About this project
Lupe was one of the greatest musical divas ever known and a force of nature, personally and musically. In short, she was her own revolution in her own time. Help us tell her story!
At the height of the raging nightlife in Havana, Cuba, Lupe ignites the stage at the famous Club La Red, singing with a never-seen-before emotional and physical abandon, mesmerizing audiences and attracting the attention of the most famous artists and writers of her time -- calling her "a true genius," and "the creator of the art of frenzy."
But Lupe's exhilarating passion for life and her frenetic style of singing, scares Fidel Castro
and he kicks her out of the country, tearing her away from her father —
the one man who truly loved and understood her — and the beautiful
island she calls home.
"THIS COUNTRY ISN'T BIG ENOUGH FOR THE TWO OF US"
Refusing to be silenced, Lupe goes to New York. And there, alone and poor, but still fueled with her passion for life and singing, performs in nightclubs throughout the city, enthralling audiences with her unconventional, irreverent style and within weeks, steps onto a stage as Tito Puente's lead singer and quickly becomes the uncontested “Queen of Latin Soul.”
She experiences fame and fortune, but the uncontrollable fire she
unleashes on and off stage, almost destroys herself and everyone she
knows, ultimately leaving her friendless, destitute, and homeless. Yet,
Lupe’s dauntless spirit cannot be stopped and she stages a comeback
concert for thousands of her fans, captivating her audience with her
unique style and passion and once again, re-establishes herself as the
undisputed “Queen of Latin Soul. "
Lupe is the power of the human spirit and the movie, They Call Me La Lupe, proves she could never be silenced.
"But her legacy is not a sad song. She left us treasures that we should savor, and that places her among the '60s Queens of Tough: Janis Joplin, Tina Turner and La Lupe." - Milo Miles, NPR
The Cast of Dexter Supports "They Call Me La Lupe" Movie
Harold Perrineau Supports "They Call Me La Lupe" Movie
From el escritorio (desk) of Lauren Veléz:
I've always felt a deep connection with the person, known as 'La Lupe.' The first time I heard her sing and she sang one of her most famous songs, "Que Te Pedi," it went straight into my soul. The sound of her voice was unlike anything I had ever heard. The passion, pain, the raw quality of it mesmerized me. Even her laugh was unique -- a laugh I never heard before or since -- and yet I felt like I always understood her. Even as a young girl I identified with her…
Maybe it was because I grew up in a family of incredibly strong women, especially my mom who like Lupe, had an inner strength that I thought was super human. No matter what happened, whether my mother was laughing, crying or angry, she woke every morning determined to press on. But even as a kid, when I heard Lupe sing, her voice (that special voice) made me think of my mother and so many other women I respected.
When singing, Lupe would pull her hair, kick off her shoes, hit the musicians on stage, rip her clothing off -- she was so free in expressing herself, it didn't matter to her. And I admired her and always wanted to taste that same sense of freedom; always wished I could be more like that, (not necessarily biting or hitting people,) but being free enough to express who I really was.
Lupe was unapologetic and refused to compromise -- unwilling to live by the standards of anyone else. But it wasn't easy and even though she experienced so much success, she also suffered incredible pain and heartache. She had so many forces working against her, trying to destroy her, because they just didn't bother trying to understand her.
I think sometimes people are threatened by something that shines so bright, or something so powerful they just want to destroy it; make it go away because by comparing themselves to her, they knew they weren't living as fully as she did.
There have been times when I, like everyone else in this world have been misunderstood and felt completely alone, but I vowed to always keep going just like Lupe did -- to push forward both professionally and personally and this movie, "They Call Me La Lupe," is my way of thanking Lupe for giving me the strength and the courage to believe in my dreams, no matter what they are or what people say, because dreams are the seed of life and Lupe knew that. She was who she was and...she was unforgettable.
ABOUT THE TEAM
LAUREN VELÉZ - ACTRESS, PRODUCER
For the last six seasons, Lauren Veléz has been starring as the sexy and ambitious, Captain Maria Laguerta on Showtime’s Emmy award-winning series, Dexter. Veléz has earned several awards for her riveting dramatic work on the hit series, including four Alma Award nominations, and 1 win for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, and along with her Dexter cast mates, she's been nominated for four consecutive Screen Actor’s Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
Veléz was also recognized for her gut-wrenching performance as Dr. Gloria Nathan on HBO’s critically acclaimed show, Oz, as well as for her portrayal of Det. Nina Moreno in the classic television series, New York Undercover. Her breakout role was a star-is-born turn in the film, I Like It Like That, which earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Lead Actress. Other career highlights include working with the likes of Al Pacino in City Hall and Meryl Streep in the presentation of the play Seven for the Women in the World Conference. A pioneer for Latina (and Afro-Latina actresses), Veléz has broken down barriers and opened doors for some of today’s biggest Latina TV stars.
