Once Upon A Ride
This Latino dramatic series Produced by Diana Duque and Nestor Miranda takes a look into the lives of the newest Americans, immigrants in search of the American dream. Each episode is seen through the eyes of Moses, a Latino cab driver working in Jackson Heights (one of the most multi-cultural communities in New York City).
Rice & Beans - A story told during a routine taxi ride to the airport with a Dominican passenger brings out stereotypes and the conflicts they cause between Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. Written & Directed by Freddy Vargas.
Love Hurts - Moses picks up a Chinese-American passenger with no clear destination. Her story is of the disapproval of her family over her African-American boyfriend, and the drama that unfolds. Written & Directed by Marcos Antonio Miranda.
Greenbacks- Moses picks up two African-American students who have been trying to hail a cab with no luck. Moses shares his own experience with a white passenger that "looked safe" demonstrating why you can't judge a passenger by his skin color. Written & Directed by Freddy Vargas.
Marcos Antonio Miranda
Writer/Director, Love Hurts
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Marcos Antonio Miranda has drawn from his real life experiences and his background as a Martial Arts champion and Hall of Fame inductee to gear himself toward a highly successful acting and filmmaking career. Marcos directed and co-starred in the action-drama Blazin’. His other credits as a writer/producer/director include the award winning documentary, Guns, Drugs & Kids: America’s Wake-up Call!, and the featurette A Little Tenderness, winner-Best Live Action Short at the 1996 New York International Independent Film & Video Festival. He has also directed music videos for the Queen of Salsa Celia Cruz, merengue singing sensation Kinito Mendez, and MTV Award winner El General.
As an actor, Marcos starred in the urban-drama Destination Unknown. He is also featured in the first ever spanish-language SAG feature to be shot in the United States, Buscando Un Sueño. Other films featuring Marcos include Habit, winner of the 1997 Independent Spirit Award, Lord of the City, Final Rinse, starring Frank Gorshin (television’s Batman), Black Is White opposite Dash Mihok (Romeo & Juliet, The Thin Red Line), and Queen Elisabeth opposite Judy Reyes (Law & Order, OZ). In Hong Kong, Marcos was featured in the action films, American Shaolin opposite Kim Chan (Martin Scorsese’s Kundun, Kung Fu: The Next Generation), The Force Within and Ultimate Master.
His company, Miranda Movies®, is currently in production of it’s second film, a documentary on the late superstar rapper Christopher "Big Pun" Rios titled Big Pun: Still Not a Player, and has entered into a distribution agreement for Latin-based films with Ground-Zero Entertainment. He hopes that the continued growth of his company will “enlighten Latinos and minorities everywhere to reach for the stars”.
Writer/Director, Rice & Beans, Greenbacks
Freddy Vargas was born in San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic in 1969. At the age of 18, Freddy migrated to New York City where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from St. John's University. While at St. John's, Freddy wrote, produced and directed the award-winning short films Uptown, which won Best Student Film in 1994 and Victor in 1995, which won a number of awards at the University's 9th Annual Film and Video Competition, including Best Film, Best Writing, and Best Editing. Victor went on to win the Golden Plaque Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, and the Audience Award at the prestigious Telluride Film Festival in Colorado. Freddy’s third short film, Alex was an autobiographical short in which he played the lead role.
Apart from his own films, Freddy has worked on the production of I Like it Like That, and was the production manager on Destination Unknown. Freddy also co-wrote and produced In Search of a Dream (Buscando un Sueño), his first feature screenplay. Currently, Freddy is working on the writing and development of his feature directorial debut, the Spanish language period piece La Nostalgia de la Nada.
New York-based filmmaker Nestor Miranda began his career by producing and directing several short films including The Starving Artist, Picasso No Soy and The Ignorant Immigrant, all of which won several awards. He plunged into the world of feature film in 1993 when he worked on the production of Darnell Martin’s feature, I Like It Like That (Columbia Pictures).
Shortly after, Nestor co-founded Mira Productions as a vehicle towards creating a convergence of Latinos in the film industry. At the age of 27, Nestor marked his directorial debut with Mira Productions’ Destination Unknown, which he also wrote. The film went on to win the Hamptons International Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize for Best American Independent Feature Film. It also was nominated for an ALMA award (American Latino Media Arts) and won a Best Latino Film Award at the Deep Ellum Film Festival. Destination Unknown has been featured in film festivals around the world and had its theatrical release in October 2000, which was well received by critics and audiences alike. Nestor also produced the feature film Blazin’, starring Fat Joe, Angie Martinez and Cuban Link. He is currently co-writing an urban comedy to be produced by State Street Pictures (Men of Honor, Soul Food) for Fox Searchlight and is slated to direct the project in early 2002.
Diana Duque, born and raised in New York City, is an independent producer. She is the co-founder of Mira Productions. Diana began her career by producing several shorts including Picasso No Soy (1993) and The Ignorant Immigrant (1994), both of which won several film competition awards in various categories.
The first full-length feature film Diana produced was Destination Unknown. She was also the associate producer of Blazin’ and has produced music videos as well as commercials. Before becoming an independent producer, Diana received an M.A. in Marketing and worked as a market research analyst for several companies.