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PUERTO RICANS - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


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PUERTO RICANS

Movie Magic! Mary Help of Christians Relocates to the Bronx


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Movie Shoot at Mary Help of Christians Church in East VillageDaniel Maurer Henry Barrial (right) supervises camera set-up.

A little over a month after “Girl on the Train” transformed the former Mary Help of Christians school into an after-hours club, a film crew is shooting inside the church itself today. Henry Barrial, the director of “Some Body” and “Pig,” described his latest film, “The House That Jack Built,” as an “ultra low-budget” production about a young man who buys a tenement in the Bronx using money saved up from dealing drugs out of his bodega.

So how does Mary Help of Christians come into all this? Well, it’ll stand in as a church in the Bronx where a baptism takes place in the beginning of the movie and a wedding takes place at the end. Other scenes are being shot in Jackson Heights and the Boogie Down.

Mr. Barrial found the church through Caryl Pierre, a production coordinator on the “Girl on the Train” shoot who also recommended the church for this one. The director, who is Cuban-American, said the movie will star Puerto Rican up-and-comer E.J. Bonilla as well as Saundra Santiago, best known for playing Det. Gina Calabrese on “Miami Vice.” The screenplay was written by Joseph Vásquez, the Bronx-born filmmaker who wrote “Hangin’ with the Homeboys,” starring John Leguizamo, before he died of AIDS-related complications in 1995.