Private Project

The Divide

As a retired rancher living on the US border of Mexico, Russell's only desire is to protect his own family. But, when he crosses paths with a young woman during his patrol, borders are crossed and lines are blurred. With just the pull of a trigger, Russell must discover what it takes to hold onto his humanity when every choice has a consequence.

  • Ashley Monti
    The Metronome
  • Kate Weddle
  • Lauren Spalding
  • Cindy Shin-Iun Li
  • Nathan Le Grand
    Key Cast
  • Clayton Frey
    Key Cast
  • Tim Moran
    Key Cast
  • Alexander Chance
    Key Cast
  • Masha Mendieta
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    14 hours
  • Completion Date:
    December 1, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    40,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Arri Alexa
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Montreal World Film Festival
    Special Mention
  • Chicago International Film Festival
    Nominated Gold Hugo
  • WorldFest Houston

    Gold Remin Award
  • Champs Elysees Film Festival
    Champs Elysees
    Nominated for Audience Choice Award
  • Albuquerque Film and Music Experience

    Official Selection
  • Catalina Film Festival

    Official Selection
  • LA Movie Awards
    Los Angeles
    United States
    Honorable Mention
  • Italian Contemporary Film Festival ICFF
    Official Selection
  • Rome Independent Film Festival RIFF
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Lady Filmmakers Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    Official Selection
Distribution Information
  • American Film Institute
    Country: United States
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Ashley Monti

Ashley Monti is an award-winning filmmaker based out of Los Angeles, California. She holds an MFA in Film Directing from the prestigious American Film Institute Conservatory. She also graduated with a BFA with Honors from York University in Toronto. Her directorial debut, The Metronome, received thousands of views online and was her submission entry film to the American Film Institute. Her AFI thesis film, The Divide, received numerous awards at film festivals around the world including a Special Mention Award at the Montreal World Film Festival, a Golden Hugo Nomination for Best Short Film at the Chicago International Film Festival and an Audience Choice Nomination at the Champs Elyse Film Festival in France. She is also the recipient of an Arri Alexa Production Award.

After completing her studies at the American Film Institute, Ashley assisted Oscar Winning Editor Gabriella Cristiani on multiple films including the latest film Teleios, a science fiction thriller recently premiered at the London Sci-fi Film Festival. Ashley has also collaborated with notable musicians such as Golden Globe Winner composer, Richard Horowitz, and vocalist, Sussan Dehyim on a series of art installations showcased at Royce Hall, UCLA. Ashley is currently editing and developing multiple projects. Her latest collaboration is with Project Greenlight Finalist Adriano Valentini on an episodic Travel Series.

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Director Statement

Back in June of 2012 I came across a script written by an AFI fellow, Kate Weddle.  I was thrilled when I discovered that the story,  then called Minuteman, focused on the contemporary concerns  and consequences of illegal borderer crossing between the United States and Mexico.

Reading the news I was touched by the multiple stories of border families battling for safety and also torn by the reality that countless women and children go missing each day. Consequently I became passionate about uncovering the truths that lay along the border.    

Together with our team, we set out to meet the organizers of the militia groups. In August 2012 we drove 556 miles from LA to Tombstone, Arizona. After many phone calls and meetings with various people, we were very lucky to privately interview a border militia group and its former leader. These encounters inspired us to reach deeper into our story and find the hidden truths.

Over the course of the year our script has undergone many revisions. We became particularly interested in revealing our main character, Russell, as a border patrol agent and a man whose values are deeply rooted in the past. A singular event, a misfire, sets Russell’s journey in motion putting his morals at stake.

As film students we chose a very challenging topic to explore. The Divide is a project that merely attempts to touch upon the contemporary issues that affect the border. The value of its story does not lay so much in its outcome but in the questions it raises.

We would like to thank our AFI mentors who have given us incredible support in making this project happen. Without them this project would not have been possible.