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RAISING VICTOR VARGAS
USA: IDP Distribution
UK: Momentum Pictures
Cast: Victor Rasuk, Judy Marte, Melonie Diaz, Altagracia Guzman, Silvestre Rasuk, Krystal Rodriguez, Kevin Rivera, Wilfree Vasquez, Donna Maldonado, Alexander Garcia, John Ramos, Theresa Martinez, Randy Luna, Jeff Asencio, Juan I Lebron, Joe Rosario, Gladys Austin, Jacqueline Rosario
Director: Peter Sollett
Countries: France / USA
USA & UK: 88 mins
USA Rated: R for strong language
UK Certificate: 15 contains frequent strong language and sex references
USA Release Date: 28 March 2003 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 19 September 2003
Manhattan's gritty, majestic Lower East Side is the sweltering romantic playground for Victor Vargas (Victor Rasuk), a self-styled teenaged Casanova who, despite his adolescent hubris, has a lot to learn about love.
Eager to protect his street-cred after his friends discover he's been sleeping with upstairs neighbour 'Fat Donna' (Donna Maldonado), Victor sets out to nab a new girl. Much to her annoyance, popular 'Juicy Judy' Ramirez (Judy Marte) finds herself the object of Victor's relentless attention. After a humiliating series of public rejections, Victor strikes a bargain with Judy's younger brother Carlos (Wilfree Vasquez). In exchange for a date with Victor's younger sister, Vicky, Carlos will help Victor win Judy's affections. His plan proves successful and Judy agrees to tolerate him as 'her new man', securing Victor's place high atop the neighbourhood's social pecking order.
Unfortunately, his hilariously cantankerous old-school grandmother (Altagracia Guzman), with whom he and his siblings live, is convinced that Victor's teenage sexual antics make him a bad kid. Caught between regaining his grandmother's trust and helping his kid brother and sister negotiate the oft-baffling ways of the world, Victor discovers that there's a difference between acting like a man and becoming one. As he and Judy slowly start to trust and be trusted, Victor learns that a lot of love has been put into RAISING VICTOR VARGAS.
Peter Sollett's feature debut is a stunning piece of filmmaking that carefully explores the stumbling blocks of growing up, capturing adolescence at its most tender, funny and genuine. His script was developed through the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, a prestigious program which offers emerging artists the opportunity to work intensively on their feature film scripts with the support of established screenwriters. Sollett also extensively workshopped the film with the support of La Cinefondation in Paris.