Read about filmmaker Fernando Rodriguez’ inspiration for film POR MI HIJA

Jesus Figueroa

The story of a young couple from Mexico that decide to come to the U.S. in search of the "American Dream", Por Mi Hija is a remarkable achievement and another notch in the belt of talented filmmaker Fernando Rodriguez.

How long had you been looking at bringing FOR MY DAUGHTER to the big screen?
Since I was a little boy my passion for film was in me. I love real stories. Raw stories. Stories of the human condition. I live in San Diego Ca which borders Tijuana Mexico. For many years growing up I witnessed first hand the immigration problem in this country. Id be walking to school early mornings and Id see people hiding behind trees or in bushes. Women with children my age looking tired and haggard. People who looked like me, who spoke my language. Why didnt they have the same rights I had? So I decided to tell this story.
When did you first put pen to paper on it?
I started writing the script back in 2019. Off and on I wrote and finished late 2020
And how much would you say films like IN AMERICA were an influence?
There are many films which influenced me throughout my youth, but more than anything its the real experiences that shaped my writing and what I wanted to show on film
Is there anything you had to compromise on because of budgetary issues?
I financed the film myself along with a partner/friend. So yes many things were left out of the film that I envisioned for this story. This was as independent as you can get but I think we made it work. It gives the film an edge. It feels raw and real. Almost like a documentary in a way.
Did I read that this is based on an actual story?
In the film the young couple are from a very small town in Mexico called Jalostotitlan. Its a mountainous region in the state of Jalisco. Very beautiful, colonial town. Cobblestone streets line the main plaza. If I wanted to show you realMexico, Id take you there. My wife is from this town. She comes from a big family. Over 50 cousins. I got married and started spending my summers there. It was a culture shock for me. Many from this town make the journey north to the U.S. in search of work. I heard about this young couple. They had this tragedy happen to them. Illegals and maybe naïve as to what to do, they panicked. I couldnt confirm this story nor did I try to research anything. I imagined what they went through and decided to tell this story. So its lightly based in reality.
Being an independent production, Id think you probably ended up wearing more hats on it than credited. Was that the case?
One of my influences is the great director Robert Rodriguez. He says that when youre starting out in this business you need to do everything. Wear every hat. Learn every part of this process. Thats exactly what I did. I wrote, directed, and I was the cinematographer. I scheduled the shoot. I did wardrobe. I edited the film also. I obviously couldnt have completed any of this without my crew who without any pay decided to come on this journey with me. These guys did it for the love of film. I will always be thankful for Omar, Fabian and Stephen. They made it happen.
If an awards ceremony were going to show a moment from the film, what moment would you ask them to play?
I love the last part of the film when LEO arrives back to his home after so many years away. We see flash backs of his life there before any of this happened. Then you see him break down. Its heart breaking because I dont think he ever wanted to leave in the first place. He did it to give his family a better life.
Considering the year, weve just had, most of us are appreciate film and other forms of entertainment more than ever. How have you been distracting yourself from outside worries during the past year?
Apart from making this film, which was a huge distraction for me, I love the outdoors and spending time with family. I enjoy a great movie in the theatre when its been safe to do so.
I forgot to ask, did you have to shoot this during the pandemic?

We started shooting in March of last year. So it was right in the middle of all this. It was difficult to navigate all the restriction specially traveling down to Mexico. Thankfully we had a lot of help from the local government who were happy to see us filming.

Did theater closures, and other kafuffles, cause a dint in your distribution plans at all?

I would have loved to have seen it on the big screen, unfortunately that wasnt going to happen. Im happy and fortunate that we have different avenues of bringing a film to an audience now a days. Its a great thing for someone like me who maybe doesnt have the resources or connections to bring it to theatres.

Whats next?

Im asking myself the same question. I would like some type of representation. Someone who can see potential and help me reach the right people. I would love financing and maybe begin writing the next film soon.

Now Available On Digital

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