april_12.jpgWriting-directing team Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland began shooting the hit feature, Quinceañera, on this day in 2005. Set in the Echo Park section of Los Angeles, the coming of age tale follows Magdalena (played by Emily Rios in her film debut) as she prepares for her 15th birthday. Traditionally this year in her life, her quinceañera, would be celebrated in grand form to usher her into adulthood. But instead of an elegant party, Magdalena discovers she is pregnant, propelling her into an entirely different adulthood. The movie went on to screenings at the 2006 Berlin, Newport, Provincetown and Seattle International Film Festivals, picking up many awards along the way. That same year it won both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prizes at Sundance.

Factoid: Quinceañera star Emily Rios plays Magdalena, a modern girl breaking out of the traditional family mold. The actress has followed much the same path in her real life, beginning with the production of this movie. Brought up a Jehovah’s Witness, Rios had never before celebrated her birthday with such fanfare (as the cast and crew had set-up for her on set) or traveled by plane.