bless Me, Ultima, Arenas Entertainment, Rudolfo Anaya, Carl Franklin
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.
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