Film 90 Minutes Later looks into death of Stand and Deliver star Vanessa Marquez

The documentary is showing Aug. 4 as part of the San Antonio Film Festival.

click to enlarge Actress Ingrid Oliu speaks at a press conference demanding justice for her Stand and Deliver co-star Vanessa Marquez. - Courtesy Photo / Cyndy Fujikawa
Courtesy Photo / Cyndy Fujikawa
Actress Ingrid Oliu speaks at a press conference demanding justice for her Stand and Deliver co-star Vanessa Marquez.
When the news broke that actress Vanessa Marquez had died, Daniel Villarreal felt like he had lost a member of his own family. The two had worked together on the 1988 film Stand and Deliver, which earned Edward James Olmos an Oscar nomination for his role as inspiring high school teacher Jaime Escalante.

“The first time I met Vanessa during the casting of Stand and Deliver, I knew the movie couldn’t be made without her,” Villarreal told the Current during a recent interview. “She was a special human being. She was vulnerable but very powerful.”

On August 30, 2018, Marquez, who suffered from a host of mental and physical illnesses, was shot and killed in her home by officers with the South Pasadena Police Department during a wellness check. After refusing to go to a mental health facility, Marquez pointed what was later discovered to be a BB gun at the officers. The police fired at Marquez who was standing at the top of the stairs holding the low-power airgun and an assortment of plush Star Wars toys.

She was pronounced dead at the hospital at the age of 49.

click to enlarge Vanessa Marquez starred in the 1988 film Stand and Deliver. - Courtesy Photo / NBC
Courtesy Photo / NBC
Vanessa Marquez starred in the 1988 film Stand and Deliver.

In the documentary 90 Minutes Later, filmmaker Cyndy Fujikawa explores Marquez’s life and tragic death at the hands of police who killed the person they were originally called upon to assist. According to the Washington Post, at least 178 cases from 2019 to 2021 ended with law enforcement officers killing an individual they were intended to help during a mental health crisis, wellness check or suicide threat.

Fujikawa learned about Marquez through Villarreal. The two have been friends for years. She attended Marquez’s memorial to support Villarreal. It was there that she spoke with others from the Stand and Deliver cast who wanted answers about Marquez’s death. Their demands also included obtaining police body-cam footage of the incident.

Through her conversations with some of the cast, Fujikawa, too, wanted to know how a wellness check on a mentally ill individual could end in such a tragedy. She also wanted to make a film about the complexities of mental illness in hopes that it could help destigmatize the issue.

“I knew if we were talking about mental illness, it was not going to be simple,” Fujikawa told the Current. “The film was going to be about this group of people who had this long story arc with her, but then mental health really became an important piece of the conversation.”

In 90 Minutes Later, Fujikawa follows Villarreal and Stand and Deliver co-stars including Ingrid Oliu, Will Gotay and Patrick Baca as they seek justice for Marquez and do everything in their power to make sure Hollywood doesn’t forget her.

“Even today, I think Vanessa is with us, and I think that she would be happy that we made this documentary,” Villarreal said. “The end result is that we will not remember her for that moment with a plastic gun. We will remember her legacy. As we learned from Jaime Escalante, we turned a negative into a positive.”

90 Minutes Later will screen at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts on August 4, 2023, at 3 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit For a full schedule of films screening at the 29th Annual San Antonio Film Festival from August 1-6, visit

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