Josefina Lopez's DETAINED IN THE DESERT to World Premiere at LA Latino Int'l Film Festival
JOSEFINA LOPEZ, the creator of the critically acclaimed hit play, Real Women Have Curves and co-writer of the Sundance Film Festival award-winning film of the same name will now have her second film, Detained in the Desert, which she executive produced, presented in its World Premiere screening in competition as part of the 16th Annual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. at TCL 6 Chinese Theatre (formerly Grauman's Chinese Theatre and Mann's Chinese Theatre), Theatre One, 6925 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028.
In the film, Detained in the Desert two people on opposite sides of the immigration debate find each other lost in the desert and discover their humanity and the true plight of migrants crossing the Arizona desert.
Under the direction of Iliana Sosa, the film stars Carey Fox (as Lou Becker); Alexandra Lemus (as Sandi Sanchez); Enrique Morones (as Ernesto Martinez); Josh Luteran (as Matt (Dylan) Thomas); Natalie Camunas (as J.C.); Javier Lezama (as Saul/Raul) and Alejandro Ruiz (as Chuy).
Tickets for the World Premiere screening of Detained in the Desert are $13 each for General Admission and $11 each for LALIFF members and can be purchased online athttp://detainedinthedesert-eorg.eventbrite.com/. Save $1.00 on a General Admission screening ticket when you show you valid Metro pass, Metro Rail ticket or Destination Discounts card at the LALIFF Box Office. There is a $1.00 discount for Seniors with valid ID. To learn more about the film, Detained In The Desert, please visit the website,www.rwhcstudio.com and visit https://www.facebook.com/RealWomenHaveCurves. To view the movie trailer for Detained in the Desert, please visithttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc2DWP7Uw3Q. For B-roll footage of the film's Executive Producer, Josefina Lopez talking about the creation of her play, Detained in the Desert, which spawned the film of the same name, please visit
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfPMb7nfHBA for a story from KPBS-TV in San Diego, CA. The running length of the film is 81 minutes. To learn more about the 16th Annual Latino International Film Festival, please visit www.latinofilm.org or call 323-446-2770.
About Real Women Have Curves Studio:
Real Women Have Curves Studio is an independent production company founded byJosefina Lopez whose mission is to make films that celebrate women of all shapes and sizes and reveal the authentic stories of Latinos in the U.S. Detained in the Desert is the new studio's debut film.
More About the Film, Detained In The Desert:
Detained in the Desert parallels two completely different people: Sandi Sanchez, a second-generation dark skinned Latina, and Lou Becker, an inflammatory talk show radio host, whose lives converge in the Sonoran desert in Arizona. An Arizona cop racially profiles Sandi, who refuses to show her identification in protest. Her act of rebellion sets her on an unexpected course toward immigrant detention. Conversely, three siblings who have just suffered the loss of their brother due to a hate crime influenced by Lou's racist radio talk show, kidnap him in hopes of seeking justice. While Sandi is being transferred to another immigrant detention center, her I.C.E. bus crashes in the desert. She escapes only to end up Stranded in the desert. Lou is freed by one of his supposedly remorseful kidnappers. Consequently, Sandi and Lou meet in the desert and help each other survive. Both Sandi and Lou come to understand the severity of the plight of the immigrants through a gruesome discovery.
About The Project:
Detained in the Desert is based on the play of the same name written by Josefina Lopez. The play is Lopez's response to the anti-immigrant atmosphere in Arizona and the rise in violence against Latinos fueled by extremist media. The independent film is produced by Real Women Have Curves Studio and fiscally sponsored by Josefina Lopez's non-profit organization,CASA 0101 Theater. The project is a human rights film and fundraiser for Border Angels(www.borderangels.org), founded by Enrique Morones in 1986. Border Angels is a non-profit organization that works to stop the unnecessary deaths of individuals in the desert by delivering water in key points where migrants cross the desert. This film is a stand against hate, and hate crimes in the U.S. against immigrants and their families.
Josefina Lopez, the screenwriter, playwright and novelist, best known for co-writing the screenplay for the Sundance Film Festival award-winning film, Real Women Have Curves(2002), was angered and tired of hearing about the hate crimes committed against Latinos and all the anti-immigrant hate talk in recent years. She decided to write a play to protest SB1070 and all the anti-immigrant laws.
