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Inocente: Screening and Discussion of Distribution & Outreach


On the short list of an Academy Award nomination, Inocente is a powerful, moving documentary from the filmmakers of the Academy Award-nominated War/Dance. This timeless story about the transformative power of art, delivers a rare glimpse inside the inspirational life of a homeless, undocumented 15-year-old girl who's a burgeoning artist, and the extraordinary challenges she must contend with on a daily basis.

At 15, Inocente refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be destroyed by her life as an undocumented immigrant in San Diego. Forced to live homeless for the last nine years, she never knows what her day will bring, but she knows at least it will always begin with color. Color is her personal revolution and its extraordinary sweep on her canvases creates a world that looks nothing like her own dark past. Despite this history, Inocente’s family history is slowly revealed through her colorful paintings. 

Told in her own words, this film presents her at a tense impasse—if she legally emancipates herself from her mother to strike out on her own, she’ll risk placing her brothers in foster care, but her talent has finally been noticed, and if she can create a body of work in time, she has an opportunity to put on her first art show. 

Inocente is a coming of age story about a brave young girl’s fierce determination against the challenges facing undocumented immigrants in this country and the new face of homeless people in America: children. 

Yael Melamede is one of the film's producers and Susan MacLaury is one of its executive producers.

Diana Barrett is President of The Fledgling Fund. She founded Fledgling in 2005 after a long career at Harvard University, where she taught in both the Harvard Business School and the School of Public Health. At Harvard Business School, she was a member of the Social Enterprise core group teaching Business Leadership in the Social Sector as well as various executive programs. She received both her MBA and her Doctorate in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School. Fledgling provides an opportunity to further those interests by focusing on innovative approaches to complex social issues including the use of media to ignite social change. 

Susan MacLaury 
Executive Producer co-founded the non-profit production company Shine Global with her husband Albie Hecht, its Executive Director. Together they Executive Produced Shine’s second feature documentary The Harvest/La Cosecha. Shine Global is dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of children through films that raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change





Yael Melamede
founded independent film production company SALTY Features with Eva Kolodner in 2003. SALTY’s most recent film, Small Beautifully Moving Parts, premiered at SxSW and was released in May, 2012. Melamede’s previous films include Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, written and directed by John Krasinski; The Inner Life of Martin Frost written and directed by Paul Auster; and My Architect, the Oscar-nominated documentary feature directed by Nathaniel Kahn. 

Alece Oxendine is the the Outreach and Development Manager at Rooftop Films. She has also worked for Festival de Cannes, Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York Film Festival, BAMcinématek, and has served as a juror for the Riverrun International Film Festival and the On My Block Film Festival. Oxendine currently lives in Brooklyn and enjoys baking, blogging, and throwing themed parties.

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.