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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.

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


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


Maya: The crew

Julia Verdin
Angie: Lost Girls, Lost Girls (short)
Julia Verdin
Jason Piette
Head In The Clouds, Perfect Creatures, I Melt With You, Iron Sky
Julia Verdin
The Merchant Of Venice, Stander, 2 Jacks
Robert Craig
Morris S Levy
The Ten, Seduced and Abandoned, A Novel Romance
Sean Michael Acosta
Angie: Lost Girls
Patricia Velasquez
Key Cast
The Mummy, The Curse of La Llorona
Isabella Feliciana
Key Cast
Billy Budinich
Key Cast
Frank and Penelope
Rumer Willis
Key Cast
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Sorority Row
Gian Franco Rodriguez
Key Cast


Director Julia Verdin
Writer Julia Verdin
Cinematographer Aakash Raj
Production Designer Joseph P. Zubor



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