Kean Professor is Nominated for an Academy Award
Susan MacLaury a professor in the Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Health at Kean University, also produces films in her spare time. She was the executive producer for “Inocente,” a movie about a young artist’s determination and ambition to never succumb to her desolate surroundings. Stay tuned for an interview with Maclaury; until then have a look at the press release from the movie.
INOCENTE, ACADMEY AWARD®-NOMINATED DOCUMENTARY BY SHINE GLOBAL, FOLLOWS A YOUNG UNDOCUMENTED LATINA ARTIST
Vivid tale highlights the Plight of a Homeless Teenage Immigrant and Spotlights the Transformative Power of Art
INOCENTE, an intensely personal coming-of-age documentary about a vibrant Latina teenage artist from San Diego, is getting a lot of attention heading into this year’s awards season.
The film chronicles Inocente, an irresistibly likeable young girl who has overcome poverty and homelessness to win widespread recognition for her whimsical, colorful artworks. Color is her revolution.
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, a high profile affair that she knows has the potential to launch her career. Meanwhile, her family life is at a tense impasse— to leave home is terrifying but to stay is unbearable.
The film is directed by Academy Award®-nominated directors Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine of Fine Films. Their Emmy Award-winning film War/Dance, also produced with Shine Global, was nominated for the 2008 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature.
“From the first time we met Inocente, we knew that her courage and story could give a face to the 1.7 million homeless children in America. Her honesty and incredible talent show all of us a very personal side to this usually hidden story,” the Fines said.
Inocente won the UNICEF Special Award at the EBS International Documentary Film Festival, Best Short Documentary at the San Antonio Film Festival and the Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival, the Crystal Heart Award at Heartland Film Festival and has been warmly received at Hot Docs and several other national film festivals, including the Arizona International Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award for Inspirational Filmmaking. It is being distributed educationally by The Cinema Guild, accompanied by free, downloadable curricula.
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 never see. This film will usher you into the secret life she returns to at the end of every day, where she navigates the instability, despair, and neglect of a situation she must endure through no fault of her own. The challenges are staggering, but the hope in Inocente’s story proves that her past does not define her—her dreams do.
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 canvas 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 and an endless shuffle year after year through the city’s overcrowded homeless shelters.
Despite this history, Inocente’s eyes envision a world transformed… where pink and turquoise planets twinkle under a sky of rescued dreams, where buildings playfully drip in yellow and orange and one-eyed childlike creatures play amongst loved babies and purple clouds.
Inocente’s situation is unfortunately not unique. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there are about 1.7 million homeless youth under the age of 18 in the United States. To date, this country continues to have the largest number of homeless women and children of any industrialized nation.
A Reason to Survive (ARTS), the program that has mentored Inocente for six years and is featured in the film, has joined the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and other organizations as partners of Shine Global to make the film available for advocacy in homelessness, arts education, and immigration reform.
For more information on “Inocente” and the issues explored in this documentary head to Inocentedoc.com.
Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine of Fine Films are Academy Award®-nominated directors who have been directing and producing documentaries for the last decade for both theater and broadcast outlets. Their film War/Dance won several awards, including 2 Emmy’s, and was nominated for the 2008 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature.
Yael Melamede co-founded the independent film production company Salty Features in 2003 in order to make feature films that showcase unique vision, strong storytelling and thought-provoking subject matter. Her films include Small Beautifully Moving Parts, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and the Academy Award®-nominated documentary, My Architect.
Albie Hecht and Susan MacLaury co-founded Shine Global, a non-profit film production company dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of children through films and other media. They produced and executive produced the Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy Award-winning War/ Dance and The Harvest/La Cosecha. Previously, as head of Nickelodeon Films and Television, Albie was nominated for an Academy Award® for Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.
SHINE GLOBAL AND MTV PRESENT A SALTY FEATURES UNISON FILMS FINE FILMS PRODUCTION IN ASSOCIATION WITH EPIX SCREEN PASS PICTURES GOLD GLOVE PRODUCTIONS A FILM BY SEAN FINE AND ANDREA NIX FINE “INOCENTE” ORIGINAL MUSIC RICK WITKOWSKI VANESSA CAMPAGNA KEEGAN DEWITT EDITOR JEFF CONSIGLIO DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY SEAN FINE ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS ANNE MARLER ALEXANDRA BLANEY JEN DOUGHERTY JESSICA LATHAM CO-PRODUCERS ROB HENNINGER KARI KIM EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS SUSAN MACLAURY JOHN LEGUIZAMO RYAN A. BROOKS CHRISTINA WEISS LURIE JEFFREY LURIE PRODUCED BY YAEL MELAMEDE ALBIE HECHT EMANUEL MICHAEL SEAN FINE ANDREA NIX FINE
DIRECTED BY SEAN FINE AND ANDREA NIX FINE