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Meet Felicia Villarreal, a filmmaker with an empowering story to be told about love, loss, and determination. The film “Aver” is inspired by true events, focusing on a universal story of Elisa, a young Mexican immigrant in search of her younger brother, whom she lost while crossing the border. Elisa’s journey is one that countless families have made in order to escape violence and poverty. No fear or rejection will stop her from finding the only family she has left.
Three-years in the making, Felicia hopes to tell this story and give courage and confidence to those who are on a dark journey of their own. We caught up with her and chatted about the film and what inspired her to tell the story. Check it out.
1. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS FILM? My great-grandparents and their migration into the United States inspired me to write this film. Everyday, someone is forced to make a decision that involves saying goodbye to a loved one. I wanted to write a film that represents those who persevere in honor of themselves and in honor of loved ones.
2. WHAT HELPS YOU WITH YOUR WRITING PROCESS AND PULLING TOGETHER YOUR STORY? When it comes to writing I remind myself of why I chose to be in the world of filmmaking in the first place. I believe that this industry has an effect on the actions of mankind. My wish is to write stories that inspire and move people. Stories that lead your heart towards light.
3. WHAT IS THE GOAL YOU ARE TRYING TO REACH WITH THIS FILM AND ITS MESSAGE? The goal of this film is to help those who are on a dark journey of their own. I love encouraging people to strive for greatness no matter who they are or where they come from. The message of Aver is held within the title itself. To assert with confidence.
4. HOW HAS THIS FILM HELPED YOU IN YOUR OWN DAY-TO-DAY LIFE? I have learned so much about my family’s journey as well as others. Everyone’s story is so different and so interesting to me. I truly admire one’s brave heart and determination for a better life.
5. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE DIRECTOR AND WHY? I have two favorite writers/directors, Ava DuVernay and M. Night Shyamalan. DuVernay shines light in some of the world’s darkest places. I love that she’s fearless and fights for her beliefs through writing. Shyamalan’s movies always have my full attention from start to finish. He keeps it suspenseful and mysterious. He’s so creative from dialogue to camera shots and has an interesting twist in the end!
Find out how you can support this film at www.avermovie.com.