¡Por La Vida! Feature film

By Gonzalo Mejia
$10,515 raised (52% of $20,000)
91 supporters
12 days, 7 hours left
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Goal: $20,000
$7,000 minimum required to disburse funds has been raised!
¡Por La Vida! is a family film about second chances, personal growth, and the unique challenges of raising kids in a multicultural melting pot like Miami.
¡Por La Vida! Feature film
Film

 

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Support the magic of Por La Vida on the big screen! Join us as Gerónimo's baking dreams clash with the surprise return of his estranged daughter, Clarissa, in this heartwarming and funny tale of family, second chances, and cultural fusion in Miami. Be a part of bringing this unique story to life!

 

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Logline


A middle-aged Hispanic baker's dream of launching his own business turns topsy-turvy when his estranged daughter lands on house arrest, igniting a comical odyssey of reconciliation amid the flour-dusted chaos of family dynamics.

 

 

Synopsis


Meet Gerónimo, who's had his fair share of family fumbles but is dead-set on making it big in the baking world. Just when he's about to dive into his dream, his estranged daughter Clarissa crashes back into his life, landing herself on house arrest after a DUI.

Now, Gerónimo's is caught in a storm of emotions, drama, and bills, as he strives to mend fences with Clarissa, while simultaneously keeping his baking dream alive.

Together, they navigate through ups and downs, laughs and tears, in a journey that's both heartwarming and hilarious. It's a tale of second chances, personal growth, and the unique challenges of raising kids in a multicultural melting pot like Miami.

 

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Funding


100% of the funds will go towards the production of the movie, specifically for locations, actors, meals, wardrobe, props, and transportation. Gladly, we've been able to secure most of the equipment and crew. 

 

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Additional Information

 

We're gearing up to shoot in late summer, and I'm really lucky to have such an awesome crew who are my friends. We've been working together for many years, so we're feeling really confident about diving into this. 
This project is actually my MFA thesis. While most folks in my program are going for short films or scripts, I've always dreamed of making a feature, so here we are!

 

As the largest minority in America, Hispanics are an integral part of the nation's cultural fabric, yet there remains a glaring deficit in media representation that accurately portrays our experiences. It's disheartening to see the limited scope of films, TV shows, documentaries, and other media forms that authentically reflect our diverse backgrounds and narratives. Inspired by this void, I'm driven by a vision to produce films that authentically tell our stories, beginning with this project as the inaugural step toward bridging this gap in representation.

 

 

Director's Statement

 

This project explores the journey of a Latin American parent raising a daughter in South Florida, highlighting the balance between preserving cherished Hispanic values and adapting to U.S. culture. It captures the humorous and heartwarming moments when two generations, each with their own cultural perspectives, collide. The story emphasizes the sacrifices the single parent makes for their daughter's success and happiness, often at the expense of losing traditions. Through laughter, conflicts, and touching connections, the project celebrates the resilience of the Latin American spirit, family bonds, and the transformative power of second chances. It aims to resonate with immigrant families, showcasing the universal theme of love transcending cultural boundaries.

 

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Follow the director on Instagram at @g.film.director 

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Gonzalo Mejia
Director/Writer

Meet Gonzalo Mejia, a visionary director-producer who has made his mark in South Florida with his unique cultural perspective. Raised in Ecuador and now living in the United States, Gonzalo's upbringing has given him a special blend of influences that shine through in his work. A lifelong lover of film, Gonzalo discovered the emotional power of storytelling through movies, and his passion for the craft only grew from there. After graduating from the University of Miami in 2000, he committed himself to pursuing his dreams in the world of audio-visual communication. He gained a wealth of experience in various forms of media, such as television, documentaries, advertising, and online content creation. Gonzalo's directorial prowess has garnered widespread recognition, grabbing the attention of global film festivals. His most recent short film, 'Las Llaves, El Gato y Un Pez Negro,' has earned five awards, including the prestigious title of Best Foreign Language Film at the Orlando Film Festival.

