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In Echo Park

The lives of a street punk, a millennial couple, and a Salvadoran teenager being recruited by a local gang collide, forming an interlocking story of class and identity in Echo Park, Los Angeles.

  • Nathaniel Lezra
    Young Bull (Short), No Place For Soft Eyes (Short)
  • Nathaniel Lezra
    Young Bull (Short), No Place For Soft Eyes (Short)
  • Jenell Randal
  • Molly Rose Kaplan
  • Mackenzie Woodcock
  • Zachary McMillan
  • Bryan Michael Nunez
    Key Cast
    American Vandal, Life In Reverse
  • Andrew Asper
    Key Cast
    Still The King, Silicon Valley, NCIS.
  • Jared Michael Brown
    Key Cast
    No Place For Soft Eyes (Short)
  • Caroline Ivari
    Key Cast
    Alien Convergence
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Urban Drama, Crime, Romance, Social Justice
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 22 minutes 31 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 25, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    60,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
    1.85 USA
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 2018 Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    February 23, 2018
    Winner Best Cinematography, Nominee People's Choice Award
  • 2018 Boston International Film Festival
    United States
    April 12, 2018
    East Coast Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards
    Los Angeles
    United States
    Winner Best Director, Winner Best Feature All Categories, Winner Best Original Music Score
  • IndieFEST Film Awards

    Winner Feature Film Award of Merit
  • Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
  • German United Film Festival
  • Long Beach Indie Film Festival
    Long Beach
    United States
    September 1, 2018
    Winner The California Endowment Award
  • The Indie Gathering
    United States
    Nominee, Best Ensemble. Honorable Mention.
  • Hollywood Verge Film Awards
    Los Angeles
    United States
    Winner Best Feature Film, Winner Best Director, Winner Best Supporting Actor, Nominee Best Supporting Actress, Nominee Best Drama Film
  • North American Film Awards

    United States
    Winner Best Editing
Distribution Information
  • Indican Pictures
    Country: United States
    Rights: All Rights
  • Lionsgate
    Rights: Internet, Video on Demand
Director Biography - Nathaniel Lezra

Nathaniel Lezra began making amateur films with his parents’ camcorder as a child in Wisconsin. His interest in serious filmmaking came with his family’s move to New York City at the age of fifteen, where he was immersed in the vibrancy and rhythms of urban life - this would influence him in his later film and written works. He holds a BA in Filmmaking from Emerson College, and attended New York University as a visiting student, where he studied Sociology, Writing, and Film Production. Nathaniel has directed critically acclaimed narrative and documentary short films, as well as documentary and branded content for SB Nation and Managing Madrid. He currently splits his time living and working in both Los Angeles and New York City.

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Director Statement

My films often focus on the interaction between environments and the populations that inhabit them. I work to assess real-world conflicts and tensions; to show how they are triggered and shaped by the environment they arise in; and to lay out how the people who inhabit those environments are affected. This can be delicate, because telling a story about a place in transition - and the underlying tensions present - necessarily means examining very real people in chaotic if not potentially devastating situations. My hope is that IN ECHO PARK gives the viewer a glimpse of that dynamic: you can’t talk about a gentrifying neighborhood without also honestly talking about the lives and specific experiences of its different populations.

When I lived in Echo Park, it had already endured major gentrification. But there was still visible tension regarding the neighborhood’s cultural identity: did it belong to the millennial newcomers? Or was it an immigrant community, largely with roots in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico? Was it a suburb for the wealthy, as it had been in its earliest days? Was it a gang neighborhood? In my mind, Echo Park has an indelible identity. That identity, though, is radically different depending on who you talk to. A millennial might describe it as a perfect homebase as they begin their journey in the entertainment industry, while a thirty-five year old Salvadoran woman might describe it as the tense new home she found after escaping civil war as a kid.

My goal for IN ECHO PARK is to invite viewers to consider these different experiences. I hope the film will incite in them some empathy for people they had never thought to engage with; and that it may cause some to consider the mark they leave on the world, their environment, the neighborhood they live in. A place like Echo Park has so many stories and faces. All of its people have left a mark, no matter their background or economic standing. If my film helps someone consider the value of these different people and stories, and the weight of their presence, then it will have succeeded.