British filmmaker Ken Loach is setting up his cameras on domestic soil for the first time with his latest film “Bread and Roses.”
Adrien Brody, Pilar Padilla and Elpida Carrillo star in Scottish scribe Paul Laverty’s story of the experiences of the unsung Latino janitors who toil in the offices of downtown Los Angeles.
A young Mexican woman, Maya (Padilla), has crossed the border to join the rest of her family in L.A., taking a job alongside her sister Rosa (Carillo) as an office maid. Their relationship is tested when an anarchistic American activist (Brody) challenges them to join his guerrilla campaign for trade union recognition against cleaning companies and powerful corporate tenants.
George Lopez will also co-star, and Rebecca O’Brien of Loach’s London-based Parallax Pictures produces. The company is working out of L.A. satellite Parallax and Roses for the duration of the production.
Laverty’s inspiration for the script came while he was visiting L.A. for a writing internship a few years ago. He was shocked at the exploitation of immigrant workers and was intrigued by a campaign to unionize them.
Loach made the 1998 Cannes standout “My Name is Joe” for which star Peter Mullen took home a best actor prize, and which was later picked up by Artisan. Loach’s other credits include 1996’s “Carla’s Song” and 1990’s “Hidden Agenda.” Both “Joe” and “Carla” were scripted by Laverty.
“Roses” is being financed entirely through European coin.
Brody recently starred in Spike Lee’s “Summer of Sam” and Terrence Malick’s “The Thin Red Line.” Newcomer Padilla makes her bigscreen debut with “Roses,” and auds may recognize Carillo from her roles in Johnny Depp’s “The Brave,” and Gregory Nava’s “My Family/Mi Famila.”
Lopez, whose background is in standup comedy, will next appear in Judy Hecht Dumontet’s “Tortilla Heaven.”