“The Imperfect Hope” producers were able to gain unprecedented access to all the Guatemalan Government facilities (Children shelters, Air Force, Personnel, etc.) where unaccompanied children are housed and sheltered after deportation by American or Mexican authorities. Additionally, we have the full support of the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The story will unfold on the screen exactly as a potential immigrant would experience the journey – in three parts:
Why am I leaving? Why is migrating my only option? We will explore the themes of violence, poverty, family abuse and discrimination which cause migration with factual evidence, exemplary cases and interviews from experts and children welfare advocates. This stage will be filmed in Guatemala in its entirety. We will provide the context for each character by interviewing their families, immediate family members and a profile of their individual reasons for embarking on this journey. During this decision stage, we want to concentrate on how hopeful each of the characters is about the journey, what they expect, how they view life in the US and how their life will be transformed by this decision. Once the decision is made, the journey starts.
How am I going to leave? How much will it cost? How will I pay for it? How long will it take? What will happen when I get there?
Each character will decide on the best alternative for undertaking the trip. Smuggler? Relatives? Alone? Each decision will be evaluated and presented on the merits of risk versus reward. This stage will be filmed at the Guatemala/Mexico border, Mexico and the US/Mexico border by providing the point of view of the migrant. We will conduct the crossing along the US/Mexico border. The narrative will be supported by immigrants and immigrant advocates along the borders and within Mexico. We want to emphasize the treacherous nature of the journey and extreme risks. This is the where our characters are at their most vulnerable: extortion, sexual abuse, theft, discrimination, gang violence and kidnapping.
What to do if I am caught? What to do if I cross? What if I am hurt? What are my rights?
After surviving one their most terrifying experiences in their lives, immigrants face several consequences and decisions. Ranging from deciding to formally submit an asylum application, how they will pay for the smuggler if they are caught, what will happen to their families, what awaits them in a new country to was it all worth it and should I try it again. We will explore both outcomes as part of this journey: a successful crossing and detention. Additionally, we will explore the consequences of each decision and how their lives have been affected. This stage will be filmed mostly at detention centers or shelters in the US or Guatemala. We will interview authorities (Border Patrol) and support personnel to provide a profile on this crisis.