A short film written and directed by Freddy Rodriguez tells the drama undocumented families face in today’s immigration dilemma. Undocumented families in the United States are being torn apart, forced to live underground, and off the grid with no safety net to turn to. Malabar sheds light on how undocumented families are left vulnerable to crime, turned upside down in times of crisis, and left alone against a system that does not recognize the magnitude of the problem.
Malabar tells the story of an undocumented mother of two, who risks everything to save her youngest son who goes missing and is kept captive by a human-trafficking white nationalist. Unable to turn to the authorities for help, she embarks on a desperate search through Florida backcountry before he vanishes forever.
“Malabar is a project that I started writing in the fall of 2015. My partner and I were driving to Chicago and we stopped at a restroom in Malabar, Florida, where we saw a missing-person poster about a Hispanic mom and two kids. The picture stayed with me and that created the backstory for Malabar,” said writer and director, Freddy Rodriguez.
“When you are undocumented in the United States, you are a target for really bad things. Undocumented people are victims of crime at every level, and they don’t have someone to turn to. They are marginalized by a system that does not want them here but needs them to support the economy,” acknowledged Liz Pasillas, producer and screenplay co-writer with a list of more that ten short-films than have been winners at major international film festivals, as well as commercial projects for recognized brands and Grammy and Billboard award winning artists.
Freddy Rodriguez had been directing several short-films and has more than 17 years of experience in TV commercials and branding work projects, he counts with 15 EMMY® nominations, 7 EMMY® wins, and 3 PromaxBDA Gold and 3 PromaxBDA Silver awards. Based in Miami, along with his production company, 66 Films, he partnered with Diliana Alexander, Executive Director of FilmGate Miami, a non-profit organization which empowers Florida’s independent filmmakers, Malabar being the first short film supported by the organization. “Malabar fits within the type of films we’re interested in producing at Film-Gate Miami. We live in trying times and this project speaks to issues that reveal the urgent topics of today that need our opinions as artists. We hope to change hearts and minds with Malabar” said Diliana Alexander, Executive Producer, Malabar and Founder of Filmgate Miami.
Malabar was shot from January 23 until January 27 in Homestead and Clewiston (FL). “ We counted with talented actors, and an excellent production team including Director of Photography Laszlo Nador, and production coordinator Monica López, we had a team of about 30 people for five days helping to make Malabar great,” explained Pasillas. The cast that participated in the film are: Adriana Bermúdez as “Celi,” Alvaro Martinez as “Nathan,” Christopher Navarro as “Ale,” Gabriela Serrano as “Nati,” Carlos Deblec as “Chano,” Claudia Valencia as “Marta,” Elaine del Valle as “Officer García” and Miles Windsor as “Ryllek.”
The production was a reality thanks to a crowdfunding campaign which raised $17,245. “Our goal is to have Malabar ready for the Sundance Short Film Lab, which will be held in FilmGate Miami in April,” Liz Pasillas indicated.
“Our hope first and foremost with Malabar is to entertain. But, we also hope to shed light on the difficulties faced by one of the most marginalized populations in America today. Being undocumented shouldn’t be viewed as a crime, but rather as a temporary circumstance,” emphasized Freddy Rodriguez.
Haz clic para leer en Español: Rodado en Homestead, cortometraje \’Malabar\’ Revela las luchas de un inmigrante indocumentado