Lopez has won several awards for the play, Detained in the Desert (2010), and she now wants to take it to a bigger audience so people can learn about the true plight of Latino immigrants and shatter myths and misconceptions concerning illegal immigration. Being an immigrant herself, Lopez wants to give a voice to the undocumented people who are scapegoated and vilified, yet are the most powerless to tell their side of the story.
Lopez was also inspired to write this story after having participated in Marcha Migrante led by Border Angels' founder Enrique Morones by visiting a cemetery in Holtville, Arizona where the unclaimed bodies found in the desert of over 600 migrants are buried. She got to see photos of the bodies found in the desert and was haunted by the images she saw.
Lopez has also seen Enrique Morones tirelessly put out water at the water stations in the desert to help migrants crossing the Arizona desert stay alive. He has also debated Arizona Sheriff Arpaio and other anti-immigrant activists, as he continues to fight to shatter myths about immigrations with his humanitarian work. Lopez wanted to create a movie that could help raise funds for Border Angels so they can continue to do their humanitarian work at the desert on a larger scale.
When Josefina Lopez watched the award-winning short film, Child of the Desert (2011), by director Iliana Sosa, she felt that Sosa could adapt her play, Detained in the Desert, into a film. For Sosa, this film boldly and unapologetically addresses issues of Latino/a identity, the unnecessary deaths of immigrants in the desert and the deadly impact that hate speech in the media has on communities of color.
For producer, Frances E. Chang, the film exudes a Universal message that transcends all races, culture, and gender and speaks to us as humans. As a country that began and is made of immigrants, this is America's modern story.
About the Creative Team of Detained in the Desert:
Josefina López (Executive Producer) is best known for authoring the play and co-authoring the film Real Women Have Curves (2002). Although Real Women Have Curves is Lopez's most recognized work, it is only one of many literary and artistic works she has created since her artistic career began at age 17. Born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico in 1969, Josefina Lopez was five-years-old when she and her family immigrated to the United States and settled in The East Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights.
Lopez was undocumented for 13 years before she received Amnesty in 1987 and eventually became a U.S. Citizen in 1995. Lopez is the recipient of a number of other awards and accolades, including a formal recognition from U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer's 7th Annual "Women Making History" banquet in 1998; and a screenwriting fellowship from the California Arts Council in 2001. She and Real Women Have Curves co-author George LaVoo won the Humanitas Prize for Screenwriting in 2002, The Gabriel Garcia Marquez Award from Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn in 2003, and the Artist-in-Residency grant from the National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group for 2007.
She is also the Founder and Artistic Director of CASA 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights. At CASA 0101 her commitment is to teach screenwriting and playwriting and nurture a new generation of Latino artists. Lopez is actively working to create an Artist District in Boyle Heights where theater, arts and music can flourish and create opportunities for the many talented artists who reside in Boyle Heights or grew up in Boyle Heights and want to return to contribute. Lopez is presently developing the musical version of Real Women Have Curves for Broadway. Her first novel titled Hungry Woman in Paris came out in 2009, and premiered as the play titledHungry Woman in 2013. Detained in the Desert is Lopez's first production from Real Women Have Curves Studio.
Iliana Sosa (Film Adaptor and Director) is a writer/director based in Los Angeles. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas along the U.S.-Mexico Border to Mexican immigrant parents. Her work addresses socially relevant and cultural issues that affect marginalized communities in challenging and refreshing ways. A former Bill Gates Millennium Scholar, she holds an MFA in film production and directing from UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Steven Bochco Fellowship, the Hollywood Foreign Press Award, the Edie and Lew Wasserman Fellowship and the National Hispanic Foundation of the Arts Scholarship, among others. Her MFA thesis film, Child of the Desert, recently won Best Short Film and the Texas Award at the 2012 Academy Awardâ qualifying, USA Film Festival. Detained in the Desert is Sosa's feature film debut.
