When a water contamination issue forces a trailer park to be closed, a young girl must come to terms with leaving everything and everyone she has ever known behind.
In 1999, Novato, California, an 8-year-old girl named Jessie is enjoying what little time she has left with her best friend, Lucas. The two of them have difficulty conveying it, but they're both aware as to what is about to happen.
The trailer park they live in will be closed, and the whole community will be forced to evacuate, as a result of a MTBE water contamination.
For Jessie, this means facing an unwanted change and learning to say goodbye to that which tethers her to her little pink trailer.
Going back to one’s childhood to make a film about growing up seems like a good idea at first, but then you start to think about what kind of kid you actually were. As a six year old I saw a lot of walls. Walls that separated me from everything and everyone. When my family would drop me off at school I would see walls separating me from them, walls when my friends would leave me behind, walls between me and those who loved me, and walls between my inner self and the self everyone else saw on the outside.
As a child it seemed like everything was changing around me, but I was stuck between the invisible barriers that shackled me in place. We often discredit the emotions of a child, their world seemingly frivolous and pure, but this isn’t so. I felt everything so strongly, because my friends were all moving away, my family was dispersing, and my mind seemed like it was working in slow motion. All I had was my little pink trailer and my C3P0 action figure, or so I thought.
But now I realize that I actually had my whole family and a community there beside me. And that the world didn’t have to be a scary, sad, or lonely place, but was actually a vibrant space full of life and love just waiting to be discovered and explored. These are the emotions I want to capture in FURTHEST FROM.
My family was poor when I was young. I remember how my mother’s friends shed tears of pity after visiting our home. My father wanted to cut the chain of poverty, so he went to the US to work for a year, which meant he had to leave his family behind. That was 1997, when I was five years old.
After my father left to the US, my mother got a job as well. I had to leave my hometown for the first time and move to my grandparents’ house, leaving all of my friends. The kids in the new town didn’t believe that my father worked in the US, because my family was too poor. I hated the way they saw me. I ended up being alone.
This became my little trauma. Thankfully my family ended up moving seven more times since then, and I’ve been able to slowly erase this feeling. But still, I vividly remember the loneliness and feeling of loss.
I, a twenty-six year old man living in the US, having left his family behind, truly see Jessie, an eight year old girl who struggles with feeling lost amongst all these changes in her life. I have a lot of stories to tell her, and I’m sure she’d have stories to tell me as well. Carefully, very carefully I’d like to tell her my stories, and hear hers. And when it’s time, I’d like to share our stories with you.
Rex Reyes - Writer/Producer
Rex is a recent graduate of the AFI Conservatory, where he studied Producing. It was here where he wrote and produced the film FURTHEST FROM.
Prior to AFI, he attend the USC School Cinematic Arts, where he earned a degree in Cinema and Media Studies.
He has worked on the De Laurentiis Company and the Piracy Protection Platform Team at Universal Studios in addition to having written and produced several short films.
A true Californian, he was born and raised throughout the Bay Area. Often known as a "tragic optimist", Rex is fueled by his love of storytelling and cinema.
Kyung Sok Kim -
Kyung Sok Kim is a Korean filmmaker based in Los Angeles. His short films have won and screened at numerous festivals, such as the Pan African Film Festival, and have won grants from Fotokem, Universal Studios, and the Francis H. Tucke Foundation.
Kyung Sok Kim recently graduated from the American Film Institute (AFI) class of 2019, with an MFA in Directing.
Erin Tobin, PhD -
Erin is a Screenwriting Fellow at the AFI Conservatory. Born and raised in Ohio, she turned to films to learn about different places and ways of life. When she left Ohio for other experiences, she found great comfort watching films when she felt alone and was struggling to transition to life in a new place. And the films never let her down. They kept her going. This is why Erin firmly believes in and can attest to the power of film to offer hope, possibility, and comfort.
A lifelong student, Erin’s thirst for knowledge and experience led her to Hawaii, Florida, and New York City for a Bachelor’s degree and multiple graduate degrees in Cinema Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. Just before coming to AFI, Erin was teaching Women & Film courses to undergraduates while studying for her PhD in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University.
Erin is excited to be part of the FURTHEST FROM team and for the opportunity to work on a heartfelt yet optimistic story about a young girl who learns to find solace in her relationship with her sister while she struggles with loss, change, and moving on.
Mboni Maumba -
Mboni spent her childhood straddling between China and Tanzania - her two motherlands, each belonging to a parent. Her passion for designing story worlds is inspired by her experience assimilating to the rich and steep contrast between Chinese and Tanzanian cultures while transitioning back and forth between the two countries and later many states as she moved throughout the US. Instead of choosing one over the other, Mboni combines all identities harmoniously to create a fantastical sense of belonging. She especially likes building these story worlds for the screen, where imagination becomes a reality with suspension of disbelief.
Mboni is passionate about production design because it helps her gain a deeper understanding of the all the worlds she loves and gives her the opportunity to explore more cultures that are different from hers. Mboni views production design as a vehicle for discovering the world of the story and then layering in color, texture, and depth to explore the ways in which the story and the characters in it filter and embody the space. She likes to compare the creation of the onscreen world to imitating the hands of God: it’s an endless imagination and learning curve.
Teck Siang Lim - Cinematographer
Growing up and living in Singapore's multiracial and multicultural environment has shaped Teck's interest in collaborating across cultures, and he has worked on cross-border projects across Asia, including South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
Singapore's unique mix of slick cosmopolitanism juxtaposed with traditional and local ways of life are a constant source of material and inspiration.
Teck is a recipient of the Media Education Scholarship from the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) of Singapore. He is an alumni of the prestigious cinematography program at the American Film Institute.
Arndt Werling, BFS -
Before attending the Editing program at AFI, Arndt worked in the production department for numerous short and feature films and is an award-winning producer working for TWO DUDES, a Glendale-based production company, which he cofounded in 2017.
The decision for pursuing a Master's degree in Editing was a step back to the very roots of his fascination for film: the telling of a story.
Since then, Arndt has worked on projects in the US, Europe, and China and recently got granted membership in the German Editors Guild BFS.
Behind the Scenes
Electronic Press kit
Please find here our FURTHEST FROM press kit: