✪ Film Premier at IPFF 2020 ✪
Description: Description: “Esperanza’s Turn” is a short drama about a 12 year-old blueberry farm worker who is exposed to pesticides and a lecherous foreman. Hoping to find refuge at school, Esperanza faces a racist bully who makes her life hell. But she has a secret weapon—her imagination. She’ll have to tap into it if she wants to defeat her bullies and find strength for the future.
Director: Melissa Gregory Rue
Category: Short Narrative
About the Film
While working the blueberry fields of the Pacific Northwest, 12-year-old Esperanza is exposed to pesticides and a lecherous foreman. Hoping to find refuge at school, she faces a racist bully who makes her life hell. But Esperanza has a secret weapon—her imagination. She’ll have to tap into it if she wants to defeat her bullies and find strength for the future.
About the Filmmaker
Oregon transplant Melissa Gregory Rue writes, directs, and produces films and series that provide cross-cultural experiences to promote greater compassion in our world. Her films have screened at festivals around the U.S. In 2018, Melissa had the privilege of recording soundtracks for “Esperanza’s Turn” and her upcoming documentary, Live Out Loud, with Grammy nominated guitarist Alex de Grassi and world-renowed percussionist, Hamid Drake. Honored saxophonist and educator, Kidd Jordan, and spoken word artist, Don Paul, also appear with Hamid and Alex on the soundtrack for Live Out Loud. Melissa is currently at work on a pilot for a series that is set in her birthplace, Kentucky. In addition to working on her own projects, she co-produces Interconnections, a documentary web series about people and programs making a positive impact on our society and environment. Before shifting her focus to film making, Melissa taught writing and literature at Portland Community College for many years. While she was making “Esperanza’s Turn,” Melissa had no idea that like Esperanza, she was ill (in part) due to exposure to agricultural chemicals. She is currently undergoing treatment for chronic Lyme Disease, and heavy metal toxicity, and struggling with physical and cognitive difficulties of her own.
Niku Edlund-Farsad makes her film debut as Esperanza. The film also stars Nelda Reyes, Tom Avila, Maxwell Sivers-Boyce (also appearing in his first film role), Michael Galen, and Laura Onizuka.