Culture Clash’s Montoya gets film fellowship
Richard Montoya of the L.A. comedy troupe Culture Clash has been named an Annenberg Film Fellow at the Sundance Institute. For three to six months, the $20,000- to $30,000-fellowship stipend will provide Montoya the support to work on the film version of the group’s play “Water & Power,” about two Chicano brothers from East Los Angeles, one an LAPD officer and the other a politician. It premiered in 2006 at the Mark Taper Forum.
Montoya participated in a Sundance screenwriting lab in January and a director’s lab in June. “That’s a good little chunk of cash. It allows you to clear the decks, and to get invited to these conferences,” Montoya said Thursday from New York, where he was attending a co-production marketing conference under the aegis of the Independent Feature Project (IFP). “I’m kind of getting ramped up to be in the real world of filmmaking. I’ve had 32 meetings here in the past two days; that would take three years in L.A.”
Montoya said he is determined to keep the play’s L.A.-specific references in the movie script.
“I’ll fight for that,” he said. “We loved ‘Chinatown,’ we loved ‘The Departed’ because it was so specific to South Boston; ‘Mean Streets’ couldn’t have happened in Lincoln, Neb., it’s about the mean streets of New York. The fact that we’re living in a city with its first Latino mayor in 100 years, I think people will find that interesting. Los Angeles needs to kind of ooze throughout this picture.”
-- Diane Haithman