Filmed mostly in the Arts District (and entirely in Downtown Los Angeles), “Real Stories of the Donut Men” is a 1997 independent movie with great images of this urban neighborhood that looks vastly different today. While never released nationally, it screened at the 1997 SXSW and won “Best of Fest” at the Long Island Film Festival later that same year. Spoofing the TV show “COPS, ” the storyline is about a young ambitious filmmaker who experiences the worst of L.A. and decides to use his camera to record social injustice. He chronicles a day in the life of two Latino anarchistic punk rockers who promise to act like real LAPD cops.

I learned about this film and saw it for the first time when I met Arts District neighbor, stuntman, and actor Ignacio Alvarez in 1998. While we dated for two years, we have remained friends ever since. Coincidentally, recollection of the film came back to me again when I met one of my neighbors who I realized had starred in the film and was its executive producer. As I see how quickly the neighborhood is changing now, it is even more startling when you view the entire film and see amazing shots such as the time before SCI-Arc took over the abandoned Santa Fe Railway Station — one scene has the stars riding motorcycles inside of the building with a wailing bride left at the altar.

PLOT: After being hassled and beat up by LAPD officers, filmmaker Juan Pelotes (Randy Gatica) decides to get revenge by creating a mockumentary that satirizes L.A.’s boys in blue. Enlisting the aid of two Latinos just released from police custody (played by Beeaje Quick and Jose Ignacio Alvarez), Pelotes costumes his stars in police uniforms and follows them around the city with a camera, recording their staged antics of bullying citizens and propositioning beautiful women.

CAST: Christina Fulton; Eddie Daniels; Ignacio Alvarez; Melissa Carrey; Randy Gatica; Peachy Keene; Beeaje Quick; Corbin Timbrook (and featuring a guest appearance by Dennis Woodruff)

CREDITS: Beeaje Quick – Director, Dan Fort – Editor, Ethan Maniquis – Editor, Michael Brandt – Editor, Melissa Carrey – Executive Producer, Tashia Hales – Production Designer, Sead Mutharevic – Cinematographer, Pamela Cederquist – Producer, Rana Joy Glickman – Producer, Elizabeth Avellan – Producer, Beeaje Quick – Screenwriter

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