Temperatures fell below freezing at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Tuesday night, but all the Latin Heat was crammed into the Supper Club on Main Street. América Ferrera and boyfriend Ryan Piers Williams (whose film The Dry Land was a festival favorite), Wilmer Valderrama and dozens of others were celebrating Mexican star Diego Luna’s directorial debut Abel, a touching story about an emotionally-scarred young boy who deals with the absence of his father by turning himself into the man of the house.
Diego, in a gray suit and maroon scarf to protect him from the bitter cold outside, was in a great mood after the sold-out screening, greeting each of his guests personally with hugs and handshakes and posing for dozens of pictures. Champagne and tequila shots were on hand to put everyone in a festive mood before they sat down to a dinner of crab salad, kobe beef and chocolate panna cotta.
The film’s cast and crew had good reason to be celebrating. After a sold-out screening and thunderous applause from the picky Park City audience, Diego and his two young stars brought the house to their feet during the Q&A session. When asked what inspired the film, Diego confessed it was his own experience growing up in a single-parent household (his mother died when he was two years old), and being gripped by insomnia when he was twelve over fears that his father would leave him. Heavy subject, to be sure, but the first-time director said he originally planned the film to be more of a light comedy until he became a father himself and realized, “This stuff really isn’t funny.”
Though son Jeronimo wasn’t in the audience, Diego got to show his paternal side around the film’s two young stars Christopher and Gerardo Ruiz-Esparza, brothers in real life. Throughout the night he kept a protective arm around the boys—both adorably charming in suits—and his eyes lit up when the audience gave them a standing ovation. It wouldn’t be until the next day that Diego revealed the other reason he couldn’t stop smiling the whole night—he had just found out his wife Camila Sodi was pregnant with their second child!