On The Other Side

An intimate and harrowing portrait of two migrant sisters as they cross the US - Mexico border through the burning Sonoran Desert in search of the American Dream.

A film that shows the effect of funneling migrants to cross through the Sonoran desert from Mexico to the United States. A tactic imposed by the United States government called “prevention through deterrence.” The story strips away all of the political noise and humanizes the tragic reality some migrant women go through when they cross through the Sonoran Desert.

  • Estefania Rebellon
    Director
  • Kyle Schmidt
    Director
  • Estefania Rebellon
    Writer
  • Kyle Schmidt
    Writer
  • Angel Cassani
    Producer
  • Ariel Nuñez
    Producer
  • Estefania Rebellon
    Producer
  • Estefania Rebellon
    Key Cast
    "Guadalupe Reyes - "Lupe""
  • Mayra Nuñez
    Key Cast
    "Gabriela Reyes - "Gaby""
  • Eduardo M. Pulido
    Key Cast
    "Gomez"
  • Mark Wind
    Key Cast
    "Officer Sanders"
  • Viviana Sarrade
    Key Cast
    "Officer Jones"
  • Paolo Cesar
    Key Cast
    "Navaja"
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Al Otro Lado
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Runtime:
    22 minutes
  • Production Budget:
    32,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
    RED
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2.39:1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • LA Shorts International Film Festival

    July 24, 2019
    Los Angeles Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Burbank International Film Festival

    Official Selection
  • Imagen Awards

    Best Short Film Nominee
  • Seattle Latino Film Festival

    Official Selection
  • Oaxaca Film Festival
    Oaxaca
    Mexico
    September 12, 2019
    Finalist
  • Lone Star Film Festival
    Dallas, Texas
    November 7, 2019
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Estefania Rebellon, Kyle Schmidt

Estefanía Rebellón:

I was born in Cali, Colombia and came to the United States as a refugee child at 10 years old with my family. We were escaping death threats and persecution from members of the Colombian guerrilla group: FARC. Our family was granted political asylum and protection by the U.S. government.

Through this massive life change I turned to films and television as a way to cope, to connect and to learn about US culture and the English language. I began to understand the power of storytelling and knew I wanted to act and tell stories. I began performing in a few Spanish Soap Operas while living in Miami and have since moved to Los Angeles seeking a career in Hollywood. I have been featured in many commercials, worked in both independent short and feature films and have also been featured on major television shows like Jane The Virgin (CW).

As a Latina actress in Hollywood I have found limited opportunities for rich and interesting stories. A majority of Latina roles are written as prostitutes/strippers, cartel girlfriends, and/or maids. We as people have so much more to offer the world and I grew tired of stereotypical storylines within the industry. I find it is my duty and responsibility to switch hats as a director-writer-producer and through stories like On The Other Side become one of the story tellers our communities have been waiting for. This film shares the real struggles everyday people face and moving forward I am developing projects that showcase the beautiful artistry, intelligence and innovations Latinos have contributed to the world. I believe that many other Latinos in the entertainment industry feel this way and I hope we can change the narrative together.

Kyle T. Schmidt:

I was born in Minnesota and fell in love with films at a young age. I received my B.A. in Film Production at Augsburg College and have since been working as a director and actor in Los Angeles. I am honored to work alongside Estefanía to tell a deep and thoughtful story through the medium of film. We look forward to collaborating again on future projects and to work together to help shift the narrative of how the Latino community is represented on screen.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

It is estimated that 80% of migrant women experience sexual assault on their journey through Central America to the US border. On The Other Side was born out of the need to humanize these statistics and focus on a female migrants experience of crossing the U.S - Mexico border. Kyle and I found that there was little media coverage on women crossing and that there were not many stories about migrants crossing through the Sonoran desert. The desert is one of the main crossing points for migrants and is one of the most dangerous routes, but is not often talked about. We found it important to shed light on these topics which are usually kept in the dark.

Our work focused deeply on the importance of authenticity and vulnerability for all of the characters in the film. Lupe and Gabi represent thousands of women who are strong, courageous, and most importantly resilient.

I am a Latina migrant woman who has lived through a migration process and has been granted political asylum in the United States. I find that these experiences have provided me with a specific sensitivity and an understanding to tell this story from a truthful perspective.

When it came to shooting we utilized wide lenses (18MM & 24MM) to accentuate the never ending expanse of the desert. In contrast to that we used the 85MM lens often. It provided a very intimate feeling, a closeness between the sisters and also became effective to create a feeling of claustrophobia during Gabi's asthma attack.

The films importance and relevance comes at a much needed time. As women become the driving force behind migration their stories have yet to be told. Topics like sexual assault, domestic violence, sex trafficking, unwanted pregnancies, among others are often times silenced and through our story we recognize the importance of bringing light to the unimaginable challenges migrant women go through in pursuit of their dreams.

This is a film that can raise awareness and spark conversations surrounding a politically charged topic. We hope the film can open people’s minds and hearts to understand the migrants journey.