No me olvidaré de ti - I Will Not Forget You

A caring father and his daughter are inspired by the Christmas spirit to connect with their Puerto Rican roots

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Title: No me olvidaré de ti - I Will Not Forget You

Producer/Director: Laila Petrone

Cast: Courtney Charles, Ellie Diez, Alexandra Fagins

Runtime: 11:24 minutes

Director Biography - Laila Petrone

Laila Petrone is an Italian/Dominican filmmaker. Born in the U.K., she was raised between Rome and Los Angeles. As a child of an actress, she spent most of her youth on Italian film sets. Laila went on to study International Affairs (John Cabot University) and Media and Communications (University of Florence). In 2007, she appeared as Pina in Spike Lee's Miracle at St. Anna. The experience inspired her to pursue a career behind the camera. In the following years, Laila worked as an Assistant Director and Producer.

In 2014, Laila's directorial debut Your Love premiered at Urban World Film Festival in NYC. The short was awarded "Best of Festival" at the Black Women Film Network Summit in Atlanta, and was selected to screen on Aspire TV as part of the ABFF Independent series’ short films program. She recently completed her second short film ‘No me olvidaré de ti - I Will Not Forget You’, conceived in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Laila is a member of the Alliance of Women Directors.



Director Statement

Sometimes an event catapults us into an unexpected journey. It was in mid-November 2017 that I couldn’t help but cry at the news of Puerto Rico’s state of recovery two months after Hurricane Maria. I felt a deep connection with the American citizens of Puerto Rico, a connection that came to be more personal as well.

I was moved to write the story “No me olvidaré de ti - I Will Not Forget You”. I wasn’t quite sure where the story would take me. All I knew was that I was writing as a Caribbean woman, as a Dominican woman, a neighbor and friend of Puerto Rico, as a human being. The words kept resonating in my mind: water, electricity, children – followed by something I hadn’t previously understood – just how many Puerto Rican men and women are veterans or in active duty in the U.S. military.

The final result of my journey turned out to be a short, a family moment, a Christmas story for all audiences. My intention was not to strive for complexity, but rather to inspire audiences to reflect on how they might further engage and understand more about what was, and is still, transpiring in Puerto Rico. Shortly after I directed the project, I discovered that my great-great-grandmother, a woman by the name of Dolores, was from Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. The discovery gave me insight into my visceral empathy with the people of Puerto Rico and my motivation for completing this project




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