LOS ANGELES — In his latest film titled "Mrs. King," Jorge Xolalpa tells the story of a woman who faces discrimination as she tries to get back into the workforce.
"There’s more to the story, but it’s important that we tell these stories," Xolalpa said. "It happens everywhere."
This is the sixth film Xolalpa has written and directed. His first feature film, "Blue Line Station," was filmed entirely on an iPhone. In 11 days with a $100 budget, the film successfully made its way into 46 film festivals and made the list of 2017’s “Top 10 films shot on an iPhone” IndieWire list.
Along with being a successful director, writer and actor, Xolalpa is also among the more than 800,000 "Dreamers." He came to this country from Mexico City at just 9 years old and grew up in Torrance.
"I remember everything," he said. "We landed in LAX, and I thought we were here for vacation, but we were here forever."
Xolalpa's unique perspective as not only a immigrant but also as part of the LGBTQ+ community is part of the reason why people like Maria Quintana want to work with him. She’s worked on two of his projects so far as director of photography.
"Every time that he sends me a script, I’m really excited about it because I strongly believe that all the stories that he’s trying to show, trying to tell is about people that they don’t have that voice," she said.
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At a recent table read for a project Xolalpa wrote and will act in, he explained that his immigration status has created limitations when it comes to his projects — like with his film "Melancolia." He is unable to travel internationally to film festivals to promote the project.
"It doesn’t stop me," he said. "Yes, I have moments where I'm like, 'Damn, I wish I could have gone, but my work is there, and it represents me, and that also represents the 800,000 'Dreamers' and the rest of the undocumented community who can’t pursue their dreams or their goals, or be who they want to be because we’re stuck here without reform."
That is why Xolalpa is speaking out.
"I just wish people understood that we’re more than just 'Dreamers,'" he said. "We’re making this economy, we’re making this economy whether you like it or not, and we’re shaping the future."