Local Producer Launches Puerto Rico History YouTube Movie

Federal Way resident and recent New York University graduate Emilio Miguel Torres produced a historical drama short titled “Valor & Sacrifice” this spring in Kent and is releasing the film on YouTube on Friday, October 29.

The film was completed as Torres’ final project as a New York University film student and had to be shot under strict COVID-19 guidelines that limited cast and crew size. and imposed a distance of 6 feet between all actors.

Despite these challenges, the film achieved significant success at film festivals and won awards. It won first place at New York University’s New Visions and Voices Festival and was an official selection at the Tacoma Film Festival, the Seattle Latino Film Festival, and the International Social Change Film Festival. The film also received a semi-finalist honor at Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival.

The film is based on a true story about Puerto Rico in the 1930s and an island-wide labor strike, led by a passionate political leader named Pedro Albizu Campos, against the American banks that controlled the cane plantations. sugar in the country.

“To create a film like this, which highlights and elevates a critical moment in Puerto Rican history, and to be able to shoot it in the city where I went to high school, where I made my first short film in high school, is such an incredible honor and I couldn’t be more grateful for the festival success he has received as well,” Torres said in an email.

“Valor & Sacrifice” stars Washington-based actors David Jofre, Scott Mullet and Coral Tate. The film’s cinematographer (Troy Dobbertin), producer (Maggie Barry), sound designer (Levi Hawkes), and costume supervisor (Brielle Hawkes) are also Washington-based artists. The film’s score was composed by Josué Vera, a Puerto Rican musician.

Torres, a 2018 graduate of Kentridge High School and a media communications specialist for the Kent School District, said he gives enormous credit and appreciation to the Greater Kent Historical Society, which donated its museum to the center- town of Kent as the filming location of the film and matched the time period of the play.

Their collaboration was incredibly valuable and critical to the success of the project, Torres said. He added that as a Mexican and Puerto Rican filmmaker, he is so grateful that community organizations like the Greater Kent Historical Society prioritize supporting minority artists.

Torres earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television Production from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts last spring. He now creates films through his multimedia production company Torres Productions LLC.

The film can be viewed Friday, October 29 on YouTube, at https://youtu.be/-vzMyyr7uZ0.