"María" is the story of a young Latina protagonist whose path to becoming a civil rights lawyer is complicated by an unplanned pregnancy. This piece is a response to the stigma of abortion and men's distorted belief, that they have the right to tell women what to do with their bodies. María provides raw insight into a woman’s experience through this process, allowing us to get a glimpse of the varying motivations towards her decision.
As a result of the shame associated with the procedure, abortion can be an unbearably isolating experience. This is especially true for underrepresented communities where they feel the pressures of being seen as a representation of their people. Any shortcomings can instantly be seen as proving stereotypes right. The name María signifies the way in which Latina women are commonly typecast. María is not the stereotypical housemaid that the media depicts, nor is she the pure and holy motherly Virgin Mary who women are unknowingly forced to aspire to be. María is an intelligent, strong, independent and opinionated woman. She makes her own decisions, unapologetically on her own terms and needs. By giving space for María to tell her own story, the film dismantles the negative associations made about Latinas and women that have undergone a similar experience.
Latinx and women's voices are scarce in mainstream media. Being aware of the inequalities in representation, our team is composed predominantly of a women-led and BIPOC crew/cast. The story itself breaks down stereotypes imposed on women of color, giving space for a women-focused story to be heard.
We will be submitting to both mainstream and niche film festivals, including those that focus on underrepresented groups. After a festival run, we will work with our community partners, offering our short as an aid in fundraising and advocacy work for reproductive and women’s rights.
FESTIVALS & AWARDS
Official Selection: Boston International Film Festival, Golden Door International Film Festival, Philadelphia Latino Film Festival
The short is set in the Spring, symbolizing fertility and new life. The film unpacks a series of events in María’s daily life, subtly revealing her reasons behind her decision. It is hard for María to verbally express her true emotions because she feels pressured to keep up a facade of having everything “together.” Camera movements will give viewers insight to the unsaid, establishing connections between characters and their internal emotions.
2.39:1 aspect ratio used to demonstrate María’s environment and how it impacts her. When shown alone, this view magnifies her isolation in this journey, allowing us to focus on what’s happening within.
Lighting & Color
Variants of warm yellow and blue tones are used throughout the piece, representing María’s complex feelings towards motherhood. The contrast in light and shadows shows María feeling torn between her unborn child accompanied by the expectations that she and other people had for her life.
"My hope when viewers see María, is that they begin to have another level of understanding of what women may go through in this process. By doing so, the audience will be able to empathize with María and come to terms with just how difficult this may be for a woman undergoing the procedure. The film is an advocate for women’s reproductive rights, empowering women to take ownership of their bodies and reclaim their narratives. Our team plans to collaborate with pro-choice organizations in order to have a larger impact."
Michelle Falcón Fontánez
Support the Project
Interested in using María for your next event? Contact Michelle directly for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow The Project
On IG, FB & Twitter @themariafilm