Formerly Undocumented Teen Inocente Recognized On Oscar Stage

Feb 25, 2013

On Sunday night a film about a 15-year-old homeless girl from San Diego won the "best short documentary" Oscar. "Inocente" follows a young woman named Inocente Izucar who refuses to give up her dream of being an artist.

The film was directed by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix who set out to make a film about homeless youth. But the 40-minute film is about a lot more because Izucar and her mother are undocumented.

Izucar says she was brought to the U.S. from Mexico when she was five or six. (Skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want any spoilers.) Her father was deported to Mexico for domestic abuse. She once stood on a bridge and convinced her mother not to jump. Her mother battles alcoholism and the constant struggle to keep her family afloat. I’ll stop there so you can watch the film on your own below.

In August 2012 Inocente told Teen Vogue she is no longer undocumented.

"I got a visa, so I’m in the United States legally now. In a few years, I can apply for my green card. I want to put a face to all the issues going on and be a voice for people who don’t have one. I want to inspire people and show them that life does get better," Inocente told Teen Vogue.

At a screening of the film in Los Angeles on Saturday Inocente said she now lives in her own studio apartment and is supporting herself by selling her artwork.

She said she’ll be traveling for the next year and doing advocacy work and hosting screenings of the film. She went on to say she’s considering college or art school when she’s done promoting the film.

The Oscar-winning film was produced by the nonprofit Shine Global. "Inocente" is also the first film to be backed by Kickstarter supporters to win an Oscar, 294 backers donated a total of $52,000 to support the film last year.

For more information on Inocente’s art visit INOCENTEART.COM.

Watch the entire film below: