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Joseph B. "Joe" Vasquez (June 8, 1962 – December 16, 1995) was an American independent filmmaker.

Vasquez was born in the South Bronx, the son of two heroin addicts. [1]He began making his own films at the age of 12, and was awarded a filmmaking degree in 1983 from the City College of New York.

In 1991 he released Hangin' with the Homeboys with New Line Cinema, the film which earned him critical acclaim. Having been arrested for running naked through an apartment building, he was later diagnosed as manic-depressive.

On December 16, 1995, Vasquez died as a result of AIDS-related complications in Chula Vista, California, aged 33. [2]

One of his stories was posthumously used as a segment in the 1997 film Riot.


  1. ^ Kennedy, Dana (February 9, 1996). A Homeboy's Tragic Fall. Entertainment Weekly
  2. ^ Associated Press (December 22, 1995). Joseph Vasquez, 33; Directed 'Homeboys'. New York Times

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