Concerned that with the passage of time valuable histories could be lost and go untold, good friends Alberto López Pulido and Rigo Reyes united forces and decided they needed to start documenting and telling their own stories. Out of this desire to preserve Chicaná and Mexican history emerged the documentary Everything Comes from the Streets, which traces the origins and history of lowriding and the unique car customizing tradition among Chicanos and Mexicans in San Diego and the borderlands.
This is the first film project for both Alberto Pulido and Rigo Reyes but they bring a wealth of knowledge on the subject of Chicaná history and lowriding. Alberto Pulido is the Chair of the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of San Diego and Rigo Reyes is a founding member of the Amigos Car Club in San Diego. Alberto recognizes that a great deal of learning happens outside of the classroom. “As an educator one of the things that I’ve come to realize is that so much of the knowledge that we’re trying to do in the classroom is actually out in the community or like our film says its out in the streets.” Alberto and Rigo teamed up with Oakland based independent filmmaker Kelly Whalen to help bring these stories to light. Kelly Whalen has over 15 years experience on major productions for PBS and her films have been exhibited at top-tier festivals like South by Southwest. Kelly recently won an Emmy nomination for producing and directing the documentary Tulia, Texas.
With the documentary almost completed the filmmaking team turned to the online fundraising website Kickstarter to raise the rest of the money needed to finish their film. The team is raising money for “post-production” costs such as music rights, color correction and archival footage fees. Kickstarter has recently gained attention with big name directors such as Spike Lee, creating fundraising campaigns for their film projects. But at its essence Kickstarter is a space for independent artists and entrepreneurs to share their vision and raise money to make their projects a reality.
Chosen as a staff pick on the Kickstarter documentary homepage within the first few days of launching, the film has raised a little over 20% of their goal. The filmmaking crew has until September 21st, less than three weeks, to raise the remaining of their $20,000 goal. They are still looking for more contributions to bring their film to KPBS, the San Francisco Latino Film Festival and other festivals around the world.
In fact KPBS, San Diego’s public television station, wants to broadcast the film upon its completion. “Not very often are we treated to such an important story told in a compelling way. Everything Comes from the Streets is a cultural import wrapped in chrome and metallic paint; a cruise through the streets of growing up Latino on the border,” says John M. Decker, director of programming for KPBS.
Everything Comes From the Streets features women and men from San Diego and Tijuana who shaped and influenced the unique car customizing movement, defined by self-expression and cultural ingenuity. The documentary provides a different perspective contrasting the common belief that lowriding is tied to “gang banging” and violence. Instead lowrider car clubs can be an extension of families that affirm and build communities in the colorful and complex fabric of the borderlands. The documentary is also the first to highlight that Tijuana and other Mexican border towns were integral in the development of the lowrider movement. The filmmaking team unearthed rare old home movies, photos and archival footage that until now have never hit the big screen.
Co-producer Rigo Reyes says he was motivated to make the film to educate a broad audience about what it means to be a lowrider. “Unfortunately sometimes we get stereotyped as being related to gangs — the whole barrio lifestyle, the negativity of it and very little is ever highlighted as far as the positiveness that we contribute to the community and particularly to the Chicano movement.”
“The film really captures an important moment of the Chicano movement and highlights the importance of Chicano Park not only for lowriders but for our community in general,” says Tommie Camarillo, chair of the Chicano Park Steering Committee.
To find out more about the film visit the facebook and instagram pages: https://www.facebook.com/EverythingComesFromTheStreets?ref=br_tf