Children Behind the Wall (working title)
A shocking story about drugs, violence, broken families and children in Tijuana, Mexico...The untold story behind the border.
Tijuana is the legendary border town between Mexico and the United States. It is also known as a smuggler’s paradise, a sordid town with an illegal traffic of people and goods. When families from all over Latin America fail to cross the border and reach the United States, they mostly stay in Tijuana and become addicted to drugs. Most parents abandon their children. Forced to fend for themselves in the streets, the kids follow in their parent’s footsteps and get trapped in the unforgiving cycle of drug dependency and thus fall into prostitution and violence. “Children Behind the Wall”, explores the complexity of this situation, through first hand stories told by some of those children who strive to liberate themselves from addiction.
In January 2007 I went to Tijuana. Like many filmmakers at the time, I was trying to make a film about children who had tried to enter the United States illegally to re-unite with their parents. However, what I found was a terrifying reality that nobody talks about. I couldn’t believe the things some kids were going through. It was heart-breaking to talk to them and find out that they have lost part of themselves in a vicious cycle that seems impossible to break.
I decided to take action. I took my only savings, my vacation time from my day job and I returned to Tijuana, to start shooting. And I have been doing this ever since. Thanks to Paula Deborah Herrera, an activist fighting for women and children’s rights, and her staff I was able to gain unlimited access to an orphanage, a rehab center, and a public school. I also followed a social worker while he was doing his usual night runs to rescue children from the streets of Tijuana. This gave me a first-hand look into the children’s every day struggle to survive the mean streets.
Many people ask me, why am I doing this documentary? Why am I so passionate about this topic? The fact is that I didn’t know the real reason until a couple of years ago. As is the case with the youngsters you will see in this film, someone close to me, one of my relatives, was hooked on drugs and unfortunately didn’t make it. This is something that is really hard for me to talk about. I guess in a way, my need to want to help these kids stems from the fact that I wasn’t able to save my cousin.
“Children Behind the Wall” displays amazing stories that I strongly believe deserve to be told. The main purpose of this documentary is to raise public consciousness about an unknown and horrible situation that is happening very close to my home, the U.S. Hopefully, it will also serve as a prevention tool for young people and parents. It will spark a surge of action among the viewers and initiate the much-needed discussion about this horrid situation.
How have I funded this project?
I started filming this documentary using my own savings, and then I did some fundraising events to raise money to pay for equipment, travel, editing, etc. In May of 2012, we launched a highly successful Kickstarter campaign and raised over $14,000 to hire a professional editor, Paula Heredia. Unfortunately, Ms. Heredia couldn’t keep working on the project. Since January 2014, we have been working with Sylvia Calle. She has been a great addition to the team. She edited the current cut.
There are no key crew provided
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