The Tohono O’odham Nation spans both sides of the U.S. and Mexico. The Sonoran Desert hits triple-digit (Fahrenheit) temperatures in the summer months, and thousands of migrants travel through these lands.
Due to the dangerous conditions, according to Border Patrol data, 7,209 migrants have died while crossing over the last 20 years, although the non-profit organization Border Angeles estimates the toll is higher. Thousands of children have also gone missing.
“Burros,” directed by Jefferson Stein, is the story of a 6-year-old Indigenous girl who discovers a Latina migrant her age who has lost her father while traveling through the Tohono O’odham tribal lands into the United States.
This topical film qualified for Oscar consideration when it won the Best Live Action Short award at the New York International Children’s Film Festival and has been receiving numerous accolades, including the recent Moonwalker Best Short Award at the Nòt Film Fest.
The live-action short film premiered at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival; won Best Short at Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, Sidewalk Film Festival and Arizona International Film Festival.
“Burros” is produced by Film Independent Spirit Award Winner Liz Cardenas (“7 Days,” “Never Goin’ Back,” “A Ghost Story”) and was awarded a Film Independent fiscal sponsorship. The film was also produced by Russell Shaeffer, Douglas Riggs as well as executive produced by Larry “Bear” Wilson and Camillus Lopez who are members of the Tohono O’odham Nation. The cinematography was shot by Cole Graham.
For more info, go to burrosthefilm.com or check out the trailer below.