Dreamers get together as filmmakers
Under the guidance of director Carlos Alberto Méndez, a Dreamer himself, a group of these young migrants created UndocuCinema for the realization and production of film projects so they can tell their stories.
A group of young DACA recipients created non-profit organization UndocuCinema for the purpose of promoting filming projects self-produced by Dreamers. Their first project is the video-clip for the song "Dreamer/Soñador" by Iran Millan. The song tells the story of the many times he tried to enter the United States with his parents when he was a child.
Carlos Alberto Méndez, director of UndocuCinema, told EFE that the idea was born after living firsthand the obstacles faced by Dreamers when trying to open up doors in the artistic world.
"Dreamers" is a name for young immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children and who used to be protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which President Donald Trump eliminated.
"My first film made it to Cannes, but it was impossible to get support from any film production company," Méndez, a filmmaker, said.
Mendez and his colleagues at the organization met at the California Mexico academic project from the Long Beach California University (CSULB), which allowed them to go, or in some cases return, to their home countries to learn about their roots and meet their loved ones. They recorded the journey on a documentary. They have met many Dreamers with an artistic vocation but no opportunity to show their work. Many of these pieces are precisely based on the hurdles that undocumented people face.
"If we Dreamers have few opportunities, the situation is much more difficult for those who have no documents," Méndez noted.
The support UndocuCinema wants to provide, however, is not only for filmmakers but also for talents such as those of the singer Millán. The group also aim to help undocumented artists to raise funds to carry out their projects and commercialize them.
There are other projects for the future, like short films "Adiós Paulina" and "Las Ocho Puertas," as well as the feature film "La Sangre de una Bandera," which reflects the conflicts of undocumented people.
As a filmmaker, Carlos Alberto Méndez got to meet Mexican directors Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro González Iñarritu, who are working in Hollywood.
And so he hopes: "We can't wait for someone to discover us. We know by experience that together we can achieve a lot."