Archives / 2003 Sundance Film Festival

Raising Victor Vargas

Director: Peter Sollett

Screenwriters: Peter Sollett

Institute History

Description

At the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, Peter Sollett dazzled the jury and audiences alike with his incredible short, FIVE FEET HIGH AND RISING. Winning the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking clearly marked the debut of a tremendously gifted filmmaker who incorporated an unparalleled rhythm and natural quality into his film. Expanding on that style, he returns to Sundance with Raising Victor Vargas, a feature film with many of the same terrific nonactors who were in the short.

Victor (Victor Rasuk), who effuses adolescent posturing and burgeoning sexuality, resides in a Lower East Side neighborhood where his days consist of hitting on the girls at the local swimming pool, talking trash to his friends, and frustrating his beloved but overbearing grandmother. When his image is tainted, he sets out to salvage his reputation by winning the hand of the hottest girl in the neighborhood, "Juicy" Judy Rodriguez (Judy Marte).

Astonishingly natural performances help make Raising Victor Vargas much more about tone and atmosphere than plot progression. Sollett allows body language and glances to express emotions as well as the story. Refreshingly unique in style, Raising Victor Vargas is a life-affirming tribute to summers in New York, families, and the joys and pains of growing up.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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