"PacoimaStories: Land of Dreams" is an epic documentary film about the untold history of a small town in Los Angeles. Their incredible story defines what has become of the American dream. It tells of a place where struggle, sacrifice, and undying human spirit have converged for hundreds of years, and that place is called Pacoima.
Founded in 1891, Pacoima is one of LA's oldest towns. American historians have mostly overlooked its history. This riveting new film peels back the layers of time, revealing a story like no other.
The history of Pacoima dates back to 450 AD when the Fernandeno- Tataviam tribe called this land "Pacoinga Village." This group of Native Americans thrived until European conquerors largely wiped out the tribe and enslaved them at the San Fernando Mission.
This powerful documentary traces the earliest history of Pacoima and the city's incredible growth. Pacoima became the American dream for some and the American nightmare for others. Two communities, African American and Mexican American, conflicted at times but joining forces during discord to fight the challenges of living the American dream.
"PacoimaStories: Land of Dreams" is written and directed by independent filmmaker Crystal Jackson, whose family came to Pacoima in 1935. She tells of the towns' struggles through the '80s and '90s when drugs, gangs, and guns hijacked the community. Most importantly, how they fought to retake their village, by forging a new educational model for their children that has reshaped the entire city.
The film features a notable cast of Pacoimians. These include U.S. Congressman Tony Cardenas and USC Football All-American Anthony Davis talking about their years at San Fernando High School. Also comedian Gilbert Esquivel, Dr. Yvonne Chan, founding president of the Vaughn International Studies Academy in Pacoima.
"PacoimaStories" also features a rare look at Pacoima's most celebrated icon Ritchie Valens. People that knew Ritchie tell stories about the legendary singer and his impact. R&B Singer Howard Huntsberry, a Pacoima native, played the role of Jackie Wilson in the Ritchie Valens movie "La Bamba," and he chimes in on the Latino rock sensation
Running Time: 119 Minutes
Produced by Lon Grandison-Muqaddin, Crystal Jackson, Lance Grandison