1950s San Antonio is setting for short film at Tobin Center

By Omar Sanchez, mySA Staff Writer  – August 4, 2017

There is something special about the venue where filmmaker Marcella Ochoa is showing her new short film “My Name is Maria de Jesus”: Her parents graduated there.

Sal and Mary Jessie Ochoa, both 70, went to Fox Tech High School, and their graduation ceremony was at Municipal Auditorium. The renovated auditorium, now the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, is the site of the San Antonio Film Festival, where Ochoa’s short drama will be screened Saturday.

Ochoa, 36, said her parents’ experience in school inspired her to make “My Name is Maria de Jesus.”
In 1950s San Antonio, she said, Sal and Mary Jessie’s teachers taught them to bottle up their Hispanic heritage, even belittling them for speaking Spanish in public. Sal, a second-generation Mexican-American, and Mary Jessie, whose parents were Mexican and Spanish, would be considered American — nothing else.

“The mindset was you’re embarrassed about your language,” Sal said. “You’re embarrassed about your language and embarrassed about your culture.”

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