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THE STORY | la historia
On the night her father goes missing, Maria and her little brother Juan embark on a journey across the U.S./Mexico border in hopes of bringing him back home, but not without the guidance of three curious, yet meddling desert creatures.
23 MIN | CHILDREN'S FANTASY
OUR VISION | nuestra visión
Para Ellos is an immigration story told with a dash of magic realism and live-action puppetry. Though our film embraces a use of fantasy, the core of the story was inspired by real events happening on and around the U.S./Mexico border today. We set out to tell a story about immigration to the United States, about this journey that many have taken before, but this time told through the eyes of a child.
We have always had a love for children's stories and bedtime tales. Peter Pan. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The Jungle Book. All of these are stories about growing up and are centered around a child's adventure into the unknown. We really connected to the feelings of struggle and the lessons that these young characters learn along the way; we wanted to incorporate many of these same themes into our film.
The story of Para Ellos is one that is very close to us both. When deciding what to focus our graduate thesis film on, we looked no further than to experiences of our own Latino culture. Growing up on the U.S./Mexico border in El Paso, TX, I was very much interested, and in many ways familiar, with stories of immigration into the United States and about the struggle for the American dream.
Our hope for this film is to generate attention to the human and societal issue of child immigration from Mexico and Central America into the United States. We, as a society, tend to see illegal immigration as just another 'political matter' and often think only about lost jobs, drugs, and violence. However, what we forget to think about are the people at the core of this issue, families and children alike. Para Ellos is our way of shedding light onto the somewhat unknown chapter of child immigration.
We are very fortunate and grateful for the support we have received from the San Antonio Film Commission/San Antonio Department for Culture and Creative Development, the Sundance Institute Film Music Program, the Irving Lerner Endowment Fund, and Skywalker Sound. Without them, we truly couldn't have made this film. We are also very thankful to all of our cast, crew, and our friends and family who donated their time and resources to help us make this film.
We hope you enjoy our bedtime tale.
AWARDS | premios
2013 Student Film Project Grant, funded in part by the San Antonio Film Commission and the San Antonio Department for Culture and Creative Development. (2013)
Supported by a grant from the Sundance Institute Film Music Program, with additional support from the Sundance Institute/Time Warner Foundation Fellowship Program. (2014)
Recipient of the Irving Lerner Endowment Fund. (2014)
SCREENINGS | presentaciones
PLAZA CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL 2015 (EL PASO, TX)
Saturday, August 8th - SHORTS 1 Program, 7:30pm
El Paso Community Foundation Room
333 N. Oregon St, El Paso, TX 79901
Para Ellos will be screening at the Plaza Classic Film Festival as part of the festival's Local Flavors series. Admission is FREE.
FILMMAKERS | los cineastas
CAST | los actores
'Magical Flight' was composed by our amazing film composer, Jongnic Bontemps, and recorded in April 2014 with an exceptional 36-piece orchestra.
We would like to thank Jongnic, the Sundance Institute Film Music Program, and the Sundance Institute/Time Warner Foundation Fellowship Program for their support through a grant that made our music possible.
You can learn more about Jongnic Bontemps at his website, www.bontempsmusic.net.
Click on the SoundCloud link to the left to listen. Enjoy!
MUSIC | la música
GALLERY | la galería
CONTACT | contacto
Student produced at the University of Southern California - School of Cinematic Arts.
© 2020 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. All Rights Reserved.