East of Hope Street tells the story of Alicia (Jade Herrera), who flees the civil war in El Salvador with her aunt and younger brother, only to find herself in the midst of the gang-war violence of East Los Angeles. When their aunt is jailed for crack possession, Alicia and her brother are placed in separate foster homes. After being raped by her foster father, jailed on car-theft charges, and witnessing the shooting death of her best friend, she meets and falls in love with Carlos (Asanio Lara), an older Latino boy. Sent to a home for pregnant girls, Alicia receives support from a sympathetic counselor, Casey (Tim Russ), who inspires Alicia to get her high-school diploma and overcome a deportation threat to make a new life for herself and her newborn son in America. This provocative, award-winning film is based on a true story drawn from director Nate Thomas's ten years of experience working in Los Angeles's labyrinthine child protection services. Thomas, a USC School of Cinema alumnus and currently a film professor at California State University-Northridge, co-produced and wrote the film with his college friend, Tim Russ ('Tuvok' on UPN's Star Trek: Voyager), who also stars in the film.
"Timely and provocative!"