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1/20: a motion picture

Director: Gerardo del Castillo Ramírez
Starring: Ayako Ibaraki, Ilfenesh Hadera, Will Shepherd, and Kayla Dempsey
Producer: Berwin Cohen, C. Malo Producciones
Writer: Matthue Roth

Indiefest Award of Merit

Bronze Palm, Mexico International Film Festival
La Pajera Mas Suave, Guadalajara Film Market
Official Selection, Detroit Windsor Film Festival
Opening Film of the Detroit Windsor Film Festival


Xiomara lives in the middle of nowhere. For the past four years, she's been hatching a plot to run away to the city. During the 2008 presidential election, when Xi she sees something bigger than just voting in a new president -- she sees an opportunity to throw a fist in the face of her boring life, her laid-off and dying factory town, and every adult who's ever told her no.


The folks at C. Malo Producciones, a New York- and Barcelona-based production company, came to me with a concept: They wanted to make a feature film based on the 2008 American presidential inauguration. I was excited, but I told them that I didn't want to do a documentary or a fictionalization, with some random dude playing Mr. Obama; I wanted it to be a personal story that could have happened for real. They agreed.

Preproduction began before the inauguration. A recording team hit DC on Inauguration Night, recording everything they could find. Meanwhile, I took weekend busses down to D.C., writing on the way, walking around the streets like a ghost.

Filming began in November and concluded on Thanksgiving Night. At first they didn't want me anywhere near filming. I started working as a production assistant, getting coffee and props. Gradually the director started to trust me. In the end I even got a cameo. I'm at the Punk Rock Inaugural Ball, in the background. I show the actors where to get a drink.


"Their experiences reflect the zeitgeist of our times, and we learn that politics are less valuable than friendships and love conquers all." Ajnabee

“The film is about the people, and I like that; it wasn’t some political film pushing one party. It’s about people.” South End

I interview myself about 1/20.
All my blog posts about 1/20.

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