Jesse Garcia has made an impression in the last few years, mostly in independent movies like Quinceñeara, an award-winner in 2006 at Sundance and Berlin, Under the Same Moon, The Comebacks, and many others. He’s done plenty of TV episodics and shorts, too, and his versatility and intensity has served him well, in arcs on Sons of Anarchy and Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles and elsewhere. And he’s just finished up a part in Re-Kill, a zombie apocalypse thriller with Daniella Alonso (Friday Night Lights).
Now Jesse and a group of other impressive young Latinos have created a powerful short film, a thriller about human trafficking called Sold that he’s just made available on Vimeo. We’re paraphrasing what he wrote there about the film and its purpose–in part as a demo for a feature-length project that they’re trying to fund.
“We screened the short at more than a dozen film festivals in 2011,” he said on Vimeo, “most recently at the Austin Film Festival.” It won Best Drama at the 2011 Malibu and Hollyshorts Film Festivals, too. A spot edited from the film won the highly competitive MTV contest to raise awareness for human trafficking on television and with MTV’s global concert campaign.
Jesse co-produced and stars in the film, written and directed by John Irwin.
The short also stars Fernanda Romero (Without Men, The Eye), Maria Elena Laas (Pastor Shepherd, The Hot Chick), Hector Jimenez (Sin Nombre, Nacho Libre), and many others. It’s an expertly made, professional-level thriller with a strong message as well:
“Human trafficking is not usually a hot topic of conversation or a commonly discussed social issue,” Jesse says in his Vimeo piece. “Yet it’s the third most profitable crime in the world (just behind drugs and gun sales), providing around $30 billion in revenue, worldwide. This is not just a foreign epidemic-in the U.S. alone; there are an estimated 100,000 children in the sex trade. We hope that the demo for Sold can help raise awareness for human trafficking and get people excited about the feature film that is currently in development.”
Watch the full 12-minute short below, or click over to the short’s own website and leave a comment.
Photo by Alan Mercer