Room 140

Immigrants just released from detention centers spend their first night in Oakland at a motel, paid for by one of the workers. For one night of respite, they rest, reflect, and prepare for the next phase of their journey.

  • Priscilla Gonzalez Sainz
  • Priscilla Gonzalez Sainz
  • Priscilla Gonzalez
  • Leonor Zuniga
  • Chris Ward
  • Chris Ward
    Additional Camera
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 11 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 22, 2018
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • IDA David L. Wolper Student Documentary Achievement Award, Nomination
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
  • Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
    United States
    February 23, 2018
    World Premiere
    Mini Doc Competition
  • Palm Springs International Shortfest
    Palm Springs
    United States
    June 22, 2018
    In Competition
  • San Francisco DocFest
    San Francisco
    United States
    June 10, 2018
    Bay Area Premiere
    In Competition
  • AFI Docs
    Washington DC
    United States
    June 15, 2018
    Washington DC
    In competition
  • Student Academy Awards, Semifinalist
Distribution Information
  • The Atlantic
    Country: Worldwide
  • KQED Truly California Season 14
    Country: United States
Director Biography - Priscilla Gonzalez Sainz

Priscilla González Sainz is a director and producer who specializes in non-fiction media. A first-generation Mexican-American, she is interested in exploring themes of displacement, disempowerment, and identity in her work. She recently earned her MFA in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University, where she was awarded a fellowship and Stanford Arts grant. Her thesis film "Room 140" is a Student Academy Award Semifinalist and was nominated for the IDA Wolper Student Documentary Award. Her films have screened at AFI Docs, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Big Sky, Palm Springs ShortFest and more. Priscilla is a freelance producer and teaches Producing Documentaries at UCLA Extension.

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Director Statement

On one day of filming, the individual I would be working with that day was already in the hotel room, waiting for me. I arrived and set up, and she sat on a couch. As soon as I told her I could start rolling, she sat up, ready and eager to tell her story. In pursing this project, I wanted to represent voices that are not heard, or that are silenced, because they are not deemed significant or worthy. And I am so grateful and honored that participants trusted me with their stories. I wanted to give depth and complexity to “stereotypes” who we see in the news and media, and represent individuals going through an extreme transition. Apart from their specific situation: crossing the border, only to be detained for seeking asylum – others can relate to the situation of limbo, of being separated from their families, of being hungry and cold – issues that transcend gender, race, or ethnicity.

My parents came to the United States from Mexico in the 1970s. My grandfather was a Bracero, and they have a very different immigration experience. Much of my work has dealt with the dual identity of being a first generation American, and it was important for me to go back further to explore migration stories, particularly in this political and social climate.