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Pepe Urquijo

Urquijo was given the breath of life in the San Fernando Valley but gained the tools to speak of it in the halls of San Francisco State University where he earned a B.A. in cinema production and screenwriting. With a background in theater, music, photography, and creative writing, Urquijo found film and video as the artistic medium best suited for storytelling. Exposure to socially conscious, revolutionary filmmaking maestros like Ousmane, Pontecorvo, and Gomez would eventually teach him to make stories that count.

The mid-1990s was a time marked with paranoia and anti-immigrant sentiment in California. Urquijo chose this period as the backdrop for his first film, Algún Día (Someday). In "Algún Día" the Gonzalez family strives to overcome xenophobic injustices running rabid through a neighborhood confused about the "immigrant problem". Over 100,000 people have now seen "Algún Día" as it has been screened on various television programs and films.

In 1999, Urquijo completed "Beca de Gilas: Rebeca's Story", a poignant film about family, faith, substance abuse, community building, and self-determination. At the center of the marriage between a fragile but visionary father and a deeply religious mother, we see Rebeca Armendáriz, a 21-year-old Xicano community activist, as she finds a career and life for herself. "Beca" won the Golden Gate Award for Best Bay Area Documentary from the San Francisco International Film Festival and honorable mention for the Grand Prize.

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