I was born and raised along the United States-Mexico border and inhabited both countries while growing up. This film is a testament to the bicultural nature of many people's experience. "No Somos De Aquí, Ni Somos De Allá" is the most personal project I've directed thus far. The film had been percolating in my mind for over two years. It consists of a lot of internal dialogues that I've had with myself as a filmmaker and as a first-generation American. My producer, my cinematographer and I had begun development on the project when something happened that rattled our community, as well as the country. On August 3rd, 2019, an act of domestic terrorism, a mass shooting, was carried out in my hometown of El Paso, Texas; it took the lives of 23 individuals. The shooter's motivation was one of hatred for the racial integration of communities in the south. With a heavy heart, but with more resounding purpose, we embarked on the journey to create a film that spoke to the beauty of biculturalism. We set out to create something that explored the complexities that are often overlooked when discussing the Mexican-American experience.
Leo is a first-generation, Mexican-American writer and director. His upbringing along the US-Mexico border and his adolescence in the Caribbean have heavily influenced his relationship with storytelling. He aims to realize emotionally compelling concepts through bold, sincere and texturally rich storytelling. Leo’s experience as a cinematographer and editor has also made a significant impact on his approach as a filmmaker. During his final year of film school he was nominated for the ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) Student Heritage Award. He has been able to showcase his narrative work at renowned festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival (Cannes Court Métrage) among several others and has had the privilege of working on large scale projects for Converse, Nike, Mercedes-Benz and Dodge.