A Reason To Survive (ARTS): Student Inocente Featured in Award-Winning Documentary
San Diego, Calif. (July, 2012) ARTS | A Reason To Survive raises the curtain on the long-awaited documentary about Inocente, an inspiring young artist from San Diego with fierce determination to overcome her bleak surroundings. Homeless, for most of her life, Inocente has found her peace through ARTS. The documentary will air on MTV on August 17 and has already been honored at film festivals around the country and Canada. It has been honored with Best Documentary Short at the San Antonio Film Fest.
Inocente is an intensely personal and vibrant coming-of-age documentary about a teenage girl caged by her life as an undocumented immigrant forced to live homeless for the last nine years. Color is her personal revolution and its extraordinary sweep on her canvases creates a world that looks nothing like her own dark past—a past punctuated by a father deported for domestic abuse, an alcoholic and defeated mother of four who once took her daughter by the hand to jump off a bridge together, an endless shuffle year after year through the city’s overcrowded homeless shelters and the constant threat of deportation.
“Both heartbreaking and uplifting, Inocente isn’t the story of a girl who is trying to make something of herself in spite of her tough circumstances. It’s the story of a girl who is already a thoroughly impressive human being and artist, whether she realizes it or not.” – Chris Dart, Torontoist
Despite Inocente’s history, her eyes envision a world transformed… where buildings drip in yellow and orange, where pink and turquoise planets twinkle with rescued dreams, and one-eyed childlike creatures play amongst loved babies and purple clouds. Inocente’s family history is slowly revealed through her paintings.
Told entirely in her own words, Shine Global and Fine Films share Inocente’s story as she realizes her life is at a turning point, and for the first time, she decides to take control of her own destiny. Irreverent, flawed and funny, she’s now channeling her irrepressible personality into a future she controls. Her talent has finally been noticed and she can create a body of work in time; she has an opportunity to put her first art show. Meanwhile, her family life is 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 to stay is unbearable.
“Inocente reminds us every day of the transformative power of art,” said D’Arrigo. “She is a beautiful example that the visual, performing and literary arts can literally transform lives–especially those of kids. We have seen it in her and many others. We hope this documentary sheds light on the power of art to ensure we can help children all over the world.”
The documentary was directed by acclaimed visionaries Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine of Fine Films. They are Academy Award-nominated directors and producers of War/Dance, which won the Sundance Film Festival’s award for Best Documentary Direction. “They had the vision for this film. When others gave up on it, they stuck with Inocente’s story and brought a team (including Shine Global) to get the film finished,” said Matt D’Arrigo, Founder | CEO of ARTS.
It was produced by Shine Global, a non-profit film production company dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of children worldwide through films that raise awareness, promote action and inspire change.
ARTS is dedicated to providing, supporting, and advocating for arts programs that heal, inspire and empower youth facing adversity. ARTS uses all art forms as a vehicle to create positive, long-lasting change in children and youth facing major life challenges–giving them not only a reason to survive–but to also thrive. Their unique program framework and model creates a one-stop shop for kids to be exposed to and engage in the arts at many levels depending on their circumstances, skill level and interest.
They believe that even an hour spent participating in the arts can have a tremendous influence and impact on a child. Through the Pat D’Arrigo ARTS Center and various outreach initiatives in the community, their goal is to bring the ARTS to Heal, Inspire and Empower children throughout San Diego.
ARTS is made up of a team of passionate and dedicated staff, volunteers, partners, donors, vendors and kids all working towards a common goal: To give kids A Reason To Survive through the arts! For more information, please visit www.areasontosurvive.org.