Frances E. Chang (Producer) has worked in the film industry in both Northern and Southern California and often strives to represent diverse, ethnic and underrepresented voices in her projects. She entered filmmaking while studying Mass Communications at the University of California, at Berkeley, in 2008. She then attended Berkeley Digital Film Institute on a full scholarship. After moving back to Los Angeles in 2009, Chang became involved with the film festival favorite, Strapped (2010), after which she worked for Cape Cod Films, LLC., where she participated in the distribution and marketing for the multi-festival winner Wild About Harry(2010), for which she attended the Cannes Film Festival & Market. In 2010, as part of its signature diversity talent development program, Project Involve, Chang was awarded a fellowship in the producing track by the esteemed non-profit organization, Film Independent. Chang produced her first narrative feature film, nightdreamblues, in fall 2011 with her second feature, The Lovely Rejects, following shortly in the same year. As a freelance producer and writer, Chang has worked on multiple media projects, including music videos and narrative filmmaking, and currently resides in the Los Angeles area. Detained in the Desert is Chang's third feature film.
Judy Phu (Cinematographer/Still Photographer) is a freelance Director of Photography and part-time Professor of Cinematography/Film Production at Loyola Marymount University. She studied cinematography in UCLA's MFA program, learning from Johnny Simmons, ASC, Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, John Bailey, ASC, Tom Denove and Bill McDonald. She has camera operated for veteran documentarian Joan Churchill, ASC, on her film about Haskell Wexler, ASC, which afforded Phu the opportunity to meet one of her cinematography idols. Phu's work includes over two-dozen short films, commercials, web content and the upcoming feature documentary, The Laundromat by Director Vanessa Yee. She is in preproduction on a comedy feature as the Director of Photography. The film went into production in early 2013. She is a fan of natural lighting, mixing color temperatures, and collaborating on compelling stories. Detained in the Desert marks her fourth collaboration with Writer/Director Iliana Sosa.
About The Principal Actors of Detained in the Desert:
Carey Fox (Lou Becker) is a veteran actor whose experience was firmly established in the Theatre, having studied with renowned Acting Coaches
Stella Adler, Lee Strasberg and John Abbott, in Los Angeles and New York. It wasn't long before he made the leap from stage to screen appearing in films with
George C. Scott, Max Von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, Eddie Albert, Martin Sheen, Art Carney, Dennis Quaid, Louise Fletcher and Natasha Richardson, just to name a few. Fox has also worked in television with his most recent offering being Asylum currently found onwww.Hulu.com.
Alexandra Lemus (Sandie Sanchez) was born and raised in Los Angeles to immigrant parents from El Salvador. Upon graduation from college she successfully pursued a career in television production before deciding to jump in front of the camera. Detained in the Desert is her film debut. She continues her training at Stella Adler.
Enrique Morones (Ernesto Martinez) is President and Founder of the internationally acclaimed human rights volunteer groups, Border Angels and Marcha Migrante, which a large part this movie is based on and inspired by. Morones was born to Mexican parents in San Diego, where he is based. Morones was Mexico's 2009 national human rights awardee. His volunteer work and non-profit organizations saves migrant lives. To learn more, please visitwww.borderangels.org.
Josh Luteran (Matt (Dylan) Thompson) has appeared in the films, Audition, Gone Darkand Kansas City Beat. He also served as a writer and producer for the film, Kansas City Beat. Besides his work as an actor, Luteran has worked as a professional boxer.
Natalie Camunas (J.C.) is a USC alumna and Los Angeles based actor. She has appeared in a series regular role on the award-winning web series, X: The Web Series. Camunas is an accomplished writer who recently traveled to Dublin, Ireland for the 10th Annual Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival. She has a theatre piece premiering in Casa 0101 Theater's Third Annual Brown & Out Theater Festival, playing from October 11 - November 3, 2013. To learn more, please visit www.nataliecamunas.com.
Javier Lezama (Saul/Raul) was born in Lima, Peru. At the age of nine, he and his family moved to America in search of a better life. Immediately after graduating High School Lezama spent four years in the Marine Corps. He then began pursuing theatre in community college. He has been a passionate thespian for over five years now and has appeared in many different productions. He recently booked a national IHOP commercial.
Alejandro Ruiz (Chuy) is a graduate of Cornell University where he received a B.A. degree in Theatre Arts. Ruiz is a company member of The Actors Gang of Culver City, led by Artistic Director, Tim Robbins. His credits include appearing as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream (directed by Tim Robbins), and as Constantine in Big Love (directed by Beth F. Milles). He has also appeared in other regional theatre and film roles.