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Maya - Best for Fests

Feature film 1h 44 USA 2023
Maya  written and directed by Julia Verdin is one of Bruno Chatelin Best for Fests curated features and docs.

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Teenage Maya is raised in a household stricken by her father’s abandonment. Her mom, Camila, is an alcoholic, struggling to make ends meet. Camilla’s boyfriend, Diego, is an abuser who takes advantage of both Camila and Maya.

When Maya is followed on social media by an attractive guy named Ray. He responds to her post and seems to genuinely care. Soon Maya begins to chat with him online more about her life and fears. Before long Ray persuades Maya to meet him in person and after a slightly rocky start over him being quite a bit older than his photos, their relationship quickly develops.

Ray takes an interest in her problems and dreams and works hard to make Maya feel special.

When things escalate at home, Ray encourages Maya to run away with him. Initially spoiled by Ray with new outfits, beauty treatments, and art supplies, Maya slowly begins to realize he has another agenda when he starts using her to make money. Ray persuades her to cooperate by holding everything he has done for her over her head and claiming that he loves her. Maya complies and starts being set up for appointments with Ray’s “clients”.

As Ray pimps her out with more clients, Maya finds herself trapped in a sex trafficking ring with no way out. Meanwhile, her mother Camila, falls into despair after losing her daughter. After a near overdose, she agrees to get sober in order to get her daughter back. When Camila gets a call from the police saying that Maya is in their custody, she is overjoyed. However, the trauma that Maya has been through does not make her return as easy as Camila had hoped. Ray is determined not to lose his money-making asset while Camila is intent on not losing her daughter ever again.

Can Camila help Maya get back on her feet, or will Maya be forever lost to the dark world she has fallen prey to?

Profile on I Trailer I  Synopsis I Director's statement I Crew I


Amazing news! Maya was just selected by Independent Film Festival SIFFA


Since 2017 SIFFA successfully bring together leaders who shape global cinema and business at its organizations many times a year, the SIFFA Awards (Meetings). We’re bringing to the UK cinema lovers films that they are not able to see anywhere else in this country.

We are registered in the UK and are not funded by any governmental organizations. We exist thank only to friends of SIFFA, any of you could help us to find new friends and supporters because we are a unique film festival that unite representatives of the international film industry, businessmen, the SIFFA valuable sponsors, to promote peace and harmony at these uneasy times from any part of the world with no exception. We are a Diplomatic Film festival as we think no other nowadays.

Our mission is to build cultural bridge across the world; to tell the stories of those countries and to promote the universal appeal of the visual narrative, human experiences and dramatic interpretation; and to impart a powerful message of hope for humankind. We support British and International filmmakers and help them to be discovered by the representatives of the world film industry; we create opportunities for international co-production.

Cinema has the power to change opinions and attitudes, create an atmosphere of harmony and peace and touch people of all ethnicities in a human way that reminds us that there is more that connects us than divides us emotionally, spiritually and culturally.

Within the framework of the festival there is an educational element including presentations and masterclasses and a concert programme.

Join the SIFFA celebration of cinema with your entry and grace us with your presence as we show the rest of the world how to display open minds and hearts of gold on the silver screen.


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