Asylum on the Big Screen

Over a year ago, I made a short film titled “Simón” about a Venezuelan freedom fighter seeking asylum in the United States. I was able to screen the film in eight countries throughout Latin America, Europe, and North America. I also had the chance to come into contact with so many Venezuelans that have been forced to leave their country due to the current crisis in the country. All of this has now motivated me to make the full length feature film of “Simón”.

The asylum process is inherently a very personal and dramatic process; the asylum applicant must go into precise detail for what are typically deeply traumatic events to create their statement, then held in limbo as he or she anxiously awaits an interview date, and thereafter a decision, which will ultimately decide their fate.

For a screenwriter, this process is ripe with conflict for the character.

One of my main goals with making the movie is, of course, raising awareness about the situation that is happening in Venezuela. But perhaps more profoundly, I wish to provide a vehicle (film) for which audiences that have never been in a situation similar to that of applying for asylum, be able to empathize and understand the point of view of someone who is often desperately trying to avoid a horrendous circumstance and make a better life for themselves in another country, in this case, the Unites States of America.

The story will follow Simón in Miami, FL through his process of creating his case for his asylum application. It is my hope that this movie will resonate with audiences and achieve an emotional response by giving asylum a face, so that when they consider new legislations being passed about immigration and asylum, they think about it as affecting real human beings, and not just numbers and statistics. 

Below is the link to the short film. I invite you to watch and leave your comments.

Diego Vicentini
Diego Vicentini

Diego is a Venezuelan screenwriter and film director based in Los Angeles, CA.

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