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"Tio Papi" Director Fro Rojas Says Movie is Close to Home

"Tio Papi" opens in theaters Sept.6.

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One moment you are living the life as a single bachelor with no worries in life. The next, you are left responsible for six children who have recently become orphaned. Roxanne Vargas talks to filmmaker Fro Rojas about his latest project, "Tio Papi."

"Tio Papi," opening in theaters Sept. 6, tells the story of a very Latino uncle who ends up taking care of his sister’s six kids after she dies in a car accident.

The film’s director and Miami native, Fro Rojas, said he experienced the same storyline after his mother died, and he had to return to Miami from Los Angeles to take care of his little sister.

"Eight years ago I had to move back here because I lost my mom to cancer, and I had to raise my little sister," Rojas said. "It helps being able to tell the story and put it on screen. I’m able to tell the story of what I went through."

Rojas wanted the film to tell the story but also be a way to connect with his audience.

"I think anyone can connect to it, you don’t have to be Hispanic," Rojas said

"But I’m very proud that I’m able to give back to that community and that I’m working on this film that’s Spanglish," Rojas said. "I’m working on different things that are my generation. It’s not the old generation that only spoke Spanish, it’s a generation that does both."

After being raised by a Spanish-speaking mother, Rojas said he learned to embrace and combine both cultures.

"Everyone is being raised in this dual world of Spanish and English," Rojas said. "I’m just glad that we are at the beginning of it, at the start of it."

Rojas is also involved in a variety of videos, commercials and short films including a campaign for Ford and Bacardi in Miami.

"They were looking for that younger, Hispanic, Spanglish director," Rojas said about his Ford commercials. "It just worked out great with them."
 

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