Private Project

Esperanza sin fronteras (Beyond Barriers)

Esperanza sin fronteras /Beyond Barriers is the story of a community that transcends borders. Naco, Sonora, is an area with 6,400 people located across the border from a city by the same name – Naco, Arizona. Most of the people in Naco, Sonora can’t find enough work, food or clothing.
For basic needs like health care, many families from Sonora would cross to a church in Arizona for screenings. But when it was announced that the border wall would be raised, the screening center in Arizona shut down.
Despite the barriers, people from opposite sides of the Arizona-Sonora border came together to change lives for the better.

  • Bjorn Jon Madrid; Laura Collyer Carlson
    Father Tony; Madame Esmeralda
  • Laura Collyer Carlson
    Madame Esmeralda
  • Laura Collyer Carlson
    Madame Esmeralda
  • Jesse Topete
    Key Cast
    SAG-AFTRA actor
  • Lupita Sanchez
    Key Cast
    "herself - Dir., Casa Saludable"
  • Tom Carlson
    Key Cast
    "himself - Exec. Dir., Naco Wellness Initiative"
  • Maria Elena Borquez
    Key Cast
    "herself - Co-Dir., Casa Saludable"
  • Jose Lorenzo Villegas
    Key Cast
    "himself-Mayor of Naco, Sonora"
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Beyond Barriers / Esperanza sin fronteras
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    27 minutes 46 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 20, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    28,387 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Cannes Short Film Festival
    September 8, 2019
    World Premiere
    Official Selection - short documentary
  • Golden State Film Festival
    United States
    February 23, 2020
    U.S. premiere
    Audience Award-Best Short Documentary
Director Biography - Bjorn Jon Madrid; Laura Collyer Carlson

Bjorn Jon Madrid, Co-Director (with Laura Collyer Carlson - see for Laura's bio)

Bjorn is a creative multimedia designer by day and a Director/film editor/camera operator at all the times in between. With more than 15 years in the creative field, Bjorn is a natural in the world of moving pictures and beyond.

He brings an amazing range of talents to “Beyond Barriers/ Esperanza sin fronteras.” He previously worked on a full-length film called "Father Tony." (See details at end of bio.) For more than a dozen years, Bjorn has been doing multimedia design work with digital team for a health organization in San Bernardino. He also is involved in producing and editing videos.

Although Bjorn is a native of San Bernardino in Southern California, he was exposed to the traditions and beauty of Mexico as he grew up through his “Grandma Chuy.” She took care of him and his siblings while his parents worked, and she made “the best chile ever,” adds Bjorn.

Bjorn grew up speaking and understanding Spanish. He also took AP Spanish in high school to hone his Spanish writing and speaking skills. Not only does Bjorn have a blend of cultures from Mexico and America, but also has a natural ability to find and express the joy and unexpected delights in life’s difficult circumstances.

Bjorn worked full-time while attending Valley College in San Bernardino. During college, he volunteered to direct and handle technical camera work at KVCR, a local community cable channel (affiliated with PBS).

Always drawn to the thrill of moving pictures, Bjorn enjoyed being both behind and in front of the camera. In 2001, Bjorn appeared with some family Members on “Family Feud.”
“It’s fun,” comments Bjorn. “I just love the energy… I say, ‘I was born to be a star.’ When the camera comes on, it’s just {bloop} like magic for me.”

Prior to his debut directorial work in “Beyond Barriers/ Esperanza sin fronteras,” Bjorn was the Art Director for a full-length documentary “Father Tony.” This is the tale of a dynamic Black Creole priest in a poor, crime-riddled district of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Bjorn also produced and re-edited a trailer for this movie.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

“I loved the 'Beyond Barriers' project. It's all about people of different cultures coming together to achieve something totally ahh-maaazing! A lot of people don’t know that I’m Mexican-American. That’s my people! I love going out there to Mexico. It feels like home. When I go… no matter what’s happening… I love it there. It was amazing getting interviewed by the local radio station in Naco.”