Biopic on Civil Rights Activist Cesar Chavez to Premiere at SXSW, Hit Theaters March 28

Michael Pena in 'Cesar Chavez' (2014)

Michael Pena in ‘Cesar Chavez’ (2014)

Cesar Chavez: An American Hero , a biopic on legendary civil rights activist and labor organizer Cesar Chavez is set to make its North American debut at SXSW 2014 , followed by a premiere in theaters on March 28th.

Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.”

- Cesar Chavez, Address to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Nov. 9, 1984

The Diego Luna -directed film stars Michael Peña ( Crash ) as Chavez, America Ferrera ( Ugly Betty ) as Helen Chavez , and Rosario Dawson as United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta .

Chronicling the birth of a modern American movement, Cesar Chavez tells the story of the famed civil rights leader and labor organizer torn between his duties as a husband and father and his commitment to securing a living wage for farm workers. Passionate but soft-spoken, Chavez embraced non-violence as he battled greed and prejudice in his struggle to bring dignity to people.

America Ferrera and Michael Pena in 'Cesar Chavez' (2014)

America Ferrera and Michael Pena in ‘Cesar Chavez’ (2014)

“This movie needs to be a success because more movies like this need to be made,” the 29-year-old Ferrera said at a screening with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on Tuesday . “You have the platform to make this part of the conversation.”

Cesar Chavez serves as Luna’s first feature film in English. He says he first took interest in Chavez’s life after his first son was born in the United States.

Michael Pena and Rosario Dawson in 'Cesar Chavez' (2014)

Michael Pena and Rosario Dawson in ‘Cesar Chavez’ (2014)

“I had a Mexican American in the family,” Luna said in August on HuffPost Live. “The idea behind the film is to talk about a community that now I have a strong connection with.”

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