Salvadoran-American independent filmmaker Junior González wants to make a movie, and he needs your help.
González, who studied TV and film at Loyola Marymount University, recently launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of raising an initial $80,000 to cover development and pre-production costs of his coming-of-age project, These Days. The overall goal is to raise $250,000.
The film tells the story of Jay Alvarez, a 14-year-old artist living with his single mother in the Salvadoran neighborhood of Brentwood, New York. With his mother working multiple jobs and never home, Jay finds support and a shared taste for rebelliousness with his two best friends Albert and Cisco.
Faced with a tough decision after tragedy strikes, Jay must choose what path he will take: survive the streets where he grew up or to find a way to leave them behind.
The inspiration for These Days, González said, stems from the fact that Latino representation in the film industry is sorely lacking. When Latinos are given the opportunity to star in films and TV shows, González thinks a lot of it is stereotypical and focused on the wrong things, such as gangs and violence.
“I wanted to tell my story and represent my Central American culture in a truthful [and] positive way,” he wrote on his Kickstarter website. “So, this story is a reflection of how I grew up and what it means to be a Salvadoran-American.”
First and foremost, González wants These Days to be as authentic to his own experience growing up in a Salvadoran neighborhood as possible. This means the music, location and style of the film must set the tone immediately.
“I want people to feel the tension and the optimism, the loneliness and the togetherness of Salvi life,” he said. “I want to capture this Salvadoran neighborhood and culture like a documentary. My vision is to make everything look and feel as natural as possible.”
For more information on These Days and to contribute to the making of the film, visit González’s Kickstarter campaign today.