We Were Kids

Directed by Matias M.R.

This film is available from November 27-30, 2020. To watch or vote for this film please click on the orange “TICKETS” button below and purchase a ticket for BLOCK 6.



Celeste, a Latina teenager, loses her childhood innocence and comes to terms with her status as a person of color after an adult pulls his gun on her best friend.

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Director Biography – Matias M.R.

Matias Munoz-Rodriguez is a Latino filmmaker from Chile.
After completing film school in Chile in 2007, Matias M.R earned The Government Grants for four consecutive years as Writer/Director/Producer working in feature films, short films and, documentaries, but also music videos and commercials.
Matias M.R relocated to Los Angeles in 2012, hungry for creative challenges. In 2016, Matias M.R Directed the short-documentary “Estampas de la Raza” which aired at KCET and was considered for an EMMY nomination. That same year Matias M.R became a film mentor at the Latino Film Institute Youth Cinema Project, a non-profit founded by the actor Edward James Olmos, where he learns from and is empowered by his middle-school and high-school students. It is from their experience that he was inspired to create We Were Kids.
Matias M.R is simultaneously developing an episodic series, which was a finalist at Sundance Episodic Lab 2018, “I Hate You But I Love You” is based on his personal experience moving marrying an American and relocating to the United States to build his family.

Director Statement

I was born in Chile, under the dictatorship of Pinochet. I grew up disliking the USA and everything American until I met my American wife.
It’s been 7 years since I’ve been living in Los Angeles and my feelings flipped 180 degrees from hating to loving this city, but always keeping a critical eye on it. My goal as an immigrant filmmaker is to put in a point of view that will resonate with a broader audience who has primarily lived in the United States, by providing a window into experiences and perspectives that for them, are second nature. Today, it is more important than ever to tell stories from a perspective that can bring different cultures and thoughts closer together. Personally, I feel responsible and capable of helping to bridge this connection.
The experience of being an immigrant who originally didn’t know the language, but succeeded in a short time by integrating himself into a new community and culture, is an experience that not many can express. Being a writer too, I consider myself a hands-on director with a respectful and collaborative open-mind when receiving a project with a voice already on it. I can easily integrate myself into new consolidated crews and ultimately become an inclusive leader.
For more than 3 years, I’ve been working with teenagers, mostly Latinos in LA, on how to become a filmmaker and raise their voice through the Youth Cinema Project. Each year I mentor 3 short-films per class, having 3 classes in total I need to jump quickly from one story to another to success with 9 different short films and points of view. This experience has brought me first-hand knowledge about their personal stories and experiences, motivating me to raise my voice too and tell stories that involve teenagers and communities without a voice in the USA, like my recent short film “We Were Kids.”

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