When a Latina actress struggles to stand out from the stereotypical role, she channels her turbulent love life to book the character of her dreams.
“Playing Sam” is a semi-autobiographical independent film that follows the story of Samantha (Sam). As a non-Spanish-speaking Latina actress from the Bronx, Sam struggles to fit into Hollywood’s narrow standards of beauty and ethnicity. When she auditions for the role of Anita in the Off-Broadway rendition of West Side Story, she delivers a cringe-worthy monologue with a noticeably fake Spanish accent, “Antonio! What kind of fool do you take me for?” she botches it, and the director, Ivonne Salaberrios, calls her out. But Ivonne sees the potential in Sam and gives her one last chance to deliver an authentic performance. With her second try, Sam channels her turbulent yet comedic love life for inspiration. An emotional rollercoaster ride consisting of narcissists and F Boys, she gets to the root of what it means to be your true authentic self. “Playing Sam” explores themes of heritage, mental health, and sexuality with a frank and unapologetic depiction of an empowered Latina woman.
Ramon Felipe Pesante
Elaine Del Valle