08/13/2012 04:31 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Filly Brown at New York International Latino Film Festival

I'm personally thrilled to have Filly Brown selected as the opening night film for NYLIFF. The fest is dear to me, having won Best Picture on my first film English As A Second Language in '06 and for meeting my would-be directing partner Michael D. Olmos so many years ago. And dang ... It's NYC baby!

Being an LA native there's nothing like the sights and sounds of the city, the energy and the passion for cinema. To be able to come back and open the fest is a major honor. Filly Brown was born from my stay in NYC. Having always been a fan of SLAM POETRY I made a journey to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and after a solid round or two I knew I wanted my next film to be about a slam poet who spits from the heart. We later switched the character to a street wise rapper and lo and behold Filly Brown was born.

We premiered the film at Sundance and it's been a whirlwind since. The film was bought by Indomina Releasing and they plan to release the film in cities all over the country. That's just crazy! The fun didn't stop there. While at Sundance my brother and producer Amir Delara was able to secure the financing for our company's next film, SNAP, a dark thriller written by my business partner Victor Teran. We arrived back in LA and began prep on SNAP starring Nikki Reed, Scott Bakula, Jake Hoffman and Thomas Decker. I'm currently editing the picture (taking time away from cutting REEL 4 to write this blog) and we plan to have the film finished in November. I feel blessed to be making movies, having audiences see them, and I personally can't wait to be sitting undercover in a theater watching my movie with a regular audience. It's been a small dream since I fell in love with cinema at the age of 12 and it's one I'm going to finally experience.