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Belinda Quesada

For Chicanos/Latinos celebrating Independence Day has always meant acknowledging our duo histories and cultures. For some, we celebrate the 4th of July and the 16th of September equally. For Adrian Tepehua Vargas, Independent Film Producer and original Chicano Son of San José/Silicon Valley, celebrating his dual identity is what inspired his new film, appropriately titled, ‘Impacto!’! Sponsored by the San Francisco Film Society and scheduled for release in November 2016.

‘Impacto!’ is the second film effort for this long running community activist turned theatre and film director, playwright, actor, musician producer and educator. Vargas is also the artistic director of his own production company, Casa Vargas Productions; a multicultural, arts catalyst organization that creates art and media projects for schools and communities.

As an Independent Film Producer, Vargas is tackling his most ambitious project to date: the history of the Chicano/Latino social justice movement in San José/Silicon Valley from the 1950’s to present. In his new film ‘IMPACTO!’, he will explore the sixty-year history of the civil rights movements in San José/Silicon Valley, California, from the perspective of those local Chicano/Latino residents and activists who experienced first-hand the civil rights abuses.

Working as an Independent Film Producer (IFP), Vargas educated himself by reading many books on the subject and using his vast network resources. He is well organized, articulate, efficient, and his track record in the arts speaks for itself. According to Vargas, making this second film has proven to be the most challenging thing he’s done and the most rewarding.
“As an IFP, you are in a solitary creative world and therefore are outside the fray of mainstream Hollywood. This can be good, as no one interrupts your creative dream, or bad, as there are no guaranteed revenue streams from which to draw on. You must be ready for a barrage of daily important challenges. From securing your crew, interviewing and securing talent, writing your own scripts, securing all movie making equipment, obtaining the proper licenses and permits and that’s all before you even shoot your first day. If you are not ready to be the boss, don’t bother.”

Fortunately for Maestro Vargas, he learned some of these lessons on his first directorial debut, ‘El Gigante Awakens’, This film highlighted the famous May 1, 2006 immigrant rights march in San José, where 200,000 peaceful demonstrators took to the streets to protest the unfair immigration laws and policies of the Bush administration. It was a terrific first effort and gave him the confidence to move forward with his latest project.

“With ‘Impacto!’, I believe this film will serve as an important archival piece of Chicano/Latino history and will be a significant educational tool for all ages.” Continues Vargas, “Chicanos/Latinos and others, specifically minorities, who live in Silicon Valley today could never imagine the sacrifice made by others before them in the area of civil rights. Thanks to their efforts and long term visions, they ultimately paved the way for the advances we now enjoy.”

Since his early days at San José State University, Adrian was serious about making a difference in other peoples lives. It was never about being motivated by personal gain; rather, it was about creating social progress and social justice.

With his talents he wrote songs and plays describing the injustices. The goal was always to encourage Chicanos/Chicanas to achieve their aspirations and help promote justice. For Vargas, he chose to fight and stay committed to the San José community and not to go on to Hollywood.

To this day, Vargas can place a call to Edward James Olmos or Luis Valdez and be assured of a call back. He is that well known as a spokesperson for the Chicano/Latino movement. This is why in part he is making ‘Impacto!’, to preserve the dignity of those who sacrificed to help others and to preserve the legacy of the truth here in Silicon Valley.

As any small start up will tell you, money is a significant need. And Casa Vargas Productions has launched a special sponsorship opportunity for community individuals; it’s called the Deuce Donors (DD) package. For a tax-deductible donation of $200 the benefits are as follows: 1.) Your name is listed in the film credits and website; 2.) There are discount on events, complimentary passes to special receptions and screenings; 3.) And DD’s receive an ‘Impacto!’ DVD Gift Pack.

If you’d like to support Adrian’s film project ‘Impacto!’ please visit the San Francisco Film Society, Or, consider being an Institutional sponsor. Local institutional sponsors include: 4 C’s, Center for Employment (CET), El Observador Newspaper, and Gardner Health Network. If you need more information or know someone Adrian should include in his film, he can be reached at Casa Vargas Productions,

Now’s your chance to make a difference and be a part of a unique Silicon Valley movie experience. What better way to celebrate Independence Day than to support our own Chicano/Latino living history film?!


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