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A young man is lured into the world of backyard boxing in order to save his mother's life..



Family. Responsibility. Sacrifice.



“A young man is lured into the world of backyard boxing in order to save his mother's life.”


As a sick mother nods off to sleep, her teenage son, Cross, anxiously sits with his new role as the family’s breadwinner. Rather than spend his night with a girl or at a house party, Cross sneaks out to handle the thick stack of medical bills.

On the outskirts of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, Cross meets with Salvador, his coworker from a nearby packing and shipping plant. Salvador leads Cross into the dark arena of backyard boxing where he’s set to face off against a fighter almost twice his size.

The odds stacked against him, Cross will discover if he’s got what it takes in the ring and what it takes to be a man.


After photographing his two friends boxing in the backyard, writer/director Gerry Maravilla developed a story about trying to find your way into a profession that you have no connections to, while also balancing responsibilities to your family and culture.

With this script, he saw an opportunity to explore the intersection of Filipino and Mexican culture -- something he saw every day growing up in the San Fernando Valley, but never depicted in media.

In order to showcase the dramatic potential of this narrative, Maravilla wrote a short that would act as a proof of concept for the feature film, CROSS.

To tell this culturally authentic story, Maravilla and Executive Producer B. Rich Adams of BrightSparks Entertainment teamed up with Melanie DiPietro and Leo Oliva of MAD Elephant INC. Together they raised $15,000 via the crowdfunding platform Seed & Spark.

Throughout the 30 day campaign, they utilized a strategy that included outreach via social media ( Twitter / Facebook / Instagram ) coupled with a grassroots campaign to community organizations such as #WeOwnThe8th and FilAm Creative.

The projects earned the endorsements of KISS FM radio personality Manny Streetz, Olympic boxer Brian Viloria, actress Bai Ling and Director of Diversity Programs at NBCUniversal, Grace Borrero-Moss.

With financing secured, the filmmakers began production in the fall of 2014 with Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley as the backdrop.

The team recruited a crew of diverse talents such as Director of Photography Adam la Brie, Stunt Coordinator Mark Elefane, Production Designer So Hyun Chung, Editor A.J. Calomay and many others.

For the lead roles, Director Gerry Maravilla chose Filipino-American newcomer Jason Sistona and Mexican-American veteran Daniel Edward Mora.

The short film premiered at the 2015 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival as part of the ‘Top 8’ shorts program. It went on to screen at the 2016 Newport Beach Film Festival, San Francisco Latino Film Festival, DC Asian Pacific Film Festival, San Antonio Film Festival, Highland Park Film Festival and the inaugural RAW film festival.

The team now looks to secure financing for the feature and bring the film to audiences everywhere.


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Cross the feature-film follows the title-character as he navigates the world of backyard boxing.

Young, dedicated and eager to prove himself, 19-year old Cross continues on his journey of blood for cash to continue making ends meet and forge a path as a boxer.

After he subdues a violent drunk, a local fight promoter approaches Cross for an upcoming match. He mentors Cross and promises him a lucrative career. However, Cross finds difficulty in juggling multiple jobs, commitments to his family, and his new career in backyard fighting.

With plans to utilize many of the same cast and crew, the feature will continue the story, characters and world established in the short film, while also introducing more diverse cast members that enrich the themes of this narrative.

A completed treatment and budget breakdown is available for those interested. Contact us below.



Gerry Maravilla

Writer/Director/Executive Producer

B. Rich Adams

Executive Producer

Melanie DiPietro




Jason Sistona



Manny Streetz


Timothy DeLaGhetto