Los Olvidados (The Forgotten)
A film by David Feldman
Ramiro Gomez, a young Latino artist, advocates for domestic laborers through an art installation in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, in tribute to his immigrant roots.
– THE FORGOTTEN –
A short film by DAVID FELDMAN
David Feldman / firstname.lastname@example.org
Ramiro Gomez, a young Latino street artist, pays homage to unseen, forgotten domestic laborers through an art installation in the Sonoran Desert, in tribute to his immigrant roots.
Los Olvidados, Spanish for The Forgotten, is the story of Ramiro Gomez, a 27 year old, Los Angeles street artist who in the past 18 months has garnered the attention of The LA Times, The Washington Post, NPR, CNN, and other international media outlets. This attention emerged after Gomez, having taken a job as a nanny in Beverly Hills, began to create life-size cardboard representations of the migrant gardeners, housekeepers, and nannies he works alongside, and place them in front of houses around affluent neighborhoods such as Beverly Hills and Bel Air.
The son of Mexican immigrants, Gomez felt that these migrant workers were being overlooked for their contribution to the pristine lives and lifestyles of people in these neighborhoods. These are the same migrants who have endured tremendous hardship crossing into the United States, simply to cut grass, park cars, clean houses, and care for others children.
Wishing to take his message further, Gomez instinctively decides to travel to Arizona, the epicenter for the contentious political debate on immigration reform in the United States. His intention is to place within the Sonoran desert, a cardboard family in mourning, not only to pay homage to those who made the arduous journey for a better life, but also to honor the ones who didn’t make it to the other side.
Los Olvidados is a tangible reminder of those souls who made the trip “El Norte”, and is an attempt to remind us, that we are all immigrants in this country.
SUBJECT – STREET ARTIST RAMIRO GOMEZ
FILM-MAKER, DAVID FELDMAN
David Feldman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1975. He began his professional career in the film and television industry after graduating with a Film & Media Arts degree from Temple University. In 1999, he moved to Los Angeles where he was accepted into the prestigious American Cinema Editor’s Internship program. Since then, he has worked as both an Assistant Editor and Editor on such TV shows as Medium, Numb3rs, Criminal Minds, True Blood, The Following, and most recently the HBO show, Getting On. He was also an additional editor on the Walt Disney feature film, Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3. His work has been featured on PolicyMic and Public Radio International’s “The World.”
Los Olvidados is David’s directorial debut.
My goal as a filmmaker is to engage the audience in a way that forces them to see the world in a different light. Too often, we become complacent in our surroundings and lifestyle, easily forgetting the hard work and effort that others have made in order to make our lives easier.
This complacency is one of the reasons I felt compelled to tell the story of Los Olvidados and Los Angeles artist Ramiro Gomez.
The biggest challenge with Los Olvidados was to try and reach people who are unreachable. To open a dialogue with those who feel migrants coming to any country are a burden on society and should be deported. When I filmed Los Olvidados in Arizona, we met with a family friend whose husband was a border patrol agent. This agent told us that he did not want us in Arizona, and was offended by Ramiro’s cardboard art. He felt that we were intruding on an issue that we didn’t have a say over, nor did we fully understand. However, Ramiro engaged with the agent and came to learn that he had moved cross-country to Arizona, because of a border patrol job opportunity. He moved for the chance to earn a better wage and support his family, no different than the migrants coming to the U.S. Upon thinking further on this and his connection with the migrants crossing, the agent soon felt a newfound understanding on the immigration issue.
Opening a dialogue with this border patrol agent through the use of art, was incredibly powerful and simple. Los Olvidados is important because it takes Ramiro’s art and casts it out into the world, to create that dialogue with others.
We’ve become desensitized to the human toll of immigration, and Ramiro’s art is important, for it brings the human side of the issue back into focus. I made this film to bring his cardboard cutouts to life, to bring out that humanity, because to Ramiro, the cutouts represent his family and his background.
In the end, they are human beings that deserve our respect.
PRODUCER, AARON I. BUTLER
AARON I. BUTLER has more than 15 years of award-winning filmmaking experience. His most recent project is the Showtime documentary series TIME OF DEATH, which was #2 on Entertainment Weekly’s Top Ten series of 2013. His previous projects include the award-winning HBO documentary AMERICAN WINTER (for which he received an ACE Eddie nomination), the critically acclaimed Sundance Channel documentary series PLEASURE FOR SALE, and the iconic HBO documentary series TAXICAB CONFESSIONS.
COMPOSER, DAVID FRANK LONG
David Frank Long has composed the scores to several award-winning films, both narrative and documentary, including “Crush the Skull” (NBC/Universal Short Cuts grand prize), “The Fighting Cholitas” (Sundance honorable mention and IDA nominee) and the Daytime Emmy-nominated “A Year On Earth” (Animal Planet/Discovery Kids). His music has been utilized on various television programs broadcast on NBC, FOX, ABC Family, HBO, Disney, Bravo, IFC and TLC.
Edited & Directed by David Feldman
Produced by Aaron I. Butler
Director of Photography David Feldman
Original Music by David Frank Long
Dialogue/Supervising Sound Editor Walter Michael Bost, MPSE
Sound Effects Editor Rachel Corrales
Foley Artist Felix Lau
Re-Recording Mixer Vicki Lemar
Post Sound Provided by Technicolor Sound Services
Colorist Troy Davis
Key Art Michael Dawson
Very Special Thanks to
Jean Paul Renaud
A SHORT FILM BY
Ramiro Gomez, a young Latino artist, pays homage to unseen, forgotten domestic laborers through an art installation in the Sonoran Desert, in tribute to his immigrant roots.