Trailer starring: Mariah Garcia as Noemi, Jorge Estrada as Mark, and Hector Dez as Pablo. Thank you for all of your hard work and talent!
Overland is the story of Noemi, a young, undocumented woman living in El Paso, TX. After escaping an ICE raid at her work, Noemi finds herself completely vulnerable. Her sister has been detained, her apartment has been seized, and her identity is no longer private. In order to raise the money for a false Social Security Card, Noemi swallows her pride and starts working at a Fantasy House Cleaning service. After a long night of sleeping in her car, Noemi shows up outside of a large suburban house for her first day as a sexy maid. She’s introduced to the homeowners: Mark and Anne. Apparently, Noemi is a “birthday present” from Anne to Mark—a birthday present that Mark didn’t want. Mark is clearly not the ideal patron and things quickly get out of hand when he starts to take out his anger on Noemi. In the end, Noemi puts her foot down. She’ll get what she needs, but she’s not going to let him change who she is.
This isn't a story about making it to the US--it's a story about what happens next. Noemi’s story will show some of the injustices that undocumented immigrants face when they can’t turn to the legal system for help. My hope is that this film will create some dialogue about what it is like to be undocumented in the United States.
Overland is also a feminist film--it is a story about a strong female character who is looking out for herself. This is very important to me--she doesn't need a love interest or a baby to make her interesting. She is Noemi. She is a woman. She is strong, vulnerable, sarcastic, & witty--she is a human being who deserves to have her story told.
WHAT'S THE LOOK?
- Overland isn't going to look like your classic "border film". There's going to be a rock/pop element in both the music and the colors. You can expect to see a red, white and blue theme throughout the film, symbolizing Noemi's American surroundings.
- The film has a good balance of dark grunge and lightheartedness as Noemi is thrust into this bizarre situation.
- The biggest inspiration for this film is Kieślowski's Three Colors Trilogy. I became enamored with his films at a young age and I want Overland to have a similar look to "Red".
- MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC- A lot of the rock/pop element will come through the music. I've provided some links below as examples of the sound we're going for:
I am a 1st generation American--my dad is from the UK and my mom is from Mexico. They are both very politically active and have been a huge inspiration to me. That being said, immigration has always been an important topic at my house. Oddly enough, however, the idea for Overland came while I was living in the Czech Republic. I was standing in the metro station waiting for the next train to come when a police officer walked by me. He moved across the platform, slowly surveying the area. I knew he wasn't looking at me, but I could feel my heart racing—I didn’t have my passport. Should I move away from him? No, that would look suspicious. Just stand still … am I being too still?
This experience instantly made me think of the burden and fear that many undocumented immigrants live with. In the case of Mexico and Central America, extreme poverty and violence have created a huge influx of immigrants. They are lured to the United States by rumors of free entry (i.e., pregnant women from Honduras), stories of success and hope for a better future. Despite the risk and cost, people are still willing to make the journey, only to be dehumanized by media and the US justice system. Overland is more than just a senior thesis for me. It's a movie that deals with a very important topic and something that I am deeply passionate about.
A movie is only as good as it's crew, so I am very excited to have such talented people on board!
We have taken casting for Overland very seriously, and I am happy to announce that we have cast 4 of the major roles! Introducing...
SHOOTING DATES and LOCATIONS
We will be shooting Overland from the 6th-9th of March. Days 1 and 2 will be in El Paso, TX while days 3 and 4 will be in Las Cruces, NM. Day 1 we will be filming at King's X Bar and Lucy's Diner in El Paso--a perfect location considering that the buildings are attached to one another! Day 2 will be the opening scene at the hotel and Noemi's apartment. We'll finish off the last two days at "Mark's House" in Las Cruces.
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge we have faced so far in pre-production is finding the right actress to play the role of Noemi. Currently, we’ve narrowed it down to two actresses, but this was after several unsuccessful casting calls and a multitude of phone calls to LA, Albuquerque and El Paso talent agencies. Luckily, the search is almost over!
I am happy to say that most of our locations are locked, but there is one that may be difficult to acquire: the exterior of a detention center. We want to use the El Paso Processing Center, but there may be legal issues that prevent us from filming the building. As far as we know, it is illegal to film anything having to do with border patrol personnel, so the building may be out of bounds. If this is the case, we will use a different building/jail that doesn’t have ties to the Border Patrol.
The last issue is money. We have a small budget right now, but not enough to pay for all of our expenses. Most of our actors are traveling south from Santa Fe, so we need to pay for their gas and lodging. We are working out a couple of hotel deals and may get the price cut, but rooms add up quickly. Luckily, we have access to free equipment, except for special items such as a curved dolly track and a Ronin Steadicam system. How will we tackle this issue? Being frugal and…a Kickstarter campaign!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)