Capturing the reality of suburban existence in the predominantly blue-collar Inland Empire is the first thing to be done before moving into other conceptual territories. The impetus to capture this diverse region on film largely comes from a total lack of representation in movies, despite its direct proximity to two of film’s arguably most-depicted contexts: LA and Orange County. Life anywhere is interesting when you penetrate the surface, and understand the desires and conflicts of people from within their context. Love In Moreno Valley is an attempt to give visibility to people often ignored in artistic depictions. By virtue of depicting a diverse context, the film is a stage for diversity.
The usual tropes of the teen movie—proms, sex, wild parties—are tired. The Inland Empire is too conflicted of a setting to not be ultra-realistic about the challenges to teens from our context. This is not a ‘teen movie,’ these are teens in a movie. Love In Moreno Valley features particular teens from a particular context with particular desires and particular obstacles. The effect of this is—you guessed it—particular.
Love In Moreno Valley was powered by human grit, determination, desperation, labor, wit, and endless foolhardiness. Though the narrative of the film carries its own separate philosophical basis, a major point that we tried to prove with this film is that lack of funding isn’t a reason to not pull off making a great film. During the times when funds have run dry, the film has existed on soul. This makes Love In Moreno Valley a true spiritual product of Moreno Valley.