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Production Notes
Based on Sense and Sensibility, From Prada to Nada is a modern urban interpretation of the Jane Austen classic, exploring what happens when two women are confronted by social change, and have to adapt to the new world that they find themselves in.

"What I liked about this story,” explains director Angel Gracia, "is that it operates on three different levels at once. On the surface it's a beautiful, charming and endearing romantic comedy. On the second level, it's about what happens when you lose it all. And finally, on the third level, it's about two Latinas who have been raised American. It is as compelling as it is contemporary, and it's fascinating to see the juxtaposition of the two cultures while people are falling in love.”

"What attracted me to this project,” elaborates Gracia, "was that I, too, came to this culture as a Latino teenager. And I have many friends and co-workers who are Latin immigrants from many, many countries. One has to learn how to embrace the new world without losing your original world – where you come from.”

Producer Linda McDonough agrees, and it was Gracia's simpatico with the subject matter that convinced OddLot Entertainment that he was the right director for the project. "Angel was a perfect match for our film. He was born in Venezuela, raised in both Spain and the US, and is personally connected to an immigrant story. His wife is from Mexico City, and together they raise a daughter who is a first generation Mexican American who deals with many of the same issues that we deal with in our film. When I met him he told me that he wanted to make this film smart for women and funny for young people, and above all he wanted to make the characters feel real.”

On the hybrid nature of the film, McDonough offers, "The idea of doing Jane Austen with a Latin twist was very appealing to me. The challenge of adapting a story that has been a successful classic novel and then film adaptation is to make it feel fresh and relevant to a young audience. For us it meant telling the story from within the Latin culture as a second-generation immigration story.”

As to the meaning of the film, McDonough continues, "The message of the movie is truly universal. It's: Don't judge a book by its cover; value people over things; and it's about how any kind of challenge or struggle in your life is really ultimately a transformative experience that makes you a better person.”

Of the Jane Austen connection, director Angel Gracia elaborates: "I think the story that Austen tells transcends place and time. It has no expiration date. What happened in (19th Century England's) Sense and Sensibility is happening here in Los Angeles today.” Linda McDonough agrees, "This story was originally about women who became independent unexpectedly, and found themselves unable to define themselves any longer, either by money or a patriarchy. And while I think contemporary society assumes those things don't matter anymore, in many superficial ways they do. So we felt we could credibly tell the same story.”

Actress Camilla Belle who plays Nora shares this view: "There is a lot of the original story from Sense and Sensibility in the film but with a definite twist. The two sisters are very much the same in character but placed in modern day Los Angeles, adding the rich Mexican culture to the mix. I think a lot of young girls are going to appreciate the story, but in a new way.”

Screenwriter Craig Fernandez concurs: "When Jane Austen was writing, women couldn't work. Now women have options, so it's become about a woman coming into her own, finding a place of self-respect, and a partner who's her equal.” As to bringing home one of the film's key themes, Fernandez says, "You can't just be sensible and experience life… you're shutting yourself off. And you can't just be concerned with art and love either, because these can let you down. The answer lies somewhere in the middle. This notion is true within Austen's work, and remains true within our story.”

Actress Alexa Vega, who plays the younger sister Mary, agrees: "I think that the message of the film is to embrace your roots, accept your culture and be proud of it, while also discovering who you really are and not being afraid to break boundaries.”

"I think this movie speaks to the value of family and a shared history,” comments Nicholas D'Agosto, who plays Nora's love interest Edward Ferris. "It tells us that we should celebrate the things we have in our lives that make us special and different.”

Fernandez concludes, "This story is also about love and loss. What I wanted to emphasize was the strength of Latin women, and that when these women embrace their culture they can do anything.”

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