The Crumbles is an indie rock slice-of life tragicomedy about Darla, an overly serious musician whose stagnant life is shaken up when her long lost best friend Elisa shows up and crashes on her couch… indefinitely. Free-spirited Elisa has just moved back to Los Angeles after a devastating break-up, and no one else in their funky group of friends is willing to help her out. She is charming and musically gifted, making her the perfect partner in the band that Darla has long wanted to start up. But when the band gets rolling, insecurity, heartache, and oversized egos all work against them. While they both share dreams of rocking the globe, it becomes a monumental struggle just getting out of the garage.

Cast & Crew

Katie Hipol / Darla
Teresa Michelle Lee / Elisa
Jeff Torres / Dante
Ebony Perry / Francine
Seth Millwood / Serge
Adrian Torres / Giovanni
Eugene Lee / James
Amy Hill / Café Owner

Writer / Director Akira Boch
Producer Gena Hamamoto
Co-Producers Lisa Nguyen & Franciso Hernandez
Director of Photography James Yuan
Editors Akira Boch & Azusa Oda
Music Quetzal Flores
Production Sound Mixer Curtis X. Choy
Post Sound Jon Oh


The Crumbles was inspired by the real-life experience of playing in a garage band—and the ego battles, minor successes, unfulfilled dreams, and life lessons that went along with it. The film was completed on a shoestring budget with the help of many smart and talented friends and UCLA film school classmates. It was shot by James Yuan using a Canon Rebel T2i fitted with Nikon lenses from the 1980s, and edited on an iMac in a garage in Eagle Rock. The music was composed and performed by Quetzal Flores with assistance from his musician friends. Long live rock 'n' roll!

Press Kit

» Download THE CRUMBLES press kit (6MB)
» Download THE CRUMBLES high resolution stills (21MB)
» For general information, press, and booking info, contact


Production Team

Akira Boch (Writer/Director/Editor) grew up in San Juan Bautista, California, next door to the renowned Chicano theater company, El Teatro Campesino, where he first learned about theater and film production. He graduated from UCLA Film School in 2001, where he received an MFA in Film Directing. He has directed more than 30 short films, documentaries, and music videos and his work has appeared on MTV, PBS, and in film festivals across North America and Japan. THE CRUMBLES is his first feature film.

Quetzal Flores (Composer) is an artivist dedicated to using art as tool for community building.  He is the musical director of the East Los Angeles band Quetzal and has actively participated in transnational musical dialogues including Fandango Sin Fronteras and the Seattle Fandango Project.

James C. Yuan (Director of Photography) was born in San Francisco and raised in Texas.  A graduate of UCLA film school, James won the prestigious UCLA Spotlight Award twice with his short films FLUORESCENCE and WATCHTOWER.  His award-winning work as a cinematographer has screened at festivals around the world including Cannes, Berlin, and Hong Kong.

Gena S. Hamamoto (Producer) is an independent film producer and media arts educator. She discovered filmmaking as a graduate student in the UCLA Center for EthnoCommunications, where she currently works as Assistant Director.  She associate produced Tadashi Nakamura's award winning documentary short, A SONG FOR OURSELVES. THE CRUMBLES is her first foray into the feature narrative genre.

Azusa Oda (Production Designer/Editor) has an MFA in design from the California College of the Arts and works as an independent designer. While she primarily focuses on print and digital media, THE CRUMBLES is the first film she has production designed.

Curtis Choy (Production Sound Mixer) is an independent producer and film worker contributing to numerous independent and PBS documentaries, commercials and feature films as a production sound mixer. He is the director of DUPONT GUY: THE SCHIZ OF GRANT AVENUE, THE FALL OF THE I-HOTEL and WHAT'S WRONG WITH FRANK CHIN? His sound recording can be heard on THE JOY LUCK CLUB, BETTER LUCK TOMORROW, and Academy Award winner BREATHING LESSONS.

Jon Oh (Post Sound) has been a OMB (one man band) sound designer for film and video for over twenty years, since graduating from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. His projects have been shown around the world on PBS, the Cannes Film Festival, the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, and Sundance. Akira and Jon mixed "The Crumbles" in Jon’s bedroom studio on and off over a period of months, keeping the actors and Quetzal’s music at the heart and soul of the film.

Francisco Hernandez (Co-Producer) was raised in San Juan Bautista, California as a stage and film production apprentice at the acclaimed El Teatro Campesino. He is a co-founder of Smokin’ Mirrors, a music video, film and live event production company. Francisco became a young film industry veteran by working with director Gregory Nava throughout the 90s. Most recently, he oversaw production on writer-director Richard Montoya's WATER & POWER, a new feature due for release in 2014.

Lisa Nguyen (Co-Producer) began her career studying film and communications at the University of California Berkley, and assisting film companies and film festivals around the world. Working with other innovative and talented individuals in the independent film and television community is what inspires her to continue to tell stories through visual art.


Katie Hipol (Darla) is a native of Northern California. At the age of 15, she began training and performing as a core member of El Teatro Campesino in San Juan Bautista, California. She is a self-taught ukulele and guitar player, though she considers her strongest instrument to be her voice. THE CRUMBLES is her first lead role in a feature film.

Teresa Michelle Lee (Elisa) hails from Los Angeles and began playing piano and performing as a dancer at age 6. Since her start in acting, she has studied with Howard Fine and at Second City Improv, and has appeared in several TV shows, commercials, webisodes, and indie features. She is currently making a documentary about her grandmother in Vietnam.

Jeff Torres (Dante) grew up in Rancho Cucamonga, California. He learned to play the drums in middle school and later began acting in plays and short films. Jeff has trained in Mexico City, Playhouse West, and at the Ivana Chubbuck studio. He has appeared in numerous films, TV shows, commercials, web series, and was nominated for an Ovation award in 2010. He hopes to be both awkward and awesome when necessary.



"...elegant and affectionate..."
Los Angeles Times

“...the ultimate love letter to youthful, rock n’ roll exuberance...”
Living In Cinema

"...lovely and impressively true to life..."
The Stranger

“...the first-time feature filmmaker has a real feel for the drifting, up-for-anything quality of Cali 20-somethings...”
San Francisco Bay Guardian

"...Akira Boch's first feature has the breezy appeal of an early sound comedy, the inconsequential story providing an opportunity for lively, affectionate characterization..."
Chicago Reader

“...the film transmits the everyday, true-to-life ambiguity and awkwardness that comes with navigating twenty-something relationships and aspirations.”
Hyphen Magazine

"...I got a real soft spot for this multi-culti, genuinely captured milieu of working-class artist life in LA, and recommend it heartily."
Chicana From Chicago

"...good cast, good music, and a lot of heart..."
Angry Asian Man

"Weekly Movies To-Do List!"
LA Weekly

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