Rabbit directing team Sean and Andrea Fine, and executive producers Ryan A. Brooks, John Leguizamo, and Susan MacLaury, deliver a voice for homeless youth through artistic expression in the inspirational short documentary Inocente. Inocente reunites The Fines’ with the producers of the Academy Award-nominated War/Dance, Shine Global, founded by Albie Hecht and Susan Mclaury. The film aired on MTV Friday night.
The documentary centers on a young artist’s determination not to surrender to the bleakness of her circumstances. At 15, Inocente faces staggering challenges, but the hope in her story proves that it is her dreams that define her, rather than her circumstances. The short documentary has received accolades at the San Antonia Film Festival and the Arizona International Film Festival and was also included at the Hot Docs International Film Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival and the Melbourne International Film Festival. Inocente provides a new angle to MTV’S programming slate and reaches its demographic with a positive message of self-acceptance and self-discovery through the arts.
After discovering the staggering statistics that 1 in 45 children, approximately 1.6 million, in America are homeless, the Fines became intrigued to tell the story of these disenfranchised children. “We wanted to tell one child’s story, to put a personal face to the statistics,” Sean Fine said. “By creating a human connection for the audiences to this largely ‘invisible’ issue, we hope to get them thinking about what they can do to make the changes necessary to help defeat this problem.”
When the directing duo was introduced to the San Diego-based A.R.T.S. program (“A Reason to Survive”), they found a channel for uncovering this largely silent voice. The nonprofit uses all art forms as a vehicle to create positive, long-lasting change in children and youth facing major life challenges — giving them not only a reason to survive, but also to thrive. After speaking to the program director, the directors flew to San Diego and spent five days sans camera with Inocente and immediately fell in love with her story. As the Fines began to let the camera roll, the story unfolded, telling not only a story of homelessness and art, but also a story about family and what it truly means to them to be homeless. They discovered that Inocente’s experiences with A.R.T.S. has led her to transform her dark experiences into vibrant and colorful artwork that has the ability not only transport her from her destitute situation but also reach others whom her story may help.