By: Austin Winter-Chase
“I came back because I am who I am because of the community I grew up in.”
–will.i.am, The Black Eyed Peas
Besty Kalin’s award winning documentary and Audience Award Winner for Best Documentary “East LA Interchange” to screen at the New Urbanism Film Festival and the Highland Park Independent Film Festival.
In a country where freedom and equality goes hand in hand there are places where that is not necessarily the case. A story that was eight years in the making, “East LA Interchange” shows the true meaning of the American dream, where an array of cultures and races are woven together to create a rich landscape of ideals, dreams and cultivates the future. The documentary “East LA Interchange” tells the poignant and powerful story of working-class, immigrant Boyle Heights. A place that was treated like the black sheep of Los Angeles County with its share of misfortunes and mistreatment and yet it is a place with strong ties to the past and a bright captivating future. Through masterful storytelling the story of Boyle Heights is told through first hand accounts of the residents that lived, worked, and played in a vast sea of multicultural diversity which was Boyle Heights. Through the eyes of the residents we are able to see the history unfold which shaped its neighborhoods and the causes that almost destroyed it. One could say that Boyle Heights is at its heart what the American Dream is all about. Where people can come together without judgement, hate or bias and get along harmoniously. It is easy to say that such a place does not exist, but it does! It is a place where people come together to help one another and to celebrate the vast array of cultures and the pride they have for their home. A neighborhood with an unyielding spirit of determination and fortitude. Boyle Heights is that place on the hill where the true spirit of the American dream lives. “East LA Interchange” is a wonderful documentary that honors the past and its rich history while showing a bright future for a place that was written off as nothing more than a slum. Besty Kalin’s storytelling shines masterfully throughout this thoughtful and introspective documentary.
East LA Interchange 57 min
Director: Besty Kalin
“East LA Interchange” will be the Opening Night Film for the New Urbanism Film Festival on Thursday, October 8th at 8pm at the ACME Theater, 135 N. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036. http://newurbanismfilmfestival.com/nuff2015/films2015/ and will be the closing night film at the Highland Park Independent Film Festival on October 10th with Red Carpet Arrivals at 7:30pm and the screening 8:30pm, at Highland Theaters, 5604 N. Figueroa St., L.A., CA 90042. http://www.hpifilmfest.com/
You can also follow the film at