HBO/NY International Latino Film Festival: HollyHood Raises Awareness With “Trouble Child"

New York-based Latino filmmakers and creators of HollyHood Productions Inc. — Adel Morales, Julio Antonio Toro and Frankie Villanueva — are trying to raise awareness on what they call “the gritty urban underworld of teenage prostitution."

Their film, called “Trouble Child,” will make its debut Aug. 17 at this year’s HBO/ New York Latino International Film Festival.

"Trouble Child" explores the harsh realities of underage girls who are abused and go unnoticed in urban communities.

This, the trio says, has become their niche—creating films for urban Latinos by urban Latinos that will make people think and start dialogue.

“This is our love,” Julio Antonio Toro told Fox News Latino. “They [the audience] feel that.”

Toro, 37, says he and his partners have “a hunger” others may not posses since they are forced to go above and beyond to be noticed and respected in the industry. They started their business with little money and little film-making experience.

“Some kids can easily have the NYU education, the Columbia University master's (degree) or the father with money,” Toro said.

“This is our pursuit of the American dream,” Frankie Villanueva added. “It’s our way of doing what we love.”

In 2004, the three founded  HollyHood Productions Inc., an independent film company based in the Bronx.

Adel Morales says the group was aware that the name of their company would get people talking, and not always in the positive light.

“The idea of turning people off doesn’t bother me,” said Morales. “People take one look at me and prejudge. But, then I speak and people think otherwise.”

“There’s not much of a market for a Nuyorican, unless you fall into a stereotype.”

You can reach Alexandra Gratereaux at: or via Twitter: @GalexLatino

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