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Miami-Based Filmmaker David Jaure Creates Powerful Portrait of Local Homelessness

Miami-Based Filmmaker David Jaure Creates Powerful Portrait of Local Homelessness

Posted by Liliana Castaño on September 11, 2014

Only a few days ago a panhandler in a wheelchair was shot and killed not too far north of downtown Miami. The motive of the suspected shooter -- who was taken into custody after a police chase -- remains unknown, but it's doubtful the deceased, 58-year-old Israel Zequra, had enemies bitter enough to shoot him dead. You may add this killing to the long list of random acts of violence that often befalls the destitute.

Inspired by all too common horror stories against humanity like Zequra's, Miami-based independent filmmakers David Jaure and Paul Alexandro are taking action. They have created a nonprofit to benefit the homeless and a moving film, entitled 3:13, about a man (played by Alexandro) who loses his job, his family, his home and ultimately his life as a desperate soul living on the streets of Downtown Miami.

Jaure wrote the screenplay and directed the film. After three years in the making, numerous film festivals have picked up the movie, and it has won awards for acting and directing in several festivals in Spain. Most recently it took the grand prize at the San Antonio Film Festival.

New Times: Congratulations on the Grand Prize award from the San Antonio Film Festival. What was that like? What did they say about the film that inspired them to choose it for the award? 

David Jaure: The last day of the Festival, the awards ceremony, they were announcing all the awards as my brother and I were sitting and cheering for some great friends we made at the Festival. The last award of the ceremony was the Grand Prize. When they call out the name '3:13,' I truly thought it was a dream, and had to stand up with my brother to receive the award. Why didn't I expect it? One, our film was made with true love of the art, where all actors and most of the crew worked for no pay. Two, we had no big name actors in our film, and we're competing against films with known actors like Daniel Baldwin, William Baldwin, Lou Diamond Phillips, Gary Busey...just to name a few.

Ninty-five percent of the people that watched our film had no idea the real things that happen to the homeless and how vulnerable they are to social indifference. The audience asked many questions, and I believe we really touched their heart. Many of them, after watching the Film have come to us personally and mentioned they were once before at that stage of either being homeless or homeless for several months. They open up to me.

A title card opens the film saying it is based on true events. Is it one story or an amalgamation of anecdotes?

Everything that happens to Peter has happened to real homeless people. It is an amalgamation of true events, put together into one story that makes our movie. It is these stories, that make our film so real. It is not the typical feel-good Hollywood flick with a happy ending. I believe the audience nowadays wants to go watch a movie that makes you change the way you feel and think when you leave the theater. That is my mission, to create reality in film. If I could do that and use this media in a positive way, like creating awareness, then I will be very happy.

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