Many times the perception and reality of Miami can get blurred. Television shows similar to “Real Basketball Wives” and music videos filled with half naked women can, at times, cause some to believe that Miami is a one sided city. In fact, there are many nooks and crannies that are not necessarily hidden, but awaiting to finally be revealed. This unveiling was thoroughly illustrated in director Aaron Salgado’s Magic City Memoirs, one of the top films to debut at this year’s New York International Latino Film Festival.
In an intense depiction of three high school buddies preparing for life after graduation, the film centers around Mikey Acosta (J.R. Villarreal), the star of the baseball team, Angel (Michael Cardelle) the son of the mayor, and Stok (Andres Dominguez) the son of an imprisoned drug dealer. Their lives are consumed by the temptations of sex, drugs, hip-hop, as well as their struggles to find themselves, along with the meaning of life. As graduation draws near for the three young men, their friendship is put to the test. Mistakes are made and their futures are up in the air. The boys are constantly challenged by pressures of their society and their desires in life.
The events that transpire in Magic City Memoirs are based on true events that occurred in the lives of Salgado and screenplay writer J.D. Freixas. It’s of no surprise that the entire cast and crew later mentioned at the festival that they could relate to the story. When asked which character they most identified with, many said a combination of all three. “I had a lot of reckless friends,” said Salgado.
Since the success of the film both Salgado and Freixas are currently working on trying to create Magic City Memoirs into a television series.