east side sushi poster“East Side Sushi,” written and directed by Anthony Lucero, opens Friday, Sept. 18, at theaters throughout California.

The film introduces us to Juana, a working-class Latina single mother who strives to become a sushi chef. Years of working in the food industry have made Juana’s hands fast — very fast. She can slice and dice anything you throw at her with great speed and precision.

Forced to give up her fruit-vending cart in order to find a more secure job, Juana lands a position as a kitchen assistant at a local Japanese restaurant. It is there she discovers a new friendship and a whole new world of cuisine and culture, far removed from everything she has ever known.

While working in the restaurant’s kitchen, Juana secretly observes the sushi chefs and eventually teaches herself to make a multitude of sushi. Her creativity sparked, Juana’s reignited passion for food drives her to want more from her job and her life.

Eventually she attempts to become a sushi chef, but is unable to because she is the “wrong” race and gender. Against all odds, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery, determined to not let anyone stop her from achieving her dream.

The cast includes Diana Elizabeth Torres, Yutaka Takeuchi, Rodrigo Duarte Clark, Kaya Jade Aguirre, Roji Oyama, Miyoko Sakatani and Lane Nishikawa.

“East Side Sushi” opens Sept. 18 at the following theaters (alphabetical by city):

  • North Hollywood — NoHo 7, 5240 Lankershim Blvd.; (310) 478-3836; www.laemmle.com
  • San Diego — Digital Gym Cinema in North Park, 2921 El Cajon Blvd.; (619) 230-1938; http://digitalgym.org

The film will open on Friday, Sept. 25, at the following theaters:

For more information, visit http://eastsidesushifilm.com.


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