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Joe Castel

Writer / Director

Joseph R. Castel is a producer, screenwriter, and playwright whose work has explored Latino and LGBTQ history and identity for over 20 years. His documentary, Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Sarria (2020) opened up the Long Beach’s Q Film Festival in 2019 and won the Audience Award for Best Feature Film. Since then, it has streamed at Los Angeles Outfest, Fresno’s Reel Pride, and Winnipeg Film Festivals. 


Castel’s other producing and directing credits include RECORDAR, a documentary about his family’s immigration from Mexico to Illinois, currently in the Art Institute of Chicago’s permanent collection. He also co-wrote and produced the play THE BLVD, which received critical recognition in its six-week run in West Hollywood. 

Castel, along with his co-writer, was awarded a Corporation for Public Broadcasting development grant for HERO STREET, a feature-length screenplay that relates the true story of eight Mexican American war heroes. As a writer, Castel has worked as a public relations consultant and reporter for numerous PR Firms and entertainment magazines, including Adelante Magazine. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa.

Joe Castel Karina Jose Sarria.jpg


Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Sarria at Outfest

Cast & Crew


Jose Sarria

Robert Potter 

Bob Dockendorf

Nicole Murray-Ramirez







Danny De La Paz


Jim Khaled

Production Designer

Charlotte White


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