On Sunday March 1st Silicon Valley Latino (event media sponsor) had the pleasure of covering the Red Carpet Screening of Disney’s latest inspirational film “McFarland USA” at the Camera 12 Theater in San Jose. The Red Carpet VIP screening was presented primarily by production company, LIFT360 (Latinos in Film & Television 360). This special screening celebrated achievement and diversity in Hollywood and beyond. Event organizers reached out to key community leaders, non-profit organizations and schools in creating an opportunity for guests to meet the actors of the film with hopes that their own respective stories of perseverance would inspire those in attendance. The demand was such that an another screening was added and as a result hundreds of inner city students from the San Jose community watched one of this years most inspiring movies. Attendees included students from many organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, Upward Bound, the Luis Valdez Leadership Academy, Franklin McKinley Children’s Initiative, Dual Immersion K-8th Middle School Cross Country Team, San Antonio Elementary School, James Lick High School Basketball, Mount Pleasant Cross Country Team, Somos Mayfair, Yerba Buena High School Running Club, LATISM (Latinos in Technology, Innovation and Social Media), Daughters of Farm Workers, Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, and more. A highlight of the day was when most guests had the opportunity to meet the actors and take pictures with them on the red carpet. The primary objective of the event was to present at risk students with an opportunity to become motivated by the real life story of the inaugural McFarland cross country team. The film's stars including Carlos Pratts, Johnny Ortiz, Rafael Martinez, Hector Duran, Sergio Avelar and Ramiro Rodriguez were in attendance for the red carpet segment as well as for the question and answer portion with students at the conclusion of the film. San Jose Vice Mayor Rose Hererra and City Council Member Raul Peralez presented event organizers, LIFT360, with a Certificate of Commendation from the City of San Jose. The festivities concluded with a private VIP Reception and Mixer at Chachos Mexican restaurant where special guests met with the actors in attendance and were treated to a special musical performance by "The People." Key collaborators in producing this inspiring event included Ron Gonzales - Former Mayor of San Jose and CEO of The Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, Tony Arreola - Board Member of the Boys and Girls Club of Silicon Valley and Founder of Organica Fresh, Jorge Sanchez - Chacho’s Restaurant, Mario Burnias - LIFT 360, Ulysses Alvarado - Tu Visión Canal, Rudy Deanda - Blue Chip Restaurant and Henry Priest - Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles.
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