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JANM to Screen ‘East Side Sushi’

Juana (Diana Elizabeth Torres) enters a sushi chef competition in “East Side Sushi.”

“East Side Sushi,” written and directed by Anthony Lucero, will be screened Saturday, Jan. 28, at 2 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum’s Tateuchi Democracy Forum, First Street and Central Avenue in Little Tokyo.

Shot in Oakland, the film follows Juana, a single, working-class Latina mother, as she discovers a passion for making sushi. Years of working in the food industry have made Juana’s hands very fast; she can slice and dice anything with great speed and precision. Forced to give up her fruit-vending cart in order to find a more secure job, she becomes a kitchen assistant at a local Japanese restaurant and discovers a whole new world of cuisine and culture, far removed from everything she has known.

As she observes the sushi chefs at work, Juana secretly teaches herself to make a variety of sushi, and soon finds that her creativity is sparked; she begins to want more from her job and her life. She attempts to become a sushi chef, but faces challenges because she is the “wrong” race and gender. Against all odds, Juana embarks on a journey of self-discovery, determined to not let anyone stop her from achieving her dream.

Featuring Diana Elizabeth Torres, Yutaka Takeuchi, Kaya Jade Aguirre, Roji Oyama, Miyoko Sakatani and Lane Nishikawa. Members of the cast and crew will be present for Q&A.

Free with museum admission. For more information, call (213) 625-0414 or viisit

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