Competition Narrative Features
DIRECTED BY NICHOLAS OZEKI
USA, 2011, 105 MIN
One of the purest and most acclaimed examples of American indie cinema this year, MAMITAS excels through the pitch-perfect authenticity of its characters and a remarkable new talent in first time feature filmmaker and Independent Spirit Award nominee Nicholas Ozeki. When Jordin, a cocky Romeo, is suspended from school, he meets Felipa, a bookish, no-nonsense New York girl bound for college who sees past his playboy facade. Their unlikely friendship inspires Jordin to embark on a father quest, prompting a series of powerful self-discoveries. Beautifully shot against the Los Angeles downtown skyline, this coming-of-age romance introduces two wonderful young actors, EJ Bonilla and Veronica Diaz-Carranza, who give themselves over to the camera with a spirit of improvised play that morphs into vivid, layered acting. While rooted in Los Angeles’ Mexican-American community, MAMITAS could be about any family and the universal mysteries of unexpected love.
Nicholas Ozeki (Mamitas) was born in Washington, DC, and lived in Tokyo, Japan, before returning to the U.S. He attended Amherst College in Massachusetts, where he played college football and earned his B.A. in English with an emphasis in film studies. At Chapman University he earned his M.F.A. in Film Production under the emphasis of directing. In his thesis year Nicholas won Best Picture, Best Direction, and Chapman’s touted Einstein Award for excellence in academics and filmmaking.