The entire family that planned to jump off San Diego’s Coronado Bridge didn’t know that they’d be going to the 2013 Oscars. All they knew was that there was nowhere else to go. Death seemed a better alternative than having nowhere to sleep, nowhere to eat, and nowhere to exist. “Izucar's mother says things got so hopeless that plans were made for the entire family to jump off the Coronado Bay Bridge before Izucar talked her out of it,” reports San Diego’s 10News on Jan. 12, 2013.
Izucar is Inocente Izucar. Today, Inocente just turned 19 and will be walking down the red carpet at the 2013 Academy Awards. The film “Inocente,” which received an Academy Award nomination on Thursday for an Oscar in the best documentary short subject category, is the story of Inocente’s life.
“I didn’t have to act,” told Inocente the San Diego Union Tribune about being the star of the documentary. “I just had to live my life. They just followed me around with a camera.”
Inocente’s life is not the life of a usual Academy Awards star but the life of a girl who nearly died by jumping off San Diego’s 200-foot-high Coronado Bridge.
Inocente and her family had every reason to end their life; at least so they thought.
After Inocente’s dad had been deported to Mexico because he was an illegal immigrant in San Diego and because of domestic abuse, Inocente, her three younger brothers, and her mom spent many years being homeless. For nine years, Inocente and her family moved from shelter to shelter. At times there was nothing left but living on the street. Before Inocente was even 12, Inocente had been to 30 shelters, seen the darkest sides of life, and planned with her family for her death because the pain of living overpowered the pain of dying.
"I was shocked watching it," said Inocente to 10News about the painful part of her life that she had blocked out until the documentary was made. "It was very emotional for me to watch."
By making one choice, one simple choice, Inocente is not only alive but getting ready for the 2013 Oscars.
At the age of 12, Inocente made the choice of looking for refuge at a nonprofit San Diego arts organization. At the age of 15, the filming of the documentary “Inocente” began, and today, at the age of 19, Inocente is not only getting ready for the Academy Awards but also able to support herself and her family “thanks to ARTS and income from her art work.”
ARTS: A Reason to Survive is a San Diego arts and social-service organization that helps foster, encourage, and support the artistic talent of young people in crisis. “That is where husband-and-wife film team, Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine, discovered her and decided she had a powerful story to tell. They spent four days with her before turning on a camera, then returned periodically over the next two years to document her activities,” describes San Diego’s Union Tribune Inocente’s journey after having made that one crucial choice in her life.
Besides the documentary “Inocente”, the other 2013 Oscar-nominated films in the best documentary short subject category are “Kings Point” (Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider); “Mondays at Racine” (Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan); “Open Heart” (Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern); and “Redemption” (Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill).
Whether or not the documentary “Inocente” wins an Oscar at the Academy Awards on Feb. 24 or not, the film’s star, Inocente, has already won.
And Inocente is not the only winner. Inocente’s story is a story for many. It is a story about hope, a story about not giving up, and a story about the power of having a choice; -- even when everything else is gone.
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