Award-winning Filmmaker/Author James D. Scurlock and civil rights activist/film producer David Damian Figueroa today announced the launch of a crowdfunding campaign to fund development of a feature version based on Scurlock's film, Parents of the Year (Padres del Ano) winner of the 2005 Los Angeles Film Festival Audience Award.
Scurlock will co-write and produce the film, which Figueroa will executive produce.
Parents originally aired on HBO. Parents of the Year (Padres del Ano) tells the true story of Rogelio and Yolanda Garcia, immigrants from Oaxaca, Mexico, who came to America in the late 1970s only to lose their jobs in the Reagan recession.
After enduring a series of part-time jobs that ultimately proved an unreliable source of income, Yolanda began foraging the garbage bins around Venice Beach.
In 2005, fulfilling a lifelong dream, their eldest son, Rogelio, Jr., graduated from MIT. The Garcias' daughter, Adrianne, and younger son, Angel, have both since graduated from college.
"The Garcias' story is a universal one of breaking a cycle of poverty and abuse," observed Scurlock. "Given the immigration debate, this timeless story has become unbelievably timely and important." Added Figueroa, who is a producer of the documentaries "The Harvest" and "Food Chains,"
"When I was a child I used to collect enough bottles to fill a grocery basket and then take them to get cash at the little market in our neighborhood. There are a lot of Yolanda's in America doing heroic things each day to advance the lives of their children."
Thanks to widespread media coverage, Yolanda Garcia has already become a hero to millions. "This woman's courage, vision and strength are so unbelievable," said Dolores Huerta, UFW co-founder and recipient of the 2011 Medal of Freedom. "Her actions go beyond sacrifice." Said Tom Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF, "At a time when misinformation and disinformation too often dominate political debate over immigration reform, 'Parents of the Year' will be a powerful narrative, contradicting commonly-held myths about why Mexican immigrants come to the United States and about their experiences and those of their children in this country."