'In a world beyond their control they found an escape.'
Rich Kids is a film that sympathetically views the modern day and ongoing challenges of economic disparities, gentrification, displacement and evictions faced through the lens of Latino and Afro-Latino American youth.
The screenplay (by Somers & Saldaña) is based on an actual event that took place in Somers’ childhood home, after a group of neighborhood teens broke into the family home and stayed for several days before the event ended in tragedy. The film’s title, Rich Kids, signifies the wealth of love, talent, intelligence, and emotional resilience that the characters have in spite of their economic challenges while living in a world that views them with skepticism and indifference.
Matías is a bright teenager whose family struggles with harsh financial troubles. When he discovers “Los Ricos”, a wealthy family, are out of town, Matías breaks into their mansion where he and his friends spend an afternoon basking in the good life. The party is soon disrupted when a trouble-making relative shows up uninvited. Loyalties are then pushed to the breaking point as Matías’s desire for power in the house rises.
At it's heart, Rich Kids is about a young man’s transformation from the person he thinks he's supposed to be into the person he really is, as he comes to terms with the realities and consequences of living a community ravaged by the wealth gap and income inequality.
This vibrant portrait of six troubled teenagers showcases the talents of our young charismatic cast, and is set over a period of less than 24 hours in a limited number of locations in South Houston, TX.
A MESSAGE FROM THE CREATORS
FROM LAURA SOMERS (CO-WRITER/DIRECTOR):
I’ve been living with this film for a really long time. Please come in. I’m so happy you’re here.
Just know that this story came from a personal experience in my life. The house in the movie is the one I grew up in. The characters are inspired by people David and I grew up with. Some of them you may recognize as your own friends. Some you may recognize as yourself. Most of the actors couldn't believe we wrote roles for them long before we even knew they existed. What does that tell you about the human experience?
I made this movie because as a woman in film, I was tired of being marginalized. I was tired of seeing other people being marginalized in film. So I thought, let’s get together and make something beautiful and allows us to scream to the world who we really are.
I'm grateful to all the amazing people who chose to come on this journey with me. They think I picked them to be on the team, but really, they picked me. :) It's a good feeling. Their courage and creative joy has been imprinted in every single frame, and I know you will feel it when you watch the film.
I hope Rich Kids makes you realize that we want many of the same things. But I hope that you will also see that our voices bring something different to the table, and that you realize: you like different. And maybe even: you want more different.
'EVERY PROJECT SHOULD BE A PASSION PROJECT'
FROM DAVID SALDAÑA (CO-WRITER/CO-PRODUCER)
When Laura and I met to discuss her idea for the Rich Kids script she already had a basic story line mapped out in her head and ideas on shaping the narrative and characters. Having developed a familiarity with each other's work over the past six or so years we'd discovered our overlapping storytelling sensibilities and love of character over plot.
Before typing a single word we talked a lot, about being from Texas, about being a teenager, about being a parent, about groups unrepresented in film and television today and how all those things have shaped us as filmmakers.
I saw Rich Kids as an opportunity to develop and explore the lives of characters that I'd always wanted to see on the screen. To me, this meant an obligation to be as honest as possible so that the film would be compelling and hopefully provoke some real thought and emotion from the audience.