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Judy Thorburn

Brenden Theatres Holds Special Preview Screening of A Better Life

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Brenden Theatres Holds Special Preview Screening of A Better Life

By Judy Thorburn
Las Vegas Round The Clock - www.lasvegasroundtheclock.com
Women's Film Critic Circle - www.wfcc.wordpress.com
Nevada Film Critics Society - www.nevadafilmcriticssociety.org
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Johnny Brenden, in collaboration with The Latin Chamber of Commerce, hosted a special screening of the soon to be released movie “A Better Life" at the Brenden Theatres inside the Palms Resort Casino on Thursday, June 16, 2011.

Chris Saldana, TV reporter from local television station Channel 8, addressed the audience with the announcement that Johnny Brenden was unable to be in attendance as he was was unexpectedly called away. Saldana went on to thank Brenden for his continuous support and contribution to the community and philanthropic endeavors. Following in the footsteps of his philanthropic grandfather Johnny Mann, owner of the famed, Mann Theatres in Hollywood, Brenden has donated millions to worthy causes.

As an example of his commitment to the community, Brenden's generous grant of $25,000 to UNLV's film program enables film students to complete their education. Francisco Mendendez, Chair of UNLV'S Film Department was on hand to present the Inaugural Filmmaker's Award of $25,000 to student, Constanza Castro, the first Latin student to produce her own film.

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Francisco Mendendez, (left) Chair of UNLV'S Film Department was on hand to present the Inaugural Filmmaker's Award of $25,000 to student, Constanza Castro

The presentation was a fitting accompaniment to the preview screening of the gripping film, “A Better Life”, which tells the timely story of a Mexican immigrant and his struggle to make a better life for himself and his son in the United States.

Prior to the start of the screening, the film's producer/director Chris Weitz, best known for his work as a producer on “American Pie,” “In Good Company,” and “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” and for directing “The Golden Compass” and “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”, made a special appearance to talk briefly about his latest work that means so much to him.

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producer/director Chris Weitz
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Weitz told the audience about his personal connection to the Latin community. Most people are probably not aware that Weitz's grandmother was a Latina, born in Mexico before coming to the United States. It was obvious this film and it's theme is very dear to his heart. Before leaving to head back to Los Angeles, Weitz said he hoped audiences will be moved and “ This is a film that needs tends loving care.”

Rated PG, A Better Life, directed by Chris Weitz opens in theatres on Friday, July 8.

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