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     As the son of  Mexican-American expatriates, I spent my formative years in Southeast Asia. Ten years in the Philippines and one year in Indonesia. It came to no surprise that I had great difficulty identifying with what I really was and how I fit into this whole Asian setting. American’s thought I was Filipino, Filipino’s thought I was Spanish, and Mexican’s didn’t know what I was. The experience of being mistaken for a member of the Spanish elite in the Philippines definitely worked to my advantage, but it wasn’t real. Technically, I was a Mexican-American from Southern California who spent Christmas and summers with family in San Diego, Calexico and Mexicali. Although I could not relate to my relatives nor what it meant to be Mexican-American, my ability to identify with any one group proved to be futile. It wasn’t until I went to film school that I came to a better understanding of my identity. I developed a strong bond and kinship with my fellow film students, who shared the same burning passion I had for cinema. This passion was first validated with my experience on a Hollywood movie. During my senior year of High School in the Philippines, I was cast as a film extra and played an American soldier in a Vietnam war film. That film was Oscar award-winning “Platoon,” directed by Oliver Stone. I knew then I wanted to work as a film director and make great films. So after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Film studies & Production from San Francisco, I moved to Hollywood to pursue my filmmaking career. Jobs were scarce, but I managed to find work as an office assistant at New Line Cinema and later at Addis-Wechsler & Associates, an A-list Talent Management firm. When I concluded that I still had this burning desire to direct films and that I wasn’t interested in becoming an executive or a talent manager, I took a year-long sabbatical and backpacked through Mexico. It was part sight-seeing, part identity-seeking, and part screenwriting, since I was working on making my first feature film. The script was called “The Train Naguals,” a soul-searching journey through Mexico between three hapless travelers, inspired by the ancient Mexican “nagual” sorcerers that 60’s psychedelic-guru Carlos Castañeda immortalized in his books. Though my early writings dealt with adventures in self- discovery, my goal was always to create heroic American-Latino characters. Raising the bar on American-Latino art in cinema, elevating our image, promoting our many talents is the cornerstone of my endeavors as a filmmaker. It still baffles me that more stories about American-Latinos are not told in Hollywood, given the huge percentage of Hispanics in America, the number of stories told are disproportionately low. As a result, I am most committed to telling stories that depict the American-Latino experience. Throughout my career, the Hollywood films I was fortunate enough to work on were “Selena” and “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” directed by Gregory Nava; Ken Loach’s “Bread & Roses” and Peter Berg’s “Very Bad Things.” However, the biggest Hollywood production I ever worked on was Jean-Jacques Annaud’s “Seven Years in Tibet,” on-location in the Andes mountains of Argentina, that doubled for the Himalayas. Eventually, I decided working in post-production as an Editor and honing my edit skills, would make me the strongest filmmaker possible. Thirty- six years later, I’ve written numerous screenplays, directed short films, psa’s, documentaries, music videos, and a feature film. I can honestly say, I have run the gamut of every part of the filmmaking process, from pre to post-production. My passion for great cinema still continues to thrive, and I’m genuinely excited about being an integral part of the incredible future of American-Latino cinema!

 Eduardo L. Argüelles

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