VALOR, Short Film

“VALOR” A Short Film

 

In 1995, Valentina “Val” Guzman (Mexican-American, 34) is a a pregnant, MBA student, who just wants to take her final exam. However, her due date is dangerously close the exam date and her male professor won’t make accommodations.


 

Story

In 1995, Valentina “Val” Guzman (Mexican-American, 34) is a a pregnant, MBA student, who just wants to take her final exam. However, her due date is dangerously close the exam date and her male professor won’t make accommodations.

This exam is an important hurdle Val will need to overcome to not only pursue a career in wealth management, but also create new type of heritage - with greater income and opportunity - for her growing family. The challenges to her goals are Professor Holtz, a strict academic and the gatekeeper to her future; the experience of otherness (being pregnant/older/Mexican-American/female)in a homogenous institution; and Vera, her mother, who is a first-generation immigrant and questions whether Val can really pursue her ambitions while also being a good wife and mother to her family.

The story is told in both a sincere and humorous way. What makes the story sincere is that Val’s challenges are realistic and we take them seriously. What makes the story humorous are its details. For example, Val’s pregnancy is introduced when her pregnant belly bops every one of her classmates’ heads as she tries to discreetly leave her row in class for the bathroom.

 

The Director’s Note

This story is inspired by the true story of my birth. My mother was a pregnant, MBA student who was denied an alternative test date, studied for her final while in labor, and managed to fit breaks in the middle of the test to breastfeed me in the hallway. I grew up with this story. However, upon recent reflection, I realized the absurdity of expecting a student to take a major exam only three days after giving birth and the tremendous determination it would require to do this academic and physical feat. Through this film, I want to honor this accomplishment and motivate audiences to consider the many additional hurdles experienced by students like Val.


Furthermore, I am also excited to tell this story in order see a Latina in the pursuit of wealth and a career in finance. On average, Latinas are the most adversely affected ethnic communities by the wage gap, earning “just 53 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men” (National Partnership for Women and Families). Also, according to the Institute for Policy Studies, “for the average Latino family, it would take 84 years to amass the same amount of wealth White families have today—that’s the year 2097." As a NYU Stern finance student, I have strong insight into the power of investment and hope this film might raise conversations about income in Latinx communities.