Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 21, 2012.

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The inspiring story of a 15-year-old homeless and undocumented girl in CA who refuses to give up her dream of being an artist

In San Diego, a young teenage girl’s eyes stare into a compact mirror. She paints a dramatic black swirl around her eye. She never knows what her day will bring, but she knows at least it will always begin with paint.

INOCENTE is an intensely personal and vibrant coming of age documentary about a young artist’s fierce determination to never surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings. Hers is not just a story of survival, but of resilience.
 At 15, Inocente refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be caged by her life as an undocumented immigrant forced to live homeless for the last nine years. Color is her personal revolution and its extraordinary sweep on her canvas creates a world that looks nothing like her own dark past— a past punctuated by a father deported for domestic abuse, an alcoholic and defeated mother of four who once took her daughter by the hand to jump off a bridge together, and an endless shuffle year after year through the city’s overcrowded homeless shelters.

 Despite this history, Inocente’s eyes envision a world transformed… where pink and turquoise planets twinkle under a sky of rescued dreams, where buildings playfully drip in yellow and orange, and one-eyed childlike creatures play amongst loved babies and purple clouds.

 We come to Inocente’s story as she realizes her life is at a turning point, and for the first time, she decides to take control of her own destiny. Irreverent, flawed and funny, she’s now channeling her irrepressible personality into a future she controls.  Her talent has finally been noticed, and if she can create a body of work in time, she has an opportunity to put on her first art show, a high profile affair that she knows has the potential to launch her career.  Meanwhile, her family life is at a tense impasse— to leave home is terrifying but to stay is unbearable. 

Neither sentimental nor sensational, INOCENTE will immerse you in the very real, day-to-day existence of a young girl who is battling a war that we never see. This film will usher you into the secret life she returns to at the end of every day, where she navigates the instability, despair, and neglect of a situation she must endure through no fault of her own. The challenges are staggering, but the hope in Inocente’s story proves that her circumstances not define her—her dreams do.

WHO WE ARE

Sean and Andrea Fine of Fine Films are Academy-Award nominated directors who have been directing and producing documentaries for the last decade for both theater and broadcast outlets. Their film War/Dance won several awards including 2 Emmys and the 2008 Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary.

Yael Melamede co-founded the independent film production company Salty Features in 2003 to make feature films that showcase unique vision, strong storytelling, and thought-provoking subject matter. Her films include Small Beautifully Moving Parts, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, and the Academy Award-nominated documentary, My Architect.

Albie Hecht and Susan MacLaury – an Academy Award-nominated husband and wife team - are the co-founders and driving force behind the non-profit production company Shine Global and Emmy winners for its first film, WAR DANCE. Albie is the former president of entertainment for Nickelodeon and Spike TV where he produced television shows and films such as The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.  Susan is the Executive Director of Shine Global and directs the outreach and education efforts for its films.

Emmanuel Michael is the president of Unison Films and was recently honored as one of MovieMaker Magazine’s “10 Moviemakers Making A Difference,” having produced nine feature films including Eagle vs. Shark, The Elephant King, and BOY.

Shine Global is a 501(c)3 non-profit film production company dedicated to making films and other media aimed at raising awareness, inspiring action, and promoting change. All contributions to this project are tax deductible through Shine Global and will go to finishing INOCENTE. All profits Shine's films make are returned to the children we document through partner organizations working on the ground.

WHY IS INOCENTE ON KICKSTARTER?

INOCENTE has been accepted to several film festivals including Hot Docs International Film Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival, and the San Antonio Film Festival. It has also already won two awards: the Special Jury Award for Inspirational Filmmaking at the Arizona International Film Festival and the Short Film Spirit Award at Awareness Fest.  Thanks to the generosity of our producers and post house we have completed the film's production and editing but still need to pay deferred costs and to complete final deliverables (creating HDCam tapes, Digibeta tapes, Blu-rays, and DVDs in the correct formats) for TV and community film screenings.

We also need to complete production of a website that provides information on Inocente, the film, screening dates, the filmmakers, and the issues documented in the film. We also are designing and printing posters and key art to help market and promote the film at festivals, screenings, and special events. Finally, we are also writing free, downloadable companion curricula for teachers and creating an arts workshop template for community organizations that will incorporate the arts into core subjects and explore the themes and issues of the film to make it more attractive to the educational market.

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    • Print of Inocente’s orange heart painting signed by Inocente (limited edition of 25) AND • “Shout out”: Thank You! on the wall of our INOCENTE Facebook Page • Inocente DVD • Inocente film T-shirt • DVDs of Academy Award nominated War/Dance, Academy Award nominated My Architect, and The Harvest/La Cosecha • Shine Global Premier Circle Film Credit on screen in Shine Global’s next film

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    • Studio visit and art lesson with Inocente at ARTS in San Diego (only 1 available!) AND • “Shout out”: Thank You! on the wall of our INOCENTE Facebook Page • Inocente DVD • Inocente film T-shirt • DVDs of Academy Award nominated War/Dance, Academy Award nominated My Architect, and The Harvest/La Cosecha • Shine Global Premier Circle Film Credit on screen in Shine Global’s next film

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    • Original signed painting by Inocente – only 1 available AND • “Shout out”: Thank You! on the wall of our INOCENTE Facebook Page • Inocente DVD • Inocente film T-shirt • DVDs of Academy Award nominated War/Dance, Academy Award nominated My Architect, and The Harvest/La Cosecha • Shine Global Producer’s Circle Film Credit on screen in Shine Global’s next film

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