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Raising Victor Vargas Details


Victor (Victor Rasuk), a horny teenager living on Manhattan's Lower East Side, has an afternoon rendezvous with a girl known as "Fat Donna" (Donna Maldonado). When his sister, Vicki (Krystal Rodriguez), finds out about it, she spreads word throughout the neighborhood, severely damaging what Victor thinks is his reputation. Then he and his best friend, Harold (Kevin Rivera) visit the public pool, where Victor spots the lovely Judy (Judy Marte), known locally as "Juicy Judy," and he decides to salvage his good name by pursuing her. While Judy is standoffish, Harold has better luck with her friend, Melonie (Melonie Diaz of Melonie Diaz). Judy's shy younger brother, Carlos (Wilfree Vasquez) agrees to help Victor get close to Judy if Victor will introduce him to Vicki. As Victor clumsily, but doggedly pursues her, Judy decides to let Victor think he's her boyfriend, in the hope that his presence will discourage neighborhood boys from harassing her all the time. Victor's strict grandmother (Altagracia Guzman) is furious when she learns that Victor introduced Vicki to a boy, and she also worries about his influence on his goody-two-shoes younger brother, Nino (Rasuk's real-life brother Silvestre). Writer/director Peter Sollett's feature debut is an expansion of his original short, Five Feet High and Rising, which featured many of the same actors. Sollett had his mostly non-professional cast improvise much of their dialogue. Raising Victor Vargas was shot by Tim Orr, who also lensed David Gordon Green's feature debut, David Gordon Green. Raising Victor Vargas was shown at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and at New Directors/New Films. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi

  • Release date:March 28, 2003


Awarded by
Independent Spirit Awards Judy Marte Best Debut Performance 2003 Nominee
Independent Spirit Awards Peter Sollett Best Director 2003 Nominee
Independent Spirit Awards Peter Sollett Best First Screenplay 2003 Nominee
Independent Spirit Awards Victor Rasuk Best Debut Performance 2003 Nominee
Independent Spirit Awards Eva Vives Best First Screenplay 2003 Nominee


Victor Rasuk
as Victor Vargas
Judy Marte
as 'Juicy' Judy Ramirez
Melonie Diaz
as Melonie
Altagracia Guzman
as Grandma
Silvestre Rasuk
as Nino Vargas
Krystal Rodriguez
as Vicki Vargas
Wilfree Vasquez
as Carlos
Donna Maldonado
as Fat Donna


Peter Sollett
Peter Sollett
Scott Macaulay
Robin O'Hara
Alain de la Mata
Eva Vives
Screen Story
Peter Sollett
Screen Story
Peter Sollett
Tim Orr
Roy Nathanson
Composer (Music Score)
Jean-Michel Dissard
Associate Producer
Vincent Maraval
Executive Producer
Jill Newell
Costume Designer
Carrie Fix
First Assistant Director
Ulysses Torrero
Cate Wilson
Line Producer