Coming to theatres from director Fro Rojas and Active Fox Productions comes the tale of TIO PAPI.
This film tells the story of Ray Ray (Joey Dedio), a bachelor who loves a good time but works hard saving for a life he dreams of in Miami. But life is what happens when you are out making plans and so it does for Ray Ray. In an instant his sister and brother-in-law are killed in an auto accident.
How does this change Ray Ray’s life? Social worker Elizabeth Warden (Kelly McGillis) shows up letting him know he now has custody of six children! Vanessa (Gabriella Fanuele), Manny (David Castro), Angela (Fatima Ptacek), Angelo (Sebastian Martinez), Lola (Nicolette Pierini) and Nico (Day Roy). Quickly he doesn’t see becoming a family man and agrees to keep the kids until a suitable home becomes available.
In the meantime, Ray Ray is becoming emotionally attached to the kids and realizes the loss of their parents means they need him even more! Girlfriend Cheeky (Elizabeth Rodriguez) and best buddy Chizzy (Frank G) are helping as they can.
But it all begins to unravel as Warden takes the two smallest children and now Ray Ray will do anything, that’s anything, to get them back keeping the family together.
FINAL WORD: Dedio as Ray Ray has written a story line here that is very endearing, sweet and strong. Taking the character of a man who sees life only for himself and changing for the lives of others can something be a tough thing to accomplish. Dedio’s character has an awakening about the true meaning of family and that love means being responsible for every action – including the selfish ones.
Fanuele as Vanessa is charming and responsible, Castro as Manny is the angry young man who just wants things to be as they were, Martinez as Angelo sees his family as everything, Ptacek as Angela is a little spitfire but totally cute.
Rodriguez as Cheeky is a woman who has been scorned by Ray Ray but when she sees the change in him – it changes her as well. Frank G as Chizzy is really funny. Faison as Gilly is the friend who helps Ray Ray focus on what is important.
McGillis gets to be the bad gal in the film. From the moment she turned over the kids it was an unpleasant situation that wasn’t going to bode well for anyone involved.
Other cast include: Jerome Preston Bates as Wilson, Jene Hernandez as Lizette, Vanessa Aspillaga as Carmela, Jeffrey De Serrano as Bongo and Frankie Faison as Gilly.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give TIO PAPI three tubs of popcorn out of five. This is a very warmhearted story about family and growing up – for kids as well as adults. The cast play off each other very well and that lends to the realism of the story and the emotion that it brings from the audience.
There is a feeling of emotion here that is strong, a story that could happen to anyone, awakenings that are always a good thing and humor that lightens the load a tad. There are obvious lessons about family and doing what’s right but in TIO PAPI they are wrapped in valued performances that are lasting.
TIO PAPI has won the Spirit of Independents Aware at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival and Best Picture at the Rincon International Film Festival. It was also honored by the Screen Actors Guild in New York, LA and Miami. TIO PAPI is an original screenplay by Joey Dedio and Brian Herskowitz.
If you are looking for a film that is warm, family oriented and worth every dime to see then take everyone to see TIO PAPI
In the end – it all comes down to family and love!
For more information on films and television visit Movie Maven.