To The Bone

Narrative – Drama

Logline: A pre-teen migrant farmworker attempts to rebel against the status quo with unintended consequences for herself and her family.

Directed and Co-Written By Erin Li
Written By Silka Luisa & Erin Li
Director of Photography Christina Carrea
Edited By Susumu Kimura
Original Music By Dan Mufson

Naomie Feliu
Jaime Alvarez
Carlos C. Torres
Maria Elena Laas
Eliezer Ortiz

Select Screenings and Awards 
Vimeo Staff Pick 2013
Vimeo Ladies with Lenses 2016
Featured on Upworthy 2013
Best Drama, Hammer Museum Open Projector Night 2013
Film of the Week, 2013
Best Actor Nomination, MiniCinema 2013
World Premiere – Slamdance Film Festival 2013
Finalist, Hammer to Nail Competition 2014
Los Angeles Film Festival 2013
Film Independent Project Involve Showcase – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 2013
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival – Programmer’s Pick 2013
Cinema Without Borders Critic’s Pick 2013
Reel 13 | THIRTEEN Media With Impact Film Festival 2015
Toronto International Film Festival Kids 2014
El Meu Primer Festival – Barcelona, Spain 2014
San Luis Obispo International Film Festival 2014
Women’s History Month Film Festival – Women in Media Newark 2014
Take One Action Film Festivals – Edinburgh, Scotland 2014
Garifuna International Film Festival – Venice, CA 2016
Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth 2015
RxSW Film Expo – Austin, Texas 2013

Educational Screenings & Talks
A Place Called Home High School Film Workshop – South Central Los Angeles, CA 2016
DIGICOM X High School Narrative Film Festival – Palm Springs, CA 2016
Film Independent / A Place Called Home: Movies in the Park, South Central Los Angeles, CA 2014
Girl Scouts NYC 2014
New Roads Elementary and Secondary School, Los Angeles, CA 2013

Select Reviews

“The Bone is a short film that documents a harsh reality that is so often overlooked. Feliu and Torres, though young, truly bring this story to life. With staunch, dedicated performancesbeautifully-shot scenes that tell much more than eight minutes worth of a story, To The Bone is definitely not a film to miss.


“In a second, those healthy veggies you’re eating will leave a sour taste in your mouth. So enjoy your last bite of ignorant bliss.”


“After watching this slice of life that shows the reality of bearing hours of picking in heat despite exhaustion and in less-than-human conditions, you would think this girl would be broken, but her spirit stays strong…and rebellious.  In a turn of events, and in hopes of helping her brother, she challenges the status quo. What happens next will leave you with your jaw hanging.


To The Bone is a tale of innocent rebellion, albeit one with severe consequences…The film could’ve gone bleak and sad and ended there, but it also makes a statement about family and sticking together no matter what.” 


Director to Watch: Beautifully crafted…an exquisitely-executed, tragic tale of the sacrifices that such families endure in order to survive.”

Screen shot 2013-02-23 at 11.45.51 AM

The film has a great visual sense and the acting is excellent…Loved the characters and the conflict.”


“To The Bone captures the guilt of a father whose children must work to help him provide for them, the exhaustion and frustration of a preteen girl whose thrust into adulthood before her time and the innocence of an 8-year-old who is protective and sensitive to a sister who is more like his mother.”


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For more information on child migrant farmworkers in the U.S., below are a few links to get you started:

Background and History
Human Rights Watch – US: Child Farmworkers’ Dangerous Lives
Human Rights Watch – Labor Department Abandons Child Farmworkers
NBC – Child Labor: Small Hands Picking Our Food
PBS – Migrant Child Labor
PBS – The United Farmworkers Union

What You Can Do
The organizations listed below actively fight for the rights of child migrant farmworkers in the U.S.

United Farm Workers Union
Human Rights Watch
Cesar Chavez Foundation

Blog posts about To the Bone

To the Bone is featured on Upworthy, garnering more than 360K views to date and shining a light on child migrant farm workers.

Thank you, Vimeo, for helping To the Bone be seen ’round the world!

To The Bone was selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick today! As a huge fan of Vimeo and its community, this is kind of a big deal.