By Anthony LUCERO


Drama - Post-Production 2013

Striving to create a better life for herself and her daughter, single mother Juana decides to become a sushi chef and must overcome racial and gender barriers to fulfill her dream.

    • Year of production
    • 2013
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • USA
    • Languages
    • Duration
    • 90 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Anthony LUCERO
    • Writer(s)
    • Anthony LUCERO
    • Producer(s)
    • Julie RUBIO (EastWest Films), Heather HAGGARTY (Sparklight Films), Nanou MATTESON (Sparklight Films)
    • Synopsis
    • The kitchens of thousands of restaurants are filled with Latino staff, working long hours for little pay, striving for a better life. This story is their story. This story is Juana’s story: Juana strives to leave the back of a Japanese restaurant and prove her skill as a sushi chef, but is met with opposition and prejudice.
      After having her fruit-vending cart robbed in the gritty, violent streets of East Oakland, Juana decides she can no longer risk her life to support her young daughter and ailing father, and applies for a job as kitchen help at East Side Sushi. Though relegated to the back of the kitchen and reminded constantly that the art of sushi-making is reserved for Japanese men, Juana becomes immersed in the food and culture of Japan, and begins to secretly study the work of sushi chefs at the restaurant and at home.
      One day, short-handed, Aki, the head sushi chef, asks Juana to prepare sushi for customers. With speed and precision, Juana shines and it is clear that her skills rival that of experienced sushi chefs. Yet, Mr. Yoshida, the owner of East Side Sushi, refuses to let her work at the front of the restaurant and Juana quits. More determined than ever to pursue her dream of becoming a sushi chef, Juana enters a sushi competition and must compete against three successful Japanese sushi chefs to show not only herself, but the world that success must not be defined by race or gender.
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Nov 01, 2012
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