While the statues and praise may have been torpedeod towards The Big Short in recent months, California Winter director Odin Ozdil thinks audiences would prefer to see that same story retold through the eyes of the average joe.
“I strongly felt that in the media, the human stories of ordinary people’s loss were overshadowed by a focus on the big business machinations that caused the crash,” says the Los Angeles-based filmmaker, whose new film replays the events of the 2008 housing crisis through ‘the people’s’ lens.
“Recent films like The Big Short, Margin Call and Too Big to Fail show us the drama that took place at the top of the pyramid where billions of dollars were at stake. They’re set in the Ivory Towers of Wall Street and the back room offices of government. I wanted to make a film that could take place in any community, in any city in America. The monetary amounts may seem paltry in the scale of things, but for each of those families, the stakes were just as high.”
California Winter, the first feature by Ozdil, was born out of interviews conducted of homeowners in foreclosure in the Los Angeles area in 2009. This was the height of the crash, and with so much unknown, one thing was clear: people had fallen into a rabbit-hole of financial uncertainty, and the crisis was having a profound effect on their lives and communities.
Available this month On Demand from Indie Rights, the movie tells of an ambitious young real estate agent who must fight to save her integrity and her father’s home from foreclosure when the risky loan she advised him on send his home into foreclosure.
“In [the film], we see the devastating impact of the financial crisis on a Latino community through the eyes of a father and daughter,” explains Ozdil, who spent a large part of his childhood in Turkey. “Clara and Papi, already grieving the loss of Clara’s mother, struggle to connect as they deal with financial pressures and decision-making under stress as the world around them seems to fall apart. Every potential avenue of relief is blocked, simple interactions negatively construed in the most personal terms.”
Shot in just 16 days, California Winter features a cast of familiar faces including A.Martinez, Gina Rodriguez, Rutina Wesley and Michael Ironside.
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