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P1000495‘Down for Life’ lead Jessica Romero, director Alan Jacobs and producer Frank Aragon were present at a VIP reception held Jan. 13 at De Mor Banquet Center in McAllen. Also in attendance were Richard Cortez, mayor of McAllen; John David Franz, mayor of Hidalgo; and Judge Rudy Gonzalez.

The movie is premiering in the Valley this weekend.

Based on a true story, the film depicts a single day in the life of a 15-year-old Latina gang leader, Rascal, in Los Angeles. Rascal struggles to reconcile her life of crime with her dream of becoming a writer. She discovers it is more difficult to leave a gang than join one.

Danny Glover plays her teacher and Kate Del Castillo plays her mother, but the real stars of the film are the Latina teenagers who were discovered at Los Angeles high schools and cast in lead roles without any prior acting experience.

‘Down For Life’ has an inspiring message and is an impactful learning tool for at-risk teens in the community.

Jacobs said the movie is very real. He says it depicts a life, a culture, of events that are happening in some schools and communities today.

Jacobs would not recommend the movie for anyone under 13, but believes it to be appropriate for 16 year-olds. He thinks 16 would be the more appropriate age to see the movie because of the content.

He warned that the movie does contain violence, gang related material, and bad language. The movie is rated R for violence, pervasive language, and drug use.

The producers and director thought the Valley would be ideal for the premiere of the movie because of the strong Hispanic culture in the area. Jacobs said the culture is strong in the movie and he felt it would have a huge impact on high school teenagers in the Valley.

The movie opened today at five theaters – Hollywood 17 in McAllen, Cinemark 16 in Brownsville, Tinseltown 17 in Mission, Cinemark 16 in Harlingen, and Carmike 20 in Edinburg. Contact theaters for showing times.

Castillo will be at three locations on Saturday, Jan. 15; Cinemark Hollywood in McAllen from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Tinseltown in Mission from 4 to 5 p.m., and Carmike in Edinburg from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

If the movie does well this weekend, plans are to take it to El Paso, San Antonio, Fresno, and the rest of southwestern United States.

Producer/director Frank Aragon also plans to produce a movie based on the true story of the 1961 Texas State Champions of Donna High School. The movie’s working title is ‘Miracle at Donna.’

For more information about ‘Down for Life’ visit or find them on facebook under Rgv Movie Premiere.

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