OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE PRODUCERS OF “EL SUEÑO”
In light of recent events, the producers of the film “El Sueño” feel obligated to clarify the circumstances of an incident which deeply impacts our brand, our message, and the basic principles the led to the creation of the film itself.
El Sueño is a dramatic feature film about two Mexican immigrants whose parents are murdered by anti-immigrant extremists. The film shows how the two main characters Raul and Alejandra must navigate obstacles and temptations while trying to remain eligible for protection under the DREAM Act legislation. The DREAM Act (short for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act) is a legislative proposal for a process for granting residency status to qualifying immigrants who entered the United States as minors. It would first grant conditional residency and, upon meeting further qualifications. The primary qualifications are that the person must (1) have entered the United States as a child, (2) have completed high school, and (3) have good moral character. The 88-minute long feature was filmed entirely in El Paso, Texas and funded by private citizens in the local community, many of whom are also Mexican immigrants. “El Sueño” demonstrates that regardless of lines on a map, walls on a stretch of land, or skin tone, most humans feel tenderness, experience vulnerabilities, have good aspirations, and deserve to be loved and respected.
Just months ago, our beloved El Paso suffered a horrible tragedy directed at immigrants, when a man attacked a Walmart and cited a white-nationalist manifesto as his reason committing the massacre. Even the families of some members of the cast and crew were impacted by this atrocity. Naturally, when our distributor mentioned that the film would be released in Walmart stores throughout the country in 2020, we were relieved that the film would become a part of the healing process of the community in the spirit of “El Paso Strong”.
Then, in January of this year, the unthinkable happened. The DVD was released in Walmart, but it was not at all representative of the story, nor favorable toward the immigrant community. The image on the cover of the DVD was the photo of a young man holding a rifle and walking in front of a tank. The man on the poster does not appear in the film at any point, nor does he participate in the film in any way. (He is not associated with the project at all, nor do we currently know who he is.) On the back of the DVD is an image of a town that has obviously been bombed. Our cast and crew of over 100 dedicated individuals is collectively horrified, embarrassed, disappointed, and traumatized by this mischaracterization of our work. This DVD cover grossly misrepresents the message, suggests some very ugly race-based presumptions, tears at relationships our team has been so honored to build, undermines our credibility, and fundamentally damages the ability to reach our audience.
To those who support our cause, we make you this promise… we will not stop fighting until we make this right! Our legal team is reviewing various options, and will take whatever steps are necessary to assure this situation is fixed as quickly as possible.
The “EL SUEÑO” Production Team