LFF Grant Sponsored Films

Detained in the Desert



Feature Film/Production Status: Post-Production


Detained in the Desert parallels two completely different people: Sandi, 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 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.

SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: DETAINED IN THE DESERT is a human rights film and fundraiser for Border Angels, 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 US against immigrants and their families.

PRODUCER: Frances E. Chang; DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Judy Phu; PRODUCTION COMPANY: Real Women Have Curves Studio

SPONSOR: CASA 0101 is dedicated to providing vital arts, cultural, and educational programs in theater, digital filmmaking, art and dance to Boyle Heights, thereby nurturing the future storytellers of Los Angeles who will someday transform the world.

Check out the Official Production Company Website for DETAINED IN THE DESERT: HERE.

Check out DETAINED IN THE DESERT on Facebook HERE.

The Luckiest Guy Alive/
The Camilo Pardo Documentary


Feature Documentary/Production Status: In Production


This is a story of the rise of Colombian-American Camilo Pardo, the Detroit fine artist, fashion designer and painter turned automotive designer who led the efforts of designing the Ford GT and who has created some of the automotive world’s most sought-after art pieces. This film explores Camilo’s upbringing, and his decision to live, work and set up shop in the heart of the Motor City by rebuilding Detroit’s Bankle building on Woodward Avenue into the art exhibition and studio it is today. The film will feature interviews from Kid Rock, Rick Manore & Tom Thewes – the founders, artists and owners of the C-Pop Gallery in Detroit, with racing legend Dan Gurney and with Detroit Detroit automotive heavyweights Chip Foose, Michael Chetcuti, Jeff Nield  and Kyle Evans. This film is for anyone who loves art, fashion, and arguably one of the greatest American cars ever built: the Ford GT.

PRODUCERS: Drew Pasquella, Jason Schultz, Paul Keables, 1xRun

Check out the Rough Trailer for THE LUCKIEST GUY ALIVE: HERE.


Check out THE LUCKIEST GUY ALIVE on Facebook HERE.

American Dreamers

DIRECTORS/WRITERS/PRODUCERS: Jenniffer Castillo & Saray Deiseil

Feature Documentary/Production Status: In Production


AMERICAN DREAMERS is a feature documentary about a group of undocumented youth who are walking across the country to share their stories and spark a national dialogue about how the DREAM Act can alleviate the plight of the undocumented youth in the U.S.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Saray Deiseil, Jenniffer Castillo, Jon Huertas, Nicholas Stich; DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Jeremy Mazur

Check out the Official Website for AMERICAN DREAMERS: HERE.

Feriado (Holiday)

PRODUCER: Hanne Lovise-Skartveit


Feature Film/Production Status: Advanced Development


JUAN PABLO, an introverted 16-year-old with a penchant for morose drawing, struggles to find his place in the sheltered world of Ecuador’s wealthy class. When the carnival holiday starts, he reluctantly arrives at a hacienda in the Andes, where his uncle, a prominent banker involved in a corruption scandal, has taken refuge with his wife and teenage children. It is 1999 and the country is headed towards financial collapse.

Juan Pablo finds an unexpected refuge from the family tensions in JUANO, 17, an enigmatic, self-assured black-metal fan from the nearby pueblo, who opens his eyes to a new, liberating universe. As the family and the country’s financial system fall apart, Juan Pablo seeks out opportunities to escape the hacienda to be with Juano. As their budding friendship develops into a fragile romance, Juan Pablo is forced to define himself against his chaotic surroundings.

CO-PRODUCERS: Irina Caballero, Juan Sebastián Jácome, Andrés Longares; DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Bradford Young; SOUND: Juan Joseé Luzuriaga; PRODUCTION DESIGNER: Chrisian Bermúdez;  PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Lunafilms, Abacafilms (Ecuador), CEPA Audiovisual (Argentina)

Check out the Official Website for FERIADO: HERE.

Check out FERIADO on Facebook HERE.

LFF Fiscal Sponsored Films

ESCARAMUZA: Riding From the Heart

PRODUCER: Robin Rosenthal; CO-PRODUCER: David Hayes-Bautista; DIRECTOR: Bill Yahraus

Feature Documentary/Production Status: In Post-Production

SYNOPSIS: Every weekend, at rodeos from Illinois to California, teams of young, Mexican American women, Escaramuzas Charras, climb onto sidesaddles in elegant charra suits or ruffled adelita dresses and weave their galloping horses through dangerous, high speed ballets, as heart-stopping as the revolutionary-era “skirmishes” for which they’re named. Escaramuza: Riding from the Heart follows one such team, Escaramuza Charra Las Azaleas, on their quest to represent California and the United States at the National Charro Championships in Mexico, where “to be Charro is to be Mexican.”

Donate to ESCARAMUZA: RIDING FROM THE HEART through the Fiscal Sponsorship Program HERE.



[TRT 23:50]

PRODUCER: Eddie Ruiz; DIRECTOR: Terence Heuston

Short Film/Production Status: Completed/Festival Circuit

SYNOPSIS: Two friends in East L.A. are being pressured to join the local gang. The choices they make over a single day will alter their lives forever.

Notes from the filmmakers: “We chose the focus of the story after reading over a dozen books on East L.A. gang life ranging from former gang member memoirs to long term studies written by sociologists who researched gangs by moving into the projects. Also, we have spoken to former gang members as consults on the film to guarantee we are getting the story right. We had one former gang member who has been clean for four years read the script and say, ‘This is my story.’”

STARRING: David Castaneda, Leonard Davenport, and Justin Huen; SUPPORTING: Kikey Castillo, Damaris Diaz, Victoria Moroles, John Serge, Lex Medlin, and Rawle Lewis; DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Daniel Ainsworth; EDITOR: Chris Hart

Check out MADDOGGIN’ on Facebook HERE.


Short Film/Production Status: In Development

The Runner (Filmmaker: Ciaran Michael Vejby) tells the story of world weary border patrol officer Michael Angeli, whose pursuit and capture of an older Mexican man while crossing the border illegally results in a life or death struggle with the unrelenting forces of nature.

The LFF is supporting this short film because the filmmakers seek to shed ‘personal light on those individuals who sacrifice life and happiness in Mexico, [risking] their own lives to cross the border and find work in America.’ Additionally, the film offers a representation of the issue of immigration and the nature of the Border itself. Please consider supporting this film with funding and development opportunities. The filmmakers can be reached at: ciaranmv@yahoo.com.