“Borders” examines what it is to be a person of color in a country that is addicted to the oppression of your people. The horrors of war and at home are explored, as two veterans - a social worker making a house call to the other - discuss their service, while the client’s artwork comes alive in a surreal experience.

  • Daniel Mora
    Key Cast
  • Michael G. Martinez
    Key Cast
  • Frank Velasquez
  • Frank Velasquez
  • Marina Coutinho
  • Frank Velasquez
    Executive Producer
  • Therese 'Tag' Goulet
  • Valeria Zuniga
  • Josof Sanchez
    Associate Producers
  • Julie Matsumoto
    Associate Producers
  • Kenneth Ross Ng
    Associate Producers
  • Mandie Zamora
  • Valeria Zuniga
    Production Design
  • John Theodore
    Music by
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 58 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 24, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Santa Monica College
  • Mexican American Film and TV Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    May 15, 2022
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Mexican American Cultural Education Foundation

    United States
    July 15, 2021
    Filmmaker Grant
  • Next Generation Indie Film Awards
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    June 18, 2022
    Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best BIPOC Film
Director Biography - Frank Velasquez

Frank Velasquez is a Mexican American writer/director/producer based out of Los Angeles. After winning MACEF’s Filmmaker Grant for his latest film “Borders”, he partnered with East LA-based Operation Street Kidz to launch a film production program for mostly Mexican/Latino filmmakers, securing a generous grant from La Plaza de Cultura y Artes to do so. As Program Director for OSK Films, he oversees all aspects of production, with multiple projects in pre and post production.

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Director Statement

I have long been critical of this country’s foreign policy and its appetite for war, and while I am not alone in this regard, it is obvious that people of color have unique reasons for their lack of patriotism that go beyond that. When I decided to write “Borders”, I did so knowing how important it was to discuss Mexican American history in the Southwest. We are mostly unaware of the Mexican Repatriation of the 1930’s, where millions of us were deported whether we were born here or not. The same goes for the Mexican lynchings dating back to the 19th century, as most Americans have come to associate the word lynching solely with the Black community. Unfortunately we have become disconnected from our generational trauma, leading to the perception that America’s anti-Mexican sentiment began the day Trump made his infamous speech about us. Without knowing our people’s history, we fail to make the connection to today’s racism and xenophobia.

While I wrote this film through my Chicano viewpoint, I still maintain that “Borders” is for every American of color who’s never truly “felt” American. It is about our occasional hesitance to call ourselves American, or to refer to this land as our actual home, despite our history and willingness to give so much back to it. Ultimately I felt that the best way to have this conversation was through those who - according to the most nationalistic standards - give the most back to this country: military veterans. The group of people even the strongest conservatives claim to support unconditionally. If even they cannot find acceptance, what chance do the rest of us have?