The oldest son forced by his traditional Mexican father to leave and cut ties with his mother and brother for being gay, returns home to reunite in hope for acceptance and unconditional love. Based on a true story about the stigma of being gay in the latin community and the cascading affects.
Mission StatementThis story will serve as a memoriam to those who lost family and friends during the AIDS epidemic. It has been researched, but may not be widely known, that black and hispanic men and women have been disproportionately impacted by HIV. This story will provide a glimpse into one of those dynamics.
About The Project
Damian, a nursing student is doing his homework while his mother Rita prepares food for lunch. The two is having a conversation in regards to balancing family needs and Damian's education. Suddenly, someone knocks on the door. Rita opens it and turns out to be Paul her oldest son that hasn’t been in contact and home for many years after being casted out for being gay by his father. Damian came to greet his long lost brother while Rita is in shock seeing her beloved son. Paul hesitated to enter the house that is filled with old memories, both good and bad. He came to bare news that he is dying of AIDS and wants to spend his last remaining days with his family.
"Pure love is a willingness to give without a thought of receiving anything in return."
The film will be shot in Black & White. This story takes place in the late 1980s in the midst of the AIDS pandemic in Los Angeles. The affected gay Latin community and their Families is the highlight of this story which has not been told by many in film. This shows the struggle and stigma of homosexuality for those who are living with AIDS within the Latin community.
We want to tell this story today as a homage to Giovanni Navarro's (writer) Uncle, a Mexican-American who reprensented one of many latinos who died of AIDS during that time. This is his story... We would like to take you, the audience, into a glimpse of life of a humble and traditional latin household and their struggle with this issue. We would like to inspire the generations of today and tomorrow to continue with the progression of love and acceptance, and to demystify the stigmas of the past.
Growing up and being raised by a single mother in the Philippines, exposed me to a simple life of hardwork, sacrifice, morals, values and the importance of family. Being biracial and gay was not been easy. I faced so many challenges because the way I look, and I felt that I had no choice but to hide who I am internally -- the shame, fear of being mistreated and disowned by own family. So, for many years, I hid my true self. As I get older, wiser and as the world became more understanding and accepting, it gave me the opportunity to be more free and true to myself. This relief was an incredible feeling, as if a rusted nail has been removed from a wooden heart -- now this heart can beat more freely and alive.
The Filipino and Latin culture share similarities in family values and traditions dated back in history during Spanish colonization. When I read this story, it resonated with me -- family, identity, and acceptance. I immediately knew that this story needs to be told.
- Alex Meridy, Director/Producer
We hope to raise our goal of $10,000 through a dedicated audience on Seed & Spark to cover the bare minimum costs of shooting the film. We're taking the experience we've gained from no-budget shorts and assembling a team of passionate, talented collaborators to bring this project to life.
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THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CONSIDERING OUR PROJECT
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About This Team
PRODUCER - SPENCER VELEZ
Spencer J. Velez is a small business owner and Producer. His recent project, WARSOL, is currently being considered for multiple festivals domestic and international. Before venturing into filmmaking, Spencer managed corporate social responsibility and licensee relationships for the Lucasfilm consumer products group within The Walt Disney Company. As a part of the regional management team, he provided high-level perspectives, detailed training and consultation with respect to International Labor Standard practices established by The Walt Disney Company. Prior to joining Disney, Spencer held operations management positions at UPS and Halliburton. Spencer also served 14 years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. He was mobilized from 2010-2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) where he directed operations and logistics in Afghanistan. Spencer holds a Master of Business from the University of Southern California (USC) and Bachelor’s Degree in Business Finance from CSU, Sacramento. He was born and raised in Sacramento and moved to Los Angeles where he now lives with his wife and son.
WRITER - GIOVANNI NAVARRO
Giovanni is a Writer, Actor and Dancer originally from Mexico. He grew up in the small farming town of Alpaugh, CA where he developed a love for the arts. He studied theatre extensively and performed with various theatre companies around Central Valley. His passion for cinema brought him Los Angeles where he continues to work and pursue film acting and writing.
In 2019, he wrote an award winning 10 minute play Anything for my Mother and performed at the Frida Kahlo Theatre in Los Angeles. With success, the play immediately adapted into a short screenplay to film and won multiple awards around globe such as Vegas Movie Awards - Winner Best Ensemble , Independent Short Awards - Los Angeles - Best Short Film - Finalist , Lonely Wolf London International film festival - Nominee, Buenos Aires International Film festival, Osaka International and many more.
CINEMATOGRAPHER - SALVATORE SCLAFANI
Salvatore Sclafani is a Film Director, Producer, and Cinematographer from Palermo, Italy. He completed more than 15 projects as a Director or Cinematographer and contributed in some ways to many others.
In 2017 he won the "Student's Jury's Award" for the short film SELF CONTROL at Moviemmece Naples Film festival. Salvatore has a BA in Art, Music and Show Business from Italian University Dams Roma Tre and a Professional degree in Entertainment Studies from UCLA Extension, Los Angeles.
Salvatore produced Kerry Mondragon's TYGER TYGER(2019) starring Dylan Sprouse, Thea Sofie Loch Naess and Eden Brolin. In 2019 he also produced and directed "A gifted man".