Synopsis

Veronica was a 24 year old immigrant from El Salvador when she was sexually assaulted while working as a night janitor in Los Angeles. Thanks to her resilience and strength, she did not stay silent and created a grassroots movement to change the janitorial industry and fight its normalization of sexual abuse in the workplace.

About the Filmmakers

Cecilia Albertini is an Italian born-American based director and writer whose work focuses on socially relevant female-centric stories. Cecilia’s thesis film “Labor” has screened in over 40 international festivals around the world, including the Urbanworld Film Festival, The Wrap Shortlist and the Rome International Film Festival. In 2018, “Labor” was awarded Best Film at the Afrodite Film Festival, the leading female-centric film festival in Italy. It was broadcasted on KCET and was acquired by Rai Cinema Channel in 2019.

Cecilia’s documentary “Francis Ford Coppola’s Live Cinema”, which followed the legendary director during the making of his latest Live Cinema workshop, was nominated for a American Association of Cinematographer’s Heritage Award. The episode that Cecilia directed for the show “Sanity” was nominated for a student Emmy Award in 2017.

Lesley Elizondo is a Mexican American director of photography and cinematography educator born and raised in Los Angeles. In 2019, Lesley’s DP work with the activist group “Ya Basta” was featured in a week-long video installation on Sacramento and Washington DC’s capitol buildings. Her cinematography has also been featured in the Senorita Cinema Film Festival in Houston, the Pride Arts Center Film Festival in Chicago, the Stella Adler Academy Hollywood Short and Sweet Film Festival in LA, and the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase in St. Louis. On Youtube, “Pa Delante” has over 96 thousand views and “MacBeth” has over 3.6 thousand views.

Lesley’s awards include the Women In Film Loreen Arbus Cinematography Fellowship, the Antonio David Blanco Cinematography Fellowship, the NHFA Fellowship, the Dorothy Arzner Memorial Fund, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Grant. Because of her work, Lesley has been invited to attend the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts annual Gala and Pitch Session in Washington DC for the last three consecutive years. As a cinematographer, she has lensed short form narrative, documentary, theatrical, protests, live event and commercial projects. Lesley completed a Master of Fine Arts in Cinematography from UCLA and two Bachelor of Arts Degrees from the California State University of Long Beach; one in Narrative Film Directing and the other in Spanish Literature. Most recently, she completed the cinematography on the documentary “Basta,” the pilot “Salem High,” and is currently doing research for “Intern Reaper,” a Taiwanese short film to be shot in 2021.

More from the Filmmakers

“Our documentary, BASTA, tells the story of a group of brave female janitors that are sexual abuse survivors and decided to fight back and change the faulty system that victimized them. We decided to tell this story because we want to highlight a very widespread issue in the janitorial industry in the United States. We also wanted to show the resilience and strength of these women that decided to fight back and make an impact on their community. We were very inspired by their courage and we wanted to celebrate it.

This is not a story of victimhood, this is a story of empowerment and resilience. We were deeply moved by these women’s stories and we hope that you will be too. By making this film, we are hoping to shed light on a relatively unknown issue.

We also think that the organization that these women created can serve as inspiration also for other industries, since sexual abuse in the workplace can happen anywhere. So with our film we hope to inspire other people to create organizations similar to Ya Basta!”

Cecilia Albertini and Lesley Elizondo, Directors of Basta