Filmmaker Odin Ozdil’s feature directorial debut, "California Winter," may have been made back in 2012, but the writer and director’s financial crisis drama is just as timely and poignant now. Set to hit On Demand this month, the film boasts a recognizable cast and some pretty stirring subject matter, the kind that puts a personal face on an American disaster that many are still recovering from.
Per the film’s official synopsis: "At the height of the housing boom of 2005, Mexican-American, Clara Morales is a real estate agent full of ambition, building a career by enticing Latino clients to take out subprime loans that she doesn’t understand. She even convinces her cautious father, Papi, to refinance the family home to pay for her mother’s medical bills. When the 2008 crash hits, Papi, now grieving the death of his wife, is devastated when his home goes into foreclosure – and he holds Clara responsible. As he lets his own health slide, Clara must now fight to prove herself to him by saving her childhood home and winning back the trust of her community."
Ozdil explains, "My first direct exposure to the housing crisis was in early 2009, when I worked as as a cameraman on a documentary about Latino families in foreclosure. Witnessing people’s bafflement, panic and grief in the face of losing their homes had a powerful effect on me. The emotional fallout from the crash became the lens through which I viewed events as they unfolded, and it was this that inspired me to write the script. I strongly felt that in the media, the human stories of ordinary people’s loss were overshadowed by a focus on the big business machinations that caused the crash."
He added, "Recent films like ‘The Big Short,’ ‘Margin Call’ and ‘Too Big to Fail’ show us the drama that took place at the top of the pyramid where billions of dollars were at stake. They’re set in the Ivory Towers of Wall Street and the back room offices of government. I wanted to make a film that could take place in any community, in any city in America. The monetary amounts may seem paltry in the scale of things, but for each of those families, the stakes were just as high."
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The film stars Gina Rodriguez, Michael Ironside, Rutina Wesley, Walter Perez, Erik Avari and Elizabeth Dominguez.
"California Winter" will be available this month on On Demand, thanks to Indie Rights.
Check out two exclusive clips from "California Winter," both above and below.