Based on a true story, an intuitive teen realizes her family’s lives are at stake when their immigrant housekeeper loses her grip on reality.
The world today can feel like a dark, serious place. Mass shootings, war, imprisoning immigrants, and a hate-filled president are at the top of everyone’s news feeds. People seem generally sad or angry. I want to be part of a solution; I want to make happy, feel-good films. Generally. This is not one of those films.
I was selected as one of six directors to receive a $1,000 grant to make a film (writing script to audience premiere) in just four weeks. The films are all based on true stories that each filmmaker received at random. When I received a thriller about a housekeeper that went crazy, I was not thrilled. I am not a thriller director. I direct stories of love and/or music. They are fun and usually end happy. It was based on a true story, which was intriguing, but it made the woman look like someone who was insane and I just couldn’t tell that story.
I teamed up with one of my writing partners, Sarah J. Eagen, and it was important to us that “Soledad” show the backstory of a woman who had experienced horrifying events and was suffering from mental illness in a very real way. While the main character could have easily been the teen girl whose life was impacted in the present, we chose to give the film dual leads in order to challenge the audience’s assumptions, facilitate a discussion about family, and give a voice to the displaced. I’m grateful to Frankie Loyal (“Mayans M.C.”), who lent his tremendous talent for a pivotal point in the film.
Mental illness has been a taboo topic in America for far too long. We hope our film will be a conversation starter about a variety of topics, but especially how we can be more compassionate and proactive about mental health.