DOWN FOR LIFE  is a feature film I was hired to write for producer/director Alan Jacobs. The violent gang drama is based on true events in the life of Leslie Castillo, a teenage girl who successfully got out of her gang in south central Los Angeles. Jacobs read about Leslie's life in an article by Michael Winerip called, "Essays in Search of Happy Endings," in the New York Times (Aug 10, 2005). I was brought on to research Leslie's life and write the screenplay. I spent several days with Leslie, her family, and some of her friends from the neighborhood to inform the realism in my work. The film was produced in 2010 and stars Danny Glover, Elizabeth Pena, Nick Gonzalez, Kate del Castillo, Snoop Dogg, Emily Rios, and Jessica Romero as RASCAL.

DOWN FOR LIFE screened at Toronto International Film Festival, the Los Angeles Latino Independent Film Festival, and Cine Las Americas, the latter of which invited me to introduce the film at the Alamo Drafthouse event and lead a Master Class in screenwriting at the festival.  Unfortunately, the film has still not been distributed because of pending lawsuits and poor handling by Jacobs. Hopefully the film will be on Netflix someday...

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