Christina, a young mother trapped in the world of sex trafficking, is suddenly given the opportunity to escape.
Mobile Homes is a short film shooting this December in upstate New York. Vladimir de Fontenay is directing the film as his pre-thesis project in NYU's graduate film program.
The story: Mobile Homes follows Christina, a young mother trapped in the underworld of domestic human trafficking. Constantly moving from city to city, she is transported with Alex, her 9 year old son and three other young women. As she survives day to day, Alex explores a neighboring mobile home sales lot during one of their extended stops, learning to be a man in a very challenging world.
At the heart of the story, is the relationship between Christina and Alex and the moment of realization of her pimp’s growing influence over her son. When Christina is faced with the possibility of escape, she and Alex must bind together to figure out their next steps toward the freedom they deserve.
Research for the film: Vladimir has had the opportunity to work closely with some non-profit organizations (such as Polaris Project) that help young trafficking victims reintegrate into society, meeting with trafficking survivors to hear their stories. This experience of closely working with victims of a world most people don't know about have helped ground the script in a difficult reality and have also allowed him to understand the "rules" of that world.
While Christina’s story is fictional, the characters, language, environment and scenario are based and inspired on the stories Vladimir has heard. As he has gotten to know these real life victims, it's become clear that Christina’s dilemma is identical to their own: in order to survive, you have to be ready to die.
The Shoot: Mobile Homes has received the support of the Hudson Valley Film Commission which has helped us finding actors in the area and locations. The cast has not been locked yet and we will notify you as soon as we have it ready.
The Budget: Mobile Homes is an ambitious film also made possible by other NYU services including production equipment, production insurance and post-production facilities, allowing us to make the film at a fraction of what short films normally cost. Despite this incredible support, however, additional funds are necessary to meet Mobile Homes' budget needs. We need to raise a minimum of $ 8,500 in order to make this film. Our optimal budget amounts to $15, 000 (or 10 825 €) which would let us shoot on super 16mm film.
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The crew: Composed of graduate students from NYU's Tisch Kanbar Graduate Program in Film and Television, we have all joined together around what we think will be a powerful film about an important topic. The film has the support of NYU’s faculty, which includes award-winning filmmakers such as John Tintori (Eight Men Out, True Love), Todd Solondz (Happiness, Storytelling), Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Inside Man), and Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol).
Pepe Avila del Pino, Director of Photography. Pepe was born and raised in Mexico City. After studying communication and philosophy he worked in different areas of audiovisual production as advertising and documentary. His short films, “Kukatko” (Prague, 05) and “Breve cuento sobre la aparicion espontenea de un árbol imaginario” (Mexico, 07) have been screened around the world and received several international awards including the First Prize at UNIFEST, Madrid 2007; First Prize in the International Film Festival Against Violence by AVON 2007, Special mention in photography at the Kinoki Film Fest 2007; Audience Award in the festival El cine a las calles 2007; With the support of the prestigious scholarship by the FONCA, Pepe is currently an MFA candidate at the New York University graduate film program.
Tati Barrantes, Producer. Tati was born in Lima, Peru and moved soon after to Los Angeles, California where she was raised. Her multicultural heritage has been her biggest influence throughout her creative career and has informed her methods and styles in filmmaking. In 2004, she was awarded the Global Migrations Grant from Hampshire College, which allowed her to complete her thesis project, a short documentary that explored immigrant identity and imagination. After receiving her Bachelor’s of Arts from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, she moved to San Francisco where she began a monthly film series to offer a platform for local independent filmmakers to exhibit their work.
In 2007, Tati was accepted into the highly acclaimed New York University’s Graduate Film Program where she produced and directed multiple films. She was awarded the coveted Graduate Fellowship in 2009 for outstanding academic work. Tati’s short film ‘Tiempo al Tiempo’ has screened at multiple film festivals nationally. It was nominated Best Student Short at the 2010 Method Film Festival and won the Audience Award and Adam Balsano Award for Social Significance at the 2010 First Run Film Festival, the Jury Award at 9Y2Tribeca’s film slam and was a semi-finalist at the 2010 Angelus Student Film Festival. With a background in documentary development and marketing, Tati felt a strong inclination to produce films as well. She has produced six short films and has worked in script coverage for the esteemed director Darren Aronfsky as well as recently joining Spike Lee on his follow up to “When the Levee’s Broke.” While writing her own first feature, Tati continues to work as a producer on multiple feature length and short works.
Colin Whitlow, Co-Producer. Colin hails from the coastal town of White Stone, Virginia. After pursuing acting for a short time, he graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees in photography, experimental film and literature. He moved to San Francisco to work in publishing for a brief period before taking a position as a strategist for YouTube. He is currently pursuing his MBA and MFA at NYU’s Stern School of Business and Tisch Kanbar School of Film and Television and is engaged in developing and producing a wide variety of projects, including a feature film, several shorts and a web series.
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