JUDY REYES - ACTRESS, PRODUCER
Judy Reyes is best known for her scene-stealing work as the defiantly Dominican nurse, Carla Espinosa, on the long-running TV comedy Scrubs. Other TV credits include Oz, The Sopranos, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2008, she played Luz Cuevas in the Lifetime movie, Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story, and last year, she performed in the beloved indie Gun Hill Road, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. She is set to star in the new Lifetime series, Devious Maids, which is being co-produced by Eva Longoria and Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry.
GEORGE VALENCIA - DIRECTOR, PRODUCER
George Valencia is a prolific writer and director whose credits include Glow Ropes: The Rise and Fall of a Bar Mitzvah Emcee, (which won the New York Latino International Film Festival), and Brandi Chastain: A Tribute To A Champion, a documentary about female soccer legend, Brandi Chastain. Valencia’s short film Moment to Moment won Best Short at the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival (2002) and he was awarded Best New Latin Filmmaker from Showtime. Born in New Jersey, he is half-Ecuadorean and half-Colombian.
JAMES MANOS, JR. - WRITER, PRODUCER
James Manos, Jr., is the creator of Showtime’s Emmy award-winning series Dexter, which he developed, wrote and produced. An acclaimed television writer and producer, Manos Jr., won an Emmy for “Outstanding Writing for Dramatic Series” (1999) for the “College” episode of The Sopranos. He was a Consulting Producer on the first year of FX’s critically acclaimed series The Shield, and he successfully produced the award-winning movie, The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom, starring Holly Hunter and Beau Bridges, for HBO. He wrote and is slated to direct—The Slow and Complete Decompensation of Jim Manos, which will star Michael C. Hall and Vera Farmiga and most recently completed a new pilot for Showtime.
LUIS CABALLERO - WRITER
Luis Caballero is a director, writer, and actor from Puerto Rico. His acting credits include roles in: Equus, King Lear, The Fantastiks, and Bomber Jackets. Among his directing credits are No Exit, The House of Bernarda Alba, Las Mascaras, Boy George Se Esta Dejando Barba (Centro de Bellas Artes-Best Director Award), Don Quixote, and La Lupe: My Life and My Destiny. He most recently wrote and directed DC-7: The Roberto Clemente Story at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, NYC.
SHANNON B. GARDNER - PRODUCER
Shannon B. Gardner is the CEO and President of Production at Framework Pictures. Gardner supervises Framework’s projects from production through delivery. Most recently, he produced the high school football drama Touchback, starring Kurt Russell. Gardner previously mounted three independently financed productions, including: They Are Among Us, (2003), starring Corbin Bernsen, Bruce Boxleitner, and Nava Visitor, Humble Pie (2008), starring William Baldwin, Kathleen Quinlan, Bruce McGill, and Mary Lynn Rajskb, and the upcoming crime drama Once Fallen, starring Academy Award nominees Taraji Henson, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, and Peter Weller.
DEREK BEUMER - PRODUCER
Derek Beumer is the President and Head of Development at Framework Pictures. He supervises creative development on all of Framework’s feature films, from project inception through production. Most recently, he developed and executive produced the high school football drama Touchback, starring Kurt Russell, Marc Blucas, and Melanie Lynskey. He oversaw production of Once Fallen, a crime drama starring Academy Award nominees Ed Harris, Taraji P. Henson, Amy Madigan, and Peter Weller. He also produced the critically acclaimed comedy Humble Pie, starring William Baldwin.
LEE HERNANDEZ - EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Lee Hernandez is a writer, editor and producer. He is a former Editor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning website The Huffington Post and a former Senior Editor of Latina Magazine — the largest magazine in the United States aimed at Latin women. In 2010, Lee produced the Off-Broadway play, They Call Me La Lupe, starring Lauren Veléz.
WANT MORE 'LUPE?' Stay connected with the producers and stars of the film by visiting our official Twitter and Facebook pages. We will be updating these pages with photos, videos, and other updates on a regular basis. Don't miss a moment of our adventure to make this amazing movie!
New York Daily News: Lauren Veléz of Showtime's "Dexter" Using Crowdfunding Site Kickstarter to Fund "La Lupe" Film
Remezcla: Help Bring La Lupe to the Big Screen
MamasLatinas: Dexter's Lauren Veléz Inspired By Miami For New La Lupe Biopic
Being Latino: Lauren Veléz: In Her Own Words
Latina Magazine: Lauren Veléz Spills on Her New Biopic, "They Call Me La Lupe"
Backstage: Lauren Veléz Went From Open Calls to TV Star on "Dexter"Variety: Lupe Mulls Switch From Stage to Screen
New York Daily News: Lauren Veléz Stars in La Lupe's Encore
Contact Music: Veléz Set For the Big Screen as La Lupe?
Theater Mania: Dexter's Lauren Veléz to Star in "They Call Me La Lupe"
GRACIAS, a ti! We wouldn't be able to make this film, were it not for generous backers and fans like you. We'd like to thank you for your support, generosity and commitment to helping us get Lupe's story told.
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