• BIO

Puerto Rico| 2011| 0:20:00| Narrative | US Premiere

A Puerto Rican saying haunts single women in their 30's: "If such a woman is not married by this time, she must be a slut, a lesbian, or a prude." This is the story of that woman...??Gabi Padilla thrives in a life full of pleasure and independence. But after her mother's unexpected death, she is forced to return to her rural hometown - place where Gabi's sensual flair is not welcome.

Director: Zoe Salicrup-Junco
Producer: Zoe Salicrup-Junco, Jane June, Amilcar Charlemagne Carino
Writer: Zoe Salicrup-Junco
Cinematographer: Adam Newport-Berra
Editor: Frank Dale Arroyo
Original Music: Agatha Kasprzyk
Sound Editor: Anthony Jones

CAST Aris Mejias, Dalia Davi, Marise Alvarez, Roy Sanchez-Vahamonde


ZOE SALICRUP JUNCO (director) was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She graduated with a BFA in Film and TV and a Minor in Producing from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. She has collaborated in more than fifteen short films as a writer, director, and producer. Moreover, she has completed 3 short films, Forgive & Forget (NY), Pickpockets (Czech Republic), and GABI (Puerto Rico).

Zoe has also acquired industry experience after working for companies such as Resonance Interactive, Outlaw Productions, Noma Films, Universal Studios' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and Little Magic Films.

GABI is Ms. Salicrup Junco's thesis film at NYU, under the guidance of Academy Award Nominee Susan Seidelman. The film began its film festival run in late 2011, being officially selected in top tier festivals such as Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Palm Springs International Shortfest, and many more. In June 2012 Ms. Salicrup Junco became one of "The Independent" Magazine's top 10 filmmakers to watch in 2012. Her writing and directorial work for GABI garnered her NYU's 2012 First Run Film Festival King Screenwriting Award, the Wasserman Directing Award, and the National Board of Review Student Grant.

Zoe continues to develop her knowledge and promote her experiences as a filmmaker as well as to write the feature-length version of GABI.

DALIA DAVI is an award-winning theater, film and television actress from the South Bronx, New York. She is a founding member of R.Evolucion Latina Shakespeare Project. Her work spans through The Spanish Repertory Theater, Pregones Theater, The 47th Street Theater, Ping Chong & Company for Lincoln Center Institute, Theater for the New City, Queens Theater in the Park, Drama Studio London, Casa de La Cultura in Cozumel Mexico, and The Public Theater's Shakespeare Lab. Dalia's film and TV work includes key roles in independent films like "The Southside," "Eliott Loves," and her 2011 TV debut in the "EL DON" series.

Ms.Davi's achievements for her acting work include winner of Best Theatre Actress ACE Awards 2012 for her role in "En el tiempo de las Mariposas," winner for Best Leading Actress 2011 at CineARS film festival for her role as "GABI," 2 HOLA awards, and an ACE Award nomination for Best Upcoming Actress 2008. Dalia is also an individual artist grant winner from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs/Bronx Council on the Arts.

In April 2012 Dalia will be debuting her first one-woman show "Maria Montez Queen of TechniColor." www.daliadavi.com

ARIS MEJIAS has been considered one of the foremost actresses and performance artists of Puerto Rico. She began her career as an actress in national and international film productions such as Cayo (dir.Vicente Juarbe), The Caller (dir.Mathew Parkhill), and Che (dir.Steven Soderbergh). With more than 12 years of camera experience, her acting resume includes films, television, and live performance. Some of her acting credits include "Una Noche" (award winning film at Tribeca Film Festival 2012), "Los Unos y los otros", "The beginning in the end", and "GABI".

Aris's acting achievements include 2 Best Actress awards at Puerto Rico's renown film festival Cinefiesta, CineArs Best Actress award 2010, CineARS Best Supporting Actress award 2011. In 2012 Aris will premiere her second film as a producer - "H.E.C.", the first fully CGI film made in Puerto Rico. www.arismejias.com

Marise Alvarez is one of the most exciting talents creating an interesting name in Puerto Rico. She became known nationally and internationally through her role in the film Maldeamores, which won several awards. She continued to expand her career with the role of Cuban revolutionary Vilama Espin in Che: Part One and Che: Part Two (dir. Steven Soderbergh), and as the role of Elisa in the award-winning English short Lover. She recently collaborated on Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie; a feature film in Europe called Meant to Be; and a thriller entitled The Caller. www.marisealvarez.com

ROY SANCHEZ-VAHAMONDE lives for art. Born in Hato Rey, PR in 1977, since childhood he was sure he wanted to devote his life to the arts, whether it was visual or performing arts. For the past 10 years he has been devoted to acting, focusing his self-managed career on a collection of projects. He has experience in theater, radio, film and TV, and also in music, arts, body language and claun, among other skills. An Aquarius, stubborn, hates dependency, and loves nature.

Director's Statement

I am proud to come from the colorful and exciting culture of a small island in the Caribbean called Puerto Rico, also known as the Enchanted Island. There is no other place like Puerto Rico. We are a mix of races, beliefs, and ideas. As worldly as this mix may sound, diversity also brings confusion, and, often times, double standards among gender, races, and socio-economic levels of population.

One hot topic that never ceases to amuse me is people's thoughts on a woman's role in our society. Like many other Latin American communities, we are also victims of an internationally known attitude called machismo. But what I find most interesting is how women are often the ones partly responsible for carrying on or cultivating this kind of mentality. We are guilty of double standards.

Latin American women are renowned for being "passionate" women; picture the "Latin-lover" character found in literature, music, and movies. This stereotype is very much grounded to our reality. Latin women tend to have that spunk and charisma rarely found in other females. However, when machismo comes into play, Latin women are not supposed to have this "sexual fiend" role. Machismo tones down the image and leaves women to be somewhat sexual, but most importantly, submissive and domesticated.

But what if there were more to these "Latin-lover" characters? What if these women were not only sexual, but better yet, sexually empowered? This is where my imagination kicked in. I want to create a female character with as many Latin- lover qualities as well as many "male" qualities as possible: a non-submissive Latin-lover. A Latin-lover in control.

What happens to these kinds of women who choose to live their life without double standards? What happens to women who choose not to suppress or hide their sexual libido within a Latin American community?

GABI is not only my attempt to keep my filmmaking promise, but it is also a vehicle to discover unspoken truths about how society, and especially how other women would judge, treat and ultimately try to punish characters like Gabi.