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. We will be screening this documentary in honor of it’s Academy Award nomination for best short documentary.
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 canvases 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, an endless shuffle year after year through the city’s overcrowded homeless shelters and the constant threat of deportation.
Told entirely in her own words, 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. Meanwhile, her family life is at a tense impasse – – if she legally emancipates herself from her mother to strike out on her own, she’ll risk placing her brothers in foster care, but to stay is unbearable.
Inocente is both a timeless story about the transformative power of art and a timely snapshot of the new face of homelessness in America, children. 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 rarely see. The challenges are staggering, but the hope in Inocente’s story proves that the hand she has been dealt does not define her, her dreams do.
Yael Melamede is a co-founder of SALTY Features – an independent production company based in NYC whose goal is to create media that is vital and enhances the world, like salt. Melamede’s producer credits include: the documentary film Inocente, directed by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine; Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, written and directed by John Krasinski, based on the book by David Foster Wallace; The Inner Life of Martin Frost, written and directed by Paul Auster; and My Architect, directed by Nathaniel Kahn and nominated for an Academy Award in 2004. Melamede was trained and worked as an architect before becoming a filmmaker.
The Standby Program Inc., fosters the creation and preservation of media art work by democratizing access to media technology, providing technical consultation, and resources which advance the development of the media arts field. Standby is an innovative program that allows the arts community access to the resources of the private sector at reduced rates. The program operates out of several top-rated media post-production studios located in New York City.