Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

by Allison Neves

Actress, producer and activist, Angie Ruiz has a lot to be smiling about these days. Earlier this year, her company Wandering Films teamed up with Minx Films to produce her very first project, a seductive, short film called La Milonga. Since that time, the film has been chosen as an official selection for the LA Femme Film Festival, the Miami Short Film Festival and the San Luis Obispo Film Festival.

In 2007, Ruiz formed Wandering Films with the goal of producing independent films and documentaries that share stories from her extensive travels and international volunteer experiences. La Milonga is the first film produced by Wandering Films and was inspired by her 2007 visit to Buenos Aires where she spent every evening dancing Tango in the traditional Tango dance halls.

The film is set in 1920’s Buenos Aires and was inspired by the era of Carlos Gardel and the rise of Tango. La Milonga tells the story of a young virtuous woman who wanders into a Milonga dance hall, and meets the number one Milonguero. When he asks her to dance she must decide if she is ready to enter his world, one where he is experienced on the dance floor as well as with the ladies. In this stylized and romantic tango film, the two dancers discover a part of themselves previously unknown.

La Milonga was directed by Francesca Di Amico, produced by Claudia Unger, executive produced by Angie Ruiz and her production company Wandering Films and stars Ms. Ruiz and newcomer Christian Monzon.

The film made its first public showing at the LA Femme Film Festival, a premier festival that focuses on women filmmakers. It is a festival for those women who want to have an equal opportunity in commercial entertainment and desire to change, enhance, or become leaders in the industry as a Director, Writer, Producer or Director of Photography. La Milonga is slated to show in Miami on November 22 and in San Luis Obispo and other festival venues across the country in later this year.

Named “Cara Nueva” (New Face) in 2006 by People Magazine (En Espanol), Angie Ruiz recently appeared in Daniel Craig starrer, FLASHBACKS OF A FOOL, directed by Baillie Walsh. She has been featured at the ALMA Awards hosted by Eva Longoria and was a presenter at the 20th Annual Imagen Awards, hosted by George Lopez. Angie has performed in films for Lions Gate, Maverick Entertainment, Fox Searchlight, and Miramax including Surf School, In Your Eyes, Bee Season, and 40 Days and 40 Nights. Angie has also performed in theatre productions Richard II in London and Months on End in Los Angeles. Next up for Ruiz, a starring role in an action packed pilot that begins shooting later this fall.

As a young person, writer and director, Francesca Di Amico was awarded the VanWinkle Award in Media for creating three closed circuit and public broadcast television programs about young filmmakers, and art’s influence in politics. Thereafter, Francesca graduated with honors from the film department at Art Center College of Design, breeding ground to such filmmakers as Brian Singer, Michael Bay, Sofia Coppola, and Tarsem Singh. Francesca worked on a multitude of sets for commercials and feature films, first as a director’s assistant and then as a script supervisor. She worked also as an editor for ABC network television. She has made twenty four short films.

Francesca created MinxFilms with partner Claudia Unger an art driven boutique production company, for specialized films, photography and new media projects commissioned from international private and public firms. Francesca’s commissioned screenplays include, DOLORES, THE FALL OF SPLENDOR, MOMMY’S LITTLE MONSTER, and CHAVELITO. Francesca adapted the screenplay and will direct, THE STAMP COLLECTOR based on notable author, Vishwapriya Iyengar’s widely acclaimed short story, “No Letter From Mother”. The feature film will shoot on location in India with cast commitments thus far from the luminous Nandita Das.

The thirty minute film, SILENCE LIVING IN HOUSES written and directed by Francesca, starring Douglas Spain (Band of Brothers, Star Maps) screened at over sixty film festivals internationally, and is the recipient of nineteen festival and humanitarian awards. Notable festivals include, Award for Best Short Film at the Hamptons Intl. Film Festival, Special Recognition Award at the Museum of Modern Art New York and Best of Festival Award at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. and is distributed by Big Film Shorts.

For a preview of La Milonga, visit www.angie-ruiz.com

About the Author

Allison Neves has more than fifteen years of public relations experience, providing strategic and tactical PR services for a wide range of clients, from actors and musicians to non-profit organizations and high-tech companies. She currently works as the Communications Director for the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which works to prevent avoidable blindness in the U.S. and abroad through public service and education. With parents from San Salvador and Hong Kong, Allison has made a personal commitment to reconnect with her roots by traveling extensively throughout Latin America and Asia. When she’s not trying to save the world one press releases at a time, Allison travels, practices Pilates, scuba dives, and hangs out with best friend and husband, Travis. A past recipient of the Bulldog Reporter’s Award of Excellence for Media Relations and Publicity, Allison has spent the last seven years volunteering as the PR Director for Little Kids Rock, a national non-profit music education program. She currently resides in the historic Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco.

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