LatinaLista — Utah filmmaker Nathan Jones is an Anglo through and through, but he has a corazon of a Latino due to a background that has included a stint as a high school teacher in South Central Los Angeles and spending several years in Puerto Rico.
Now, he is putting his corazon y alma (heart and soul) into a new film project that he hopes will help bridge the widening gap of misunderstanding between Latinos and Anglos â€” but he needs the help of the Latino community.
In his own words, Nathan explains his project and what he hopes to accomplish:
I am an Anglo director and published author, but I spent several years in Puerto Rico as well as teaching Mexican students in a South Central L.A. high school before turning to filmmaking. I’ve made a feature documentary and several shorts.
I met the director of “DeNadie” at the ’06 Sundance FIlm Festival. Have you seen it? It’s a powerful documentary about Central American immigrants who try to cross Mexico, but it speaks of the plight of immigrants in general.
However, after seeing the stark LACK of impact it had on mainstream Americans, (seeing how few actually saw it) I realized how much documentaries preach to the choir. I realized that the best way to “send a message” that might actually effect change among Anglo-Latino relations was to make a comedy, and as long as it was funny and dramatic, the message would linger within the plot of the movie itself. I’m convinced that the megaplexes can help where the festivals have failed.
I grew up in Arizona, where, even before I learned Spanish, I noticed the attitudes of my culture towards latinos. It wasn’t necessarily racist, but it’s clear that most Anglo-Arizonans do not see Hispanics as equals.
I’ve written several scripts for full-length feature films, and my latest, although hopefully funny, explores the affect LANGUAGE has on racism.
It’s called “ME COMIERON LA LENGUA” (or “TONGUE TIED” in English). It’s about an upper-middle class Anglo-Arizonan who gets in a car accident and when he wakes up HE CAN ONLY SPEAK SPANISH.
Yes, half of the movie is in Spanish, but I truly believe that Anglos will watch a movie with subtitles if losing one’s mother tongue is the plot of the story itself. It’s also NOT FANTASY. The main character experiences a left-hemisphere brain injury, after which his brain re-wires itself to the only other language he knew. (he lived on a navy base in Puerto Rico as a child, but had since forgotten Spanish completely.)
NOW, TO THE POINT.
All I know is that I feel I must make this movie. It’s HILARIOUS (especially to Hispanics, but also to those I believe will be able to relate with it—other anglos).
I have several great leads of interested latino parties, but only $20,000 raised so far. I’m trying to raise the money to make offers to Mexican stars that would like to do an independent picture in the U.S.A. to boost their popularity here.
Let me know if there’s any way you can help.
Nathan S. Jones
Latina Lista fully endorses Nathan’s project and we are spreading the word in the hopes that those among our community with the dinero or connections can help him out so we can start on the road to healing racial divisions that have grown ever wider within the last year.