This short film will screen with other short films in Block 1 | Youth, Truth, and Resistance
Friday, December 9th at 12pm
Palm Springs Art Museum. Palm Springs, California.
Buy Tickets Here 

As she nears her fifteenth birthday, Vic struggles to solidify her personal and cultural identity, caught between family tradition and the desire to fit in with her peers.

Director Biography – Carly Oscar

Carly Oscar is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker with a passion for accessible, humorous, and emotion informed storytelling. She currently works at Sesame Workshop, where she supports the producing team behind Sesame Street and The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo on HBOMax, as well as Helpsters on Apple+. Additionally, Carly serves as a writer for Sesame’s digital arm including content for The Power of We (a Social & Racial Justice initiative) and brand collaborations with Audible, CNN, and more. She’s excited to be highlighting experiences from her multigenerational Latinx home and beyond in her work.

Carly holds a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in Film & Television Production.

Director Statement

This story is intensely personal and rooted in my own experiences growing up as a pocha in the shadow of the immigrant experience.

A devoted John Hughes fan since middle school, so much of my favorite storytelling comes in the universality of the Coming-of-Age story. Teenage girls in particular are a historically powerful demographic, but, in the media, aren’t always given the agency and logic they so often possess. With Pocha, I aimed to create a character (Vic) whose aspirations aren’t limited to either crushes or college, and whose life would swiftly end if they talked back to their mother… *cue the palo across your leg*

Identity is a central theme to the Coming-of-Age story which I want to explore this through the lens of interpreting one’s cultural and ethnic heritage for themselves. Growing up in a Mexican & Puerto Rican household, created a dynamic system of interpreting my world. Further, the difference in coloring between my mother and me created an environment wherein I frequently witnessed casual racism. These instances were not limited to people mistaking my mother as my caregiver/nanny or complimenting her English, assuming it was not her primary language. As a white Latina, I move through spaces with an ease not afforded all members of my immediate and extended family — an ease I only started to digest once attending elite private schools. Other themes blended into this bilingual story are Mother-Daughter relationships, Economic Disparity, and Independence.

While pieces of my identity align with the vessels of the genre, it remains rare to come across a character growing up in a house that looks and feels like mine did. Narratives including Latine families (and the myriad of underrepresented groups) are most definitely on the albeit slow rise, but adding nuance to cultural representation as well as providing the chance to slip into genres not dependent on their identity remains critical to reshaping the industry.

Pocha’s protagonist, Vic, seriously weighs her image of self for the first time when she decides whether she wants a quinceañera or Sweet Sixteen. My earnest desire is that this story uses its specificity to create something universal, with characters that will one day invite us into their lives for 90 minutes instead of 13.

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