Mexican director Amat Escalante is no stranger to controversy. His 2013 entry into the Cannes Film Festival, “Heli” earned him the award for Best Director, but its graphic depictions of violence and sexual abuse also created outrage among festival-goers. Escalante said that in Mexico, a country where graphic imagery from cartel violence is a part of daily life, “nobody complained about the violence.”
Escalante’s latest horror-fantasy, “La Region Salvaje,” dives deep into a world of misogyny and homophobia.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, those unfamiliar with Escalante’s work may find “La Region Salvaje” — a.k.a. “The Untamed” — another shocking, but wholly original experience. Escalante, Variety reports, transformed two real world stories into a movie that rides the line between straight up horror and drama, using themes such as psychological and sexual abuse. The film, for which Escalante won a Silver Lion for Best Directing at the 2016 Venice Film Festival, had time finding North American distribution until recently, until the Strand Releasing stepped in to pick up North American rights for the movie.
After the acquisition, the company said, “[…] Championing international storytellers like Amat Escalante represents a heroic commitment to storytelling without borders.”
Season 9 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is in full swing and one queen is giving the contestants and “Drag Race” fans all the Latina heat they can handle. Valentina, representing Latinos from East L.A., rocked her first runway look by throwing it all the way back…to Mariachi Plaza. The Mexicana queen is already proving herself as a force to be reckoned with her upbeat personality, utterly slaying looks, and by winning the first challenge. Introducing, Valentina – or
Ladies and gentlemen… Introducing, Valentina – or James Leyva when not in drag.
Introducing Valentina, the Latina queen slaying on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
“My type of drag is very dramatic, very theatrical, and always very Latina,” Valentina, who has only been doing drag for 10 months, said on the season 9 premiere of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” “I’m an undiscovered superstar.”
“What I do is very romantic, very regal, very elegant,” Valentina told LAist. “Being Latino and being Mexican, it’s everything that I am and I try to make sure no matter what I’m doing, it’s always through the eye and through the lens of a powerful Latina woman.”
“I’m from East L.A. representing Mariachi Plaza,” Valentina proclaimed while strutting down that runway.
“Last night Trinity Taylor, James Leyva [Valentina], two other friends and myself were walking home after the club and a guy we didn’t know took it upon himself to join our group but not saying anything,” King wrote on Facebook about the incident. “After a certain amount of time this became uncomfortable and he was asked very politely by Valentina [James Leyva] to please not follow us. He said his car was parked in the same direction we were going so he was asked again politely to go ahead of us and we would wait. He asked us to go ahead of him instead and it went back and forth like that a couple of times until finally Valentina said we would go the other way and the guy then punched him. I went to go get the guy off of Valentina and he punched me in the nose and broke it. I spent 9 hours in the ER.”
Valentina posted a video to Instagram letting his fans know that he was okay after the event.
“I just want to let everyone know that I’m okay. I’m doing really good,” Valentina says in the video. “The incident happened and I’m fine. Everyone is fine. Jason is fine. Trinity is fine. I have lots of support from family and friends and it wasn’t a hate crime. It was just a crazy druggie who was out there just being bad. I was a lucky person to have had it happen to.”