Private Project

Mara Has Three Jobs in San Juan, Puerto Rico

After the death of her father, a young woman takes on a third job to make ends meet in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

  • Ana Verde
  • Ana Verde
    Te llaman las olas
  • Lauren Lukow
    Before, Ladle
  • Raúl Abner Samrah
    Receta no incluída, Mano Santa
  • Samara Pérez-Santiago
    Receta no incluída, Mano Santa
  • Keren Lugo
    Key Cast
    New Amsterdam, The Americans, Orange is the New Black,
  • Gabriel Leyva
    Key Cast
    Receta no incluída, Melao
  • Jeannice Mustafá
  • Patria Ayala
    Production Designer
  • Mario Fierro
    A Place in the Field, Party O' Clock
  • Alain Emile
    Mancha, A Place in the Field
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 14 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 31, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Puerto Rico
  • Language:
    English, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Indeed Rising Voices, Season 3
    Los Angeles
    United States
    Indeed Rising Voices - Season 3 Grantee
  • 2023 Tribeca Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    June 12, 2023
Director Biography - Ana Verde

Ana Verde is a Puerto Rican and Venezuelan writer and director. Ana is a 2023 Rising Voices fellow (Hillman Grad/Indeed), a 2022 Orchard Project Episodic Lab fellow (The Orchard Project), a 2022 WAVE Grant Recipient (Wavelength Productions), and she was a finalist for the 2022 Ya Tú Sabes Monologue Slam (Nosotros Org and NBCUniversal). For the past six years, Ana has worked at the Sundance Institute in artist support where she provides financial, developmental, and creative support to artists working in emerging media, music, theater, and film.

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Director Statement

Economists in Puerto Rico predict that in the near future, the island's economy will mostly be a service economy: hotel staff, tour guides, drivers. Imagine the Las Vegas of the Caribbean – a destination site for travelers to pass through, instead of a home for the locals. The alternative, of course, would be what Puerto Rico's economy once was, prior to the devastation of Hurricane Maria and COVID-19: a professional economy with pharmacists, engineers, and doctors. Our film takes place in the near future of Puerto Rico, where a young woman becomes a tour guide in order to be able to afford her family’s Old San Juan apartment that her father died in. The short explores the future of work in Puerto Rico and what we are willing to do in order to hold onto our past.

Most of the time, I’m used to seeing Puerto Rican characters who are already stateside. I never know if they left out of an act of agency or a result of displacement, or perhaps a confusing mix of both… That moment, right before diaspora, is often where I meet my characters. I made this move myself, having grown up on the island and then left for New York for college. Every time I go back home, I question whether or not I made the right decision. I wonder if I gave up a part of myself by leaving, if I betrayed my people, if I can still even call it home. The main character of my story thinks about staying and leaving a lot, who will take her place if she ends up leaving, and what it means for her to be in service of people who come and go freely without moral consequence.