A poster of the film “Valor & Sacrifice” to be released Oct. 29 on YouTube and produced by Emilio Torres, a 2018 Kentridge High School graduate. COURTESY IMAGE, Emilio Torres

A poster of the film “Valor & Sacrifice” to be released Oct. 29 on YouTube and produced by Emilio Torres, a 2018 Kentridge High School graduate. COURTESY IMAGE, Emilio Torres

Local producer to release YouTube film about Puerto Rican history

Kentridge High graduate shot film in Kent

Emilio Miguel Torres, a 2018 Kentridge High School and recent New York University graduate, produced a historical drama short film entitled “Valor & Sacrifice” this spring in Kent and is releasing the film on YouTube on Friday, Oct. 29.

The film was completed as Torres’ final project as a New York University film student and had to be shot with strict COVID-19 guidelines which limited the cast and crew’s size and mandated 6 feet of distance between all actors.

Despite these challenges, the film has received significant success at film festivals and has won awards. It took first place at the New York University New Visions and Voices festival and was an official selection at the Tacoma Film Festival, Seattle Latino Film Festival and International Social Change Film Festival. The film also received a semifinalist honor at the Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival.

The film is based on a true story about Puerto Rico in the 1930s and an island-wide labor strike, led by a passionate policital leader named Pedro Albizu Campos, against the U.S. banks that controlled sugar cane plantations in the nation.

“Creating a film like this, one that highlights and uplifts a critical moment in Puerto Rican history, and being able to shoot it in the town where I went to high school, where I made my first short film back in high school, is such an incredible honor and I couldn’t be more grateful for the festival success it has received as well,” Torres said in an email.

“Valor & Sacrifice” stars Washington-based actors David Jofre, Scott Mullet and Coral Tate. The cinematographer of the film (Troy Dobbertin), producer (Maggie Barry), sound designer (Levi Hawkes), and costume supervisor (Brielle Hawkes) are also Washington-based artists. The score for the film was composed by Josué Vera, a Puerto Rican-based musician.

Torres, who ives in Federal Way and works as a multimedia communications specialist for the Kent School District, said he gives an immense amount of credit and appreciation to the Greater Kent Historical Society, which offered its museum in Downtown Kent as a location for the film and matched the time period of the piece.

Their collaboration was incredibly valuable and essential to the success of the project, Torres said. He added that as a Mexican and Puerto Rican filmmaker, he is so thankful community organizations like the Greater Kent Historical Society are prioritizing supporting minority artists.

Torres earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in film and television production from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts last spring. He now creates films through his multimedia production company Torres Productions LLC.

The film can be viewed Friday, Oct. 29 on YouTube, at https://youtu.be/-vzMyyr7uZ0.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Life

Renton resident Kat Lieu, author of “Modern Asian Baking at Home.” (Courtesy of Kat Lieu)
‘Subtle Asian Baking’ founder Kat Lieu publishes best-selling cookbook

After being told ‘Asian culture doesn’t sell,’ this Renton resident built a whole community.

t
Rainier Youth Choirs brings on new middle school choir director

Jackie Grant will lead choir; group draws students from Kent, Auburn, Federal Way and other cities

t
Disney On Ice returns to Kent’s ShoWare Center Oct. 26-30

Road Trip Adventures to feature Mickey Mouse and friends in nine shows

t
Cruisin’ Kent Car Show set for Aug. 28 at Kent Station

Free event to run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Perseid meteor shower in August 2021. Photo courtesy of Nasa.gov/Bill Ingalls
Meteor showers light up August nights in the Pacific Northwest

Stargazers can track Perseids at sites around Washington state.

t
People fill up downtown streets during Kent Cornucopia Days

Popular festival returns after two-year absence due to COVID-19

Jarod Newlove
Gold Star Family from Renton has breakfast at the White House

Jarod Newlove’s wife and children found comfort through Wear Blue: Run to Remember.

t
Kentridge High drama teacher earns Outstanding Educator award

Jennifer Grajewski honored by The Fifth Avenue Theatre; Kentwood, Kent-Meridian muscials also recognized