'Cesar Chavez' Brings Home SXSW Film Festival Audience Award

The Narrative Spotlight Award highlights narrative features soon to premiere.

Directed by Diego Luna, 'Cesar Chavez' explores the life of the labor activist. (Photo: Lionsgate)

Liana Aghajanian is TakePart's weekend editor. Her work has appeared in ForeignPolicy.com, BBC.com, Los Angeles Times, and TheAtlantic.com.

The soon-to-be-released drama 'Cesar Chavez' took home an audience award in the narrative spotlight category at the SXSW film festival this weekend, an accolade intended to shine a light on new narrative features.

The Diego Luna–directed biopic focuses on the lauded 1970s labor organizer who drew international attention to the struggles of farmworkers and cofounded the United Farm Workers union (then the National Farm Workers Association). His activism brought farmworkers unprecedented rights and brought the dangers of pesticides to national consciousness. 

Chavez is also known for his slogan "Si Se Puede," or "Yes We Can," adopted by President Barack Obama's 2008 election campaign.

In a 2012 Los Angeles Times article, Luna, who is best known for his roles in Y Tu Mama Tabien and Milk, explained the importance of Chavez and the film while in production in Mexico:

"It's about Cesar Chavez, but it is also the story of an event that changed the life of a community and the perception the country had of this community, the seed he planted in the community and how it spread and gave confidence to a community that had been invisible," Luna said.

Set for release on March 28, the film stars Michael Peña as Chavez, America Ferrera as Chavez's wife, Helen, and Rosario Dawson as his longtime organizing partner Dolores Huerta.

Watch the film's trailer below:


TakePart’s parent company, Participant Media, is involved in the production and marketing of Cesar Chavez.

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