After being caught by her mother with her partner, Natalia must take the next two days before she leaves to examine the relationship between sexuality and culture.
Before I Leave is an LGBTQ+ film that examines the struggle of one’s sexual identity while belonging to the Latino/@/x community. The film was worked on by an incredible team of artists dedicated to representing the story of an underrepresented community. This is our film.
Meet the Team Behind our Film
Raul Alejandro Mendoza
Writer, Director, and Producer
“I am a filmmaker and a lover of the medium of filmmaking. I have directed four narrative shorts and one short documentary. A lot of my work as a Chicano filmmaker concentrates on culture and the development of one’s identity. Sexuality has always been an important and interesting part of identity to me. This project is important to me because it represents the lives of many people in my life. There is a push that is needed by the industry to take a chance on Latino stories, and I feel like this is an authentic and beautiful story about identity and family.”
Alejandro Adan Flores
Producer and Editor
“I’m a storyteller. For as long as I can remember, I have been infatuated with the art of storytelling. The visual medium is film happens to be one of my favorite forms of storytelling because there are so many different facets that go into that one singular story. It’s an amalgamation of the screenwriter’s words, the director’s vision, the actor’s performance, and every single crew member breathing life into the project through their contributions to the visuals and the audio. That’s why I got into filmmaking. As an undergraduate student, I made a number of films for school projects as well as collaborated on various video projects for an event being thrown by my university’s public relations department. I’ve been in every role that production could possibly have when doing my own school-based projects. My job on this project isn’t just editing. It is I who will take everyone’s hard work and bring all of it to life. This project means so much to me not just as a Hispanic filmmaker, but as a member of my culture. Our culture is multifaceted and there are so many different stories that we can tell. This film perfectly encapsulates the things we see as a culture: the beliefs, the language, the aesthetic, and the struggles. This story highlights not only the struggles we face outside of the culture but some of the struggles we face within as well.”
Luis Fernando Reyes
Luis is a producer over at Cyclops Films. He helped tune the script for this film and delegate some of the behind-the-scenes work. Luis hopes to begin to work more on the writing process of filmmaking in our upcoming projects.
Yetlanezi plays our main actress in this film. A talented young Latina actress based out of Houston, TX she brings a love for her culture to this film. The world will know the name and hard work of Yetlanezi when our film is released.
Angie plays the emotional anchor to our protagonist and the one person who Natalia confides in the most. Briana and Natalia have been together for about two years but this time are forced to come out about their relationship. Angie is an incredible Latina actress who brings an emotional core necessary to this film.
Denise Elaine Gomez
Denise plays the mother of Natalia and the most important woman in her life. When she catches her daughter with her partner she is starstruck about the revelation. Denise is a theatre arts teacher and loves acting. She will make her screen debut in our film when it is released.
Behind The Scenes
The Before I Leave team would like to thank these people for contributing to our campaign and making our film happen:
The Kraken Lounge, Sahar Hamzah, Keith Houk, Taimur Bhutta, Ruben Diaz Sr., Andrew Hale, Sotero Regalado III, Kelley Daniel, Merlen & Phil Gadomski, Bradley Simmons, Luis Angel Garcia, Chris Diaz, Kyle Bittman, Alexandra Diaz, Juan Diaz, Carmen Martinez, Jaime Trujillo, Oscar Garza, DJ Waller, Mayra Torres, Ayden Byrnes, Dwain Burke, Shaun Von Sleaze, Leah Byrnes, James Luciano, Muhammad Asfahany, Pedro Torres, Giovanni Howard, Nicole Flores, Robin Pulliam, Pardis Michael Jesudasen, Patrick Grady, Maritza Ramirez, Michelle Ochoa, Gabriel Rossetto, Luis Gerardo Garcia, John Carlo Dekergland, Jill Dominguez, Serey Kheang, Alexis Lara, Jibril Newton, Michala Quinlan, Mariana Rivera, Fidel Cristino, Melly Mendoza, BardKing Entertainment, Noah Key, Tyra Williams, Aiden Kossick, Spencer Brown, Aaron J. Brooks, Carlos Vergel, Cade Huseby, Mike DiGuilo, Robyn Blum, Michael Chu, Devon Canal, Francesca Aguilar, Sterling Eby, Shayne Kelley, Michelle Turk, Angie Sandoval, Nolan Depalma, Fares Muthana, Kevin Gavin Cisneros, Keyon Williams, Isela Stephens, Ashley Garcia-Sarabia, Nicole Arrocho, Billy Pollihan, Jared Woodman, Alexus Altamirano, and Alexandra Diaz.
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