Photo Director Valeria Avina

Photo Nicolle Márquez

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, April 22, 2024 / — Filmmakers Valeria Avina and Nicolle Marquez are shedding light on children’s nightmares with their compelling short film Hasta en La Luz (Even In The Light). This thought-provoking work delves into the profound impact of sleepwalking on children, a phenomenon affecting up to 50% of young individuals. It symbolizes underlying stressors and anxieties experienced by a child.

The film also explores the sensitive topic of domestic violence, shedding light on how parents may struggle to acknowledge or recognize violence within their own homes when perpetrated by someone close to them. Furthermore, it highlights the disturbing cycle of violence where children exposed to aggression at home may themselves exhibit violent behavior. The film poignantly illustrates the lasting scars of such violence, emphasizing the challenges of healing even after the aggressor has departed from their lives. It captures the enduring struggle to overcome the shadows of the past, even in the presence of newfound light.

Hasta En La Luz is the story of 9-year-old Sofia. They wake up their mother and their mother’s boyfriend in the middle of the night while running away from a monster. As we follow Sofia’s story we come across their struggles; some of these rooted in the trauma generated from their parents’ divorce and their struggle with gender identity. Issues that become more apparent in Sofia’s behavior and triggers their ability to tell the difference between nightmares, dreams and reality. While Sofia struggles with their nightmares and sleepwalk, their stepfather also abuses Sofia when their mom is not at home.

Writer/Director Valeria Avina, (What If?) is a queer and nonbinary film director, actor, clown, and voice coach who has garnered critical acclaim for their previous works. An accomplished artist, Valeria’s dedication to storytelling is evident in their numerous accolades, including awards for Best Film Noir at Flow Film Festival 2021 and recognition at prestigious events like The NYLFF and Series Fest.

Director Valeria Avina shared, “Hasta en la Luz is a letter to the monsters of my childhood, my deepest anxiety growing up. I hope to shed light to those who couldn’t and still can’t find words to describe theirs.”

Producer/Editor Nicolle Márquez, (La Cuidad Del Silencio) known for her innovative storytelling and commitment to LGBTQ+ representation, brings a unique perspective to the collaborative effort behind Hasta en La Luz. With a passion for amplifying marginalized voices in the film industry, Nicolle’s creative vision aligns seamlessly with the project’s exploration of children’s nightmares and the importance of addressing sleep-related issues in young individuals.

Lee Anne Mitchell (Nashville) also served as producer. Hailing from Alabama, Lee Anne Mitchell is a producer and actress who is passionate about the power of film to teach us empathy. She is currently producing films between Alabama and Mexico City including a feature written and directed by Bafta nominated directing duo “Jones” and another feature shooting in Alabama with an award-winning Mexican Writer/Director, in which she will also act. She has several projects in development with Back40 Pictures.

Valeria Avina and Nicole Márquez are determined to spark crucial conversations surrounding children’s well-being and mental health in the 2024 film festival circuit. Hasta en La Luz serves as a powerful reminder of the significance of understanding and addressing the challenges faced by children today.

Filmmakers are available for interviews starting April 22, 2024.

If you of anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

Jasmin Espada
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