Director's Statement

Elaine Del Valle

As a writer/director, I seek to tell stories through female protagonists, break down socio-economic and racial divides, dignify marginalized voices of color, provoke thought and unify audiences through the indomitable power of the human spirit.

I began my career as an actress. My increasing frustration with the lack of roles that depicted my Urban American-Latinx experience became my impetus for writing Brownsville Bred.

 

The story encompasses my true coming-of-age and my Latino family's journey as we struggled to break the multi-generational cycle of poverty and maintain a positive outlook, despite the tragedies that surrounded us.

 

I performed the story as a one-woman stage play for thousands, including at theaters, festivals, corporations, high schools, and universities. To my (and their) surprise, audiences from all walks of life found empathy through its characters. The story transcended cultural and economic divides through its hope and humanity. I want to share that connection with the world.

I further developed the intellectual property by adapting it as a novel. Brownsville Bred (the play and novel) became critically-acclaimed and award-winning. The book is now being taught in schools and was named a Most Inspirational Young Adult Book of 2020. 

 

Now, I am ready to express this introspective familial biopic and coming-of-age drama as a film. 

 

The film will feature moments of spatial disruption that will serve as a metaphorical pause that allows our protagonist time to process and institute her survival mechanisms.

With the deep desire to use the same young actress, first at ten years old and then at twelve, we will begin shooting the film's first act (younger years) in June of 2021. This 22-minute result will serve the whole in three ways; As the first act of our feature (never to be reshot), as our feature film proof-of-concept to attract investors, and as a stand-alone short film/pilot traveling worldwide via the 2022 festival circuit.

 

It has been my long-time dream to realize Brownsville Bred as a film. With a trail of award-winning short films that I have directed over the last few years, I find myself ready for my directorial debut in a feature film. That can only happen once in a director's life, and I have long aimed for Brownsville Bred to mark that once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.  

 

Through it, I want audiences to understand that anyone can transcend history, break the poverty cycle, and blaze an inspiring path. Brownsville Bred will dignify marginalized voices of color--NOT DESPITE where they come from, But BECAUSE of where they come from.