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Daniela Moreno
Executive Producer

Daniela has been working in production with Gonzalo for over 10 years. Daniela is the most organized person in the world! She's going to make sure that "¡Por La Vida!" is on track and on budget!

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Dani Orlando
Producer

Dani Orlando was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, and moved to the United States in 2016. Films have always been a part of her life but it wasn’t until she entered the University of Miami that she fell in love with production. Orlando has been given a unique perspective on how to effectively yet creatively build a story from scratch by bringing her Venezuelan and Italian heritage into the filmmaking process. A graduate of UM with a Bachelor of Science in Communication with a major in Motion Pictures and a minor in Spanish, she has worked on many sets as a producer, production manager, and production coordinator.

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Manuel Fernandez
Writer


Manuel Fernandez is a 24-year-old Writer/Director based in Miami, Florida. At Miami Dade College, he would begin his studies with aims of writing and directing. He made his mark as a co-writer on both 'En Las Sombras’ and ‘Tres Leches’ both short dramas were admitted to Cinema Slam in 2023 and 2024 respectively. In early 2022, Fernandez directed his thesis, 'Bumper to Bumper,' a dramatic short following two distinctly different people sharing a heavy loss in common. Recently, he joined the ¡Por La Vida! team, writing the script alongside director, Gonzalo Mejía.

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Cat Mairena
Director of Photography

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Catherine Mairena always held an interest in film. As she learned more about filmmaking, she found herself falling in love with the medium's ability to reflect life's stories on screen. After working on a number of projects, she found her niche behind the camera as a cinematographer. In 2018, Mairena graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science in Motion Pictures with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in Motion Pictures. Mairena's films have been featured in several international festivals including the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, the Student Los Angeles Film Awards, and Her International Film Festival | KYF.

Here's how we're doing so far.
Sun. June 16, 11:43 PM EDT

Please check out this short video!

 

https://youtube.com/shorts/F8odlpU0vbQ 

Update about how fundraising works.
Thu. June 6, 11:31 AM EDT
$7,000!
Mon. June 3, 7:59 PM EDT

We made our minimum goal! We're making a movie!!! Thanks to everyone! Thanks sooooo much!!! I can't believe it!!! I'm soooooo happy!!

 

gonzalo 

We've raised OVER $5K!!
Sun. June 2, 10:13 AM EDT

I'm beyond grateful to everyone who has contributed to our project. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Thanks to your backing we are moving confidently forward. We started casting and next week we'll be looking at potential locations. 

 

I'll continue posting updates here as we go. 

 

HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!

 

gonzalo 

Day #1
Fri. May 31, 7:14 PM EDT

We've launched strong and raised over $2500 on day #1. Thank you, everyone, for being part of this beautiful, cinematic journey!

Incentives
($1+)
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Only 1 left!
Thank you! ($10+)
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You are awesome! Every bit helps and we're grateful you've joined us.
Unlimited supply.
Social Media Shoutout ($25+)
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Social media shoutout from the director’s platforms
Unlimited supply.
Digital Recipe Book ($50+)
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Own a carefully curated selection of sweet, rich, Latin-American recipes featured in the film!
Unlimited supply.
Video Message from Cast and Crew ($100+)
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Receive a personalized video from the cast and crew thanking you for your contribution.
Only 4 left!
Spend the Day On Set! ($250+)
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Come and spend the day with us! Experience firsthand how a movie is made. Who knows, maybe you can be an extra!
Only 3 left!
Your Name in the Credits ($500+)
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Your name will appear in the film credits.
Unlimited supply.
Invitation to the Premiere ($1000+)
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For your generous contribution, you will receive all of the above plus an invitation for 2 to our film premiere in Miami! (travel not included)
Unlimited supply.
Associate Producer ($2500+)
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You will receive all of the above as well as Associate Producer credit on IMDb and end credits for the film
Only 10 left!
Executive Producer ($5000+)
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You will receive all of the above as well as Executive Producer credit on IMDb and end credits for the film
Only 5 left!
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