WATERBERRY TEARS, one of the films screening at this year’s edition of Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, has a number of local connections, not the least of which is the fact that both its Writer, Jaime Soria, and its Director/Editor, Adrian Aldaz, grew up and attended school here in the Coachella Valley. The two, who met in 2009 at a Latino Film Festival in Indio, co-produced WATERBERRY TEARS, which takes place in and around the grape fields and trailer homes in the Eastern end of the Coachella Valley near Coachella and Thermal. The film, which Cinema Diverse is screening at Camelot Theatres on Saturday, September 22nd at 4:30pm, was the winner of a 2011 Silver Palm Award at the Mexico International Film Festival.
“WATERBERRY TEARS is about a tightly knit, traditional Mexican immigrant family,” says Soria, who is also a local high school guidance counselor. “They are dealing with the fact that their only son, Goyo, is gay.”
Goyo, who is ready to graduate from high school, is comfortable with his sexual identity. His twin sister is supportive, and his mother is understanding, but his father, Ramon, is openly disdainful, abusive and angry. The strain on the family intensifies when a local farmhand, Lucio, who is new in town, makes sexual advances, first on Goyo, and then on his sister. Things explode when Goyo’s sister abruptly marries Lucio.
“I wrote the script based on my own experiences growing up as a gay man in a traditional Mexican immigrant family, but also based on the many stories I’ve heard from my students over the years.” Soria continued. “Goyo’s situation is by no means unique among Mexican immigrant families.”
The film’s name, WATERBERRY TEARS, comes from the term, waterberry, which refers to a table grape that has become watery, soft, and flabby during ripening, due to an interrupted flow of sugar and other constituents. Waterberries are undesirable and are typically plucked off and thrown away.
WATERBERRY TEARS features a local cast, all of whom were volunteers, and most of whom also worked behind the scenes on the film. “WATERBERRY TEARS is definitely a labor of love,” says Adrian Aldez. “We had a very limited budget, but great passion, and a tremendous amount of local support. Without it, we could never have made this film.”
For those unfamiliar with the farm workers who live and work on the farms to the South and East of Palm Springs, WATERBERRY TEARS provides a frank and honest portrait of their lives, their traditions, and the aspirations they have for their children. “These families work hard, and face a number of socioeconomic challenges,” says Soria. “But they share the human experience of wanting something better for their children, and of wanting their children to be happy, even though they may not always understand them.”
NOTE: All CINEMA DIVERSE screenings will be held at Camelot Theatres
All Access Pass: $149.00
(includes all special events and all festival screenings)
Dozen Pass: $129.00 ($10.75 ea.)
Half Dozen Pass: $69.00 ($11.50 ea.)
Festival Screenings = $13.00 (on sale after September 1st)
To purchase your tickets in-person, visit:
Camelot Theatres Box Office
(Daily 11:30 AM - 8:00 PM)
2300 E. Baristo Road,
Palm Springs, CA, 92262,
Box Office: 760-325-6565
Telephone Orders: 888-718-4253
Order online: Camelottickets.com
Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs Gay & Lesbian Film Festival is presented by the Palm Springs Cultural Center, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.