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Detained in the Desert - Soon To Be a Movie

From little Casa to the big screen, Josefina Lopez continues to use theater & film to be a voice for the voiceless

By Miguel Ortega-Garcia
Published on LatinoLA: June 9, 2012


Detained in the Desert - Soon To Be a Movie


Outraged by all the hate talk against Latino immigrants, Josefina Lopez, screenwriter, playwright, novelist, best known for co-writing the screenplay to the Sundance Award Winning film Real Women Have Curves (2002), decided to write a play titled Detained in the Desert to protest all the anti-immigrant hate speech and SB1070 and all the anti-immigrant laws appearing in other conservative states.

She won several awards for the play and now she wants to take it to a bigger audience by producing a film based on her play so people can learn about the true plight of Latino immigrant and shatter myths and misconceptions concerning illegal immigration. Being an immigrant herself, Josefina wants to give a voice to the undocumented people who are scapegoated and vilified yet are the most powerless to tell their side of the story.

Josefina was also inspired to write Detained in the Desert after having participated in Marcha Migrante led by Border Angels' founder Enrique Morones and visited the cemetery in Holtville, Arizona where the unclaimed bodies found in the desert of over 600 migrants are buried.

She got to see photos of the bodies found in the desert and was haunted by the images she saw. Josefina has also seen Enrique Morones tirelessly put out water at the water stations in the desert to help migrants crossing the Arizona desert stay alive. Enrique has also debated Sheriff Arpaio and other anti-immigrant activists as well as fight to shatter myths about immigrations with his humanitarian work.

Josefina wants to produce a film to help raise funds for BORDER ANGELS so they can continue to do their humanitarian work at the desert on a larger scale. Her film project is a human rights film and fundraiser for Border Angels. 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.

Josefina is working with the very talented Director Iliana Sosa, who recently graduated from UCLA's School of Film & TV, with her MFA in film. When she saw Iliana's film Child of the Desert she knew she had the perfect director for this story because she personally understands the plight of immigrants and knows how to capture the dignity of the downtrodden. Josefina is very excited to boast that her crew is made up of mostly women in key positions and that this film is being made by capable women filmmakers who are not afraid of the challenges of shooting in the desert.

Josefina recently founded her independent production company Real Women Have Curves Studio, whose mission is to make films that celebrate women of all shapes, sizes, and colors as well as reveal the authentic stories of Latinos in the U.S., to produce Detained in the Desert which will be its first feature.

Learn more about the film by going to IndieGoGo.com/DetainedintheDesert and support their fundraising campaign to complete this very important film.

About Miguel Ortega-Garcia:
Miguel Ortega-Garica is a Producer/Playwright in LA. He is working on his first screenplay & is producing "Brown & Out," a play festival celebrating the Latino/a LGBTQ Experience, opening on Sept 21, 2012 @ the New Casa 0101 Theater.
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