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Special benefit showing of 'Cesar Chavez' on Thursday, March 27

On Thursday, March 27th at 7pm, there will be a private screening of Diego Luna’s new film “Cesar Chavez,” at the AMC Metreon16 (135 4th Street at Mission) in San Francisco. Tickets are $20 for individuals or $100 for sponsors. The proceeds benefit the 2014 Cesar Chavez Parade and Festival. Seating is limited, but you can reserve tickets by email at, and they will be held at the door beginning at 6pm. Tickets will also be on sale at the theater from 6 to 7pm

A scene from 'Cesar Chavez'
Pantelion Films

The movie opens in theaters on March 28, but this is an opportunity to see it first and support the parade and festival honoring the life of this labor activist who started the first union for farm workers with Dolores Huerta (played by Rosario Dawson).

Luna, a director who has also appeared in movies including “Y Tu Mamá También, made “Cesar Chavez” with the production company, Canana, which he founded with his friend Gael Garcia Bernal and producer Pablo Cruz. Luna says after his son was born in Los Angeles, he decided wanted to make a movie about a Mexican American so his son would have a story to inspire him. After talking with Chavez’s family, including a long conversation with his wife, Helen, Luna included Chavez’s strained relationship with his eldest son, Fernando, who felt Chavez cared about the movement to the exclusion of his family.

Luna found the story of Chavez founding the United Farm Workers compelling, particularly the grape boycott, which he calls a great example of social change that brought about the collapse of one of California’s most powerful industry. The way Chavez communicated who was picking those grapes and their conditions was an astonishing example of a grassroots movement, Luna says – and he hopes the movie inspires people to feel they can make a difference.

“You don’t need special powers and a cape to bring change – you just need to be clear about what you want, and never lose the curiosity to see who around thinks like you do. And if they don’t, why?” Luna said. “It’s about never losing that curiosity and never letting that difference rule your life.”

Along with Dawson, “Cesar Chavez” stars Michael Peña as Chavez, America Ferrara as Helen Chavez, and John Malkovich as a grape grower who opposed Chavez.

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