Anthony Lucero, Director/Writer of East Side Sushi: 2014 Heartland Film Festival Intro

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A love of movies fostered at an early age spurred writer/director Anthony Lucero to study the craft of filmmaking at San Francisco State University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Film. He worked as a commercial editor for several years before moving into the visual effects world for companies such as George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic and Tippett Studio, working on such films as Star Wars: Episode I, Pirates of the Caribbean, Iron Man and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.

When he’s not working on visual effects films or documentaries such as the PBS series “Not In Our Town,” Lucero’s personal creative pursuits lead him to tackle subjects ranging from whimsical to deeply serious, such as his poignant 2007 documentary film Angels and Wheelchairs. This intensely personal slice-of-life short film won Best Drama/Documentary and Best Overall Film awards at the Alice 5th Annual Independent Film Festival in San Francisco.

A Personal Message from Anthony to Heartland Film Festival Fans

His feature film East Side Sushi (Official Selection, Narrative Feature) is about Juana whose experience working in the food industry for years has made her hands fast – very fast. This single mother can slice and dice anything you throw at her with great speed and precision. When Juana lands a position as a kitchen assistant at Osaka Japanese restaurant, a whole new world of cuisine and culture are discovered, 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 all kinds of sushi – with a Mexican twist. Her creativity sparked, Juana’s re-ignited passion for food drives her to want more from her job and her life. But when she is unable to work there as a sushi chef because she is neither male nor Japanese, Juana embarks on a journey of self-discovery, determined not to let anyone stop her from achieving her dream.


See the East Side Sushi at the 2014 Heartland Film Festival:

  • Saturday, Oct. 18 – 5:00 p.m. at AMC Castleton Square 14
  • Wednesday, Oct. 22 – 7:30 p.m. at AMC Traders Point Showplace 12
  • Thursday, Oct. 23 – 12:45 p.m. at AMC Castleton Square 14
  • Saturday, Oct. 25 – 4:30 p.m. at AMC Traders Point Showplace 12
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