BTS: Cristina becomes Jimena

At first I auditioned for Marisol, because I was convinced by my good friend Amanda Reyes, who plays Marisol, to give it a try. I went in not thinking much because I had never acted before, and I honestly didn’t think I would do a decent enough job to get the part. Therefore, it was quite a surprise when I was offered the role.

Becoming the character of Jimena worried me mainly because I wasn’t exactly sure how to approach it. It wasn’t until I finally got on set that all of that worry eroded. A lot of the script was improvised especially the dialogue for my character since it was in Spanish. That’s when it all started coming out naturally. Immigration and the difficulties immigrants face in this country have always been an important subject to me, but this is the closest I have ever felt what it’s like. Before this film I had never even thought of all the children who have grown up in this country not knowing they’re not from here and then finding out completely changing everything. I also did not know about accompaniment and the process of it. I am privileged to have been born in this country, and though I never have to experience this personally, this issue is definitely something that needs to be discussed.

I came into this film worrying about my lack of talent as an actress and left knowing I was representing an important issue way bigger than myself. These are definitely the stories I want to tell, the type of films I want to make. The way this film represents this issue is a type of activism. I think now a days the media antagonizes the topic of immigration and makes it very impersonal by talking of the “masses of immigrants.” With so much talk of big numbers people don’t usually empathize with the subject. This film helps humanize the topic and puts a unique face to the blur of the masses. I’m incredibly proud that I was part of this film, and I’ve really benefitted from it as a filmmaker being in front of the camera. I hope people can see that this film is a mobile form of art, which can change the way we think about this issue in this country.

-Cristina Gonzalez