Francisco, a middle-aged Cuban exile, looks after undocumented immigrants at a cabin hidden in the California desert. He forges a tentative father-daughter relationship with Cecilia, a 10-year-old Mexican girl who has crossed the border alone in search of a father she has never met. When all hope of being reconnected with him fails, and she is under threat from her “coyote,” Cecilia runs away deeper into the desert. She turns the wind-scrubbed wasteland into a fantastical world and creates characters and stories that make the hopelessness of the empty landscape survivable. Traversing what was meant to be their promised land, Francisco and Cecilia find hope and redemption in each other in this hauntingly beautiful and desolate world.
Director’s Statement: Mike Ott
In the late ‘60s, Lake Los Angeles was sold as a paradise to move to, a fictitious “resort town” that is now nothing more than a dried-up lake bed surrounded by a deserted and dying landscape. There’s an air of mystery and loneliness when you enter the town and spend time with the people who inhabit it, and you can’t help but wonder what brought them there, and for some, why they stay. With this film, I wanted to explore what happens when the hopeful collide with the hopeless — in this case the hopeless landscape of Lake Los Angeles itself.