Luminarias, the Movie 1999

Actor Robert Beltran, friend and former student of Dr. Jess Nieto, contacted `Dr. Nieto in 1999 about the idea of showing a premiere of the film Luminarias in Bakersfield.  Beltran was able to get Dr. Nieto and Jose Luis Valenzuela, UCLA professor and director of the film, to organize a premiere in Bakersfield. 

The Movie

The film "Luminarias, is a romantic comedy about four Hispanic friends looking for love in East L.A. and meeting to console each other at the Luminarias restaurant. Lawyer Andrea (Fernandez), who's divorcing her philandering husband (Beltran), finds herself attracted to anglo Joseph (Bakula). Therapist Sofia (DuBois) has always tried to distance herself from her roots but gets is surprised by her feelings for cute Mexican waiter Pablo (Lopez). Artist Lilly (Moya) is hoping to change her luck in love with Korean Lu (Lim) only to run into prejudice from his parents and sexy designer Irene (Ortelli) has sworn off sex for Lent and is trying to accept her cross-dressing gay brother (Rivas).

Bob Lewis (left) and brother Ernie (right, Board of Director member) at the premiere of "Luminarias" enjoying some tasty popcorn.

Dr. Jess Nieto & Bakersfield College student Leon

Dr. Jess Nieto and audience as he is about to introduce
producer Jose Luis Valenzula and actors of the movie.

Heritage of America Board of Directors President,
Rogelio Vargas

Dr. Jess Nieto and actresses Marta DuBois and Dyana Ortelli of

Pat Rainey of Heritage of America and Marta Dubois
and Dyana Ortelli

Charlie Rodriguez (L), local businessman and community
activist with actresses Marta Dubiois and Dyana Ortelli,
and Joel Moreno of the Kern County Mental Health
Department (R)

Jose Luis Valenzuela (Film Director) with actor
Robert Beltran

MTI Home Video, 14216 SW 136th St., Miami, FL 33186, Phone: (305)255-8684, Fax: (305)233-6943, Email:, URL:

Available on (VHS, DVD) Running time 101 minutes.

Cast & Crew


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