Quinceañera (film)

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Not to be confused with La Quinceañera (film).
Promotional poster for Quinceañera
Directed by Richard Glatzer
Wash Westmoreland
Produced by Anne Clements
Written by Richard Glatzer
Wash Westmoreland
Starring Emily Rios
Jesse Garcia
David W. Ross
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
Release dates
  • January 2006 (2006-01) (Sundance)
  • August 2, 2006 (2006-08-02) (United States)
Running time
90 minutes
Language English, Spanish
Budget $400,000[1]
Box office $2,522,787[2]

Quinceañera is a 2006 American drama film written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland. It was released as Echo Park, LA in UK. Set in Echo Park, Los Angeles, the film follows the lives of two young Mexican American cousins who become estranged from their families: Magdalena because of her unwed teenage pregnancy and Carlos because of his homosexuality. The third issue entered upon by the film is the gentrification of a populous district of Los Angeles, and the resultant culture clash.

The film is spoken in the mixture of English and Spanish ("Spanglish") used by bilingual people who switch easily from one tongue to another; some of the humor is best appreciated by bilingual viewers.


As Magdalena's (Emily Rios) 15th birthday approaches, her working-class family prepares for the important Quinceañera, a lavish coming-of-age celebration. To help with expenses Magdalena is forced to wear a hand-me-down party dress and abandon her dream of arriving in a Hummer limousine. But when her father discovers she is pregnant and refuses to believe the incredible truth — she is still a virgin — Magdalena moves in with her elderly great great Uncle Tomas (Chalo González) and black sheep cousin Carlos (Jesse Garcia). Her newfound family is soon put to the test when an unexpected crisis threatens to tear them apart, and Magdalena learns what it truly means to come of age.


Exhibition and responses[edit]

The film was first shown at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the 'Independent Film Competition: Dramatic' category. It was selected to play in the 2006 Berlin Film Festival. It was distributed in the US by Sony Pictures Classics.


  • On his MySpace.com page, Jesse Garcia (Carlos) wrote: "Quinceañera is a look at what happens when teenage sexuality, age-old rituals, and real-estate prices collide. It is a reinvention of Kitchen Sink drama, fueled by the racial, class, and sexual tensions of a Latino neighborhood in transition."[3]
  • In www.slantmagazine.com Ed. Gonzalez wrote (16/O3/2006): "Quinceañera is too jejune and precious in spots to ever earn comparisons to the films of Ken Loach or Mike Leigh, but there is a lyricism to the film's carefree swathes of incident from the lives of its 3 main characters. And Ross and Garcia achieve an intimate chemistry rarely seen on a film."


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Forty Shades of Blue
Sundance Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic
Succeeded by
Padre Nuestro