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‘Scarface’ and ‘American Me’ actor visits students in Watsonville to inspire upcoming actors

WATSONVILLE, Calif. (KION-TV)- The Watsonville Film Festival is a way to help bring the community together and keep culture and tradition alive through film.

This year Pepe Serna, whose fifty-year career includes 100 films and 300 TV shows, visited local students in Watsonville to teach them the tools of the trade.  He played Al Pacino’s partner in Scarface, a lowrider in Steve Martin’s hit comedy, The Jerk, and was cast with Edward James Olmos in American Me.

"The kids are our future," said Serna. "They're the ones that are holding the stories that need to be told. We've worked a lifetime to give them an opportunity to tell their stories."

Serna answered students' questions on how he got his start in film and what it takes to make their dreams a reality.

"It was a great chance to see Pepe Serna and learn more about this business," said Jose Alcaraz, a high schooler at Pajaro Valley High School. "Ever since I was 8 years old I always wanted to be an actor. Like Pepe said you are just born with it."

Serna also made guest speeches at Pajaro Middle School, Watsonville Charter School, and Cesar Chaves Middle School on Friday.

Serna will receive be present Friday night at 7 p.m. at the Menlo Center for the Opening Night of the festival. He will present his latest film, "Abuelo" and "Life is Art."

The Watsonville Film Festival was created to bring the community together and shine a light on our cultures and traditions, our creativity, and our resilience.” says Consuelo Alba, Co-Founder and Director of the Festival. “After all we’ve been through over the past three years, we wanted to make this year’s Festival accessible to everyone on a ‘pay what you can’ basis.” This is possible thanks to our generous sponsors and supporters who truly understand our vision.” 

The 11th annual Watsonville Film Festival runs from March 3 – 12. For more information on the festival click here.

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Ricardo Tovar

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