"I began to write a script that read like the set-up for a horror film, but the source of dread wasn’t a slasher or a supernatural force, it was a cruel and dangerous government policy."
Ana Ibarra (Vanessa Benavente), a housekeeper from El Salvador, has been working for the Barris family for eight months when she first brings her teenage son Nico (Ezekiel Pacheco) to help her. Told by the Barrises that their family’s home has been visited by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents looking for the mother and son during a sweeping crackdown, the pair is grateful when Marianne (Miranda Otto) offers to let them stay in the house until the situation can be sorted out. Her attorney husband Peter (Noah Wyle) appears reluctant to have Ana and Nico stay and imposes a series of strict conditions: Don’t leave the house, don’t stand near windows, turn over all cell phones, stay out of his office and spend nights hidden away in a locked storage space in the basement.
After several days without further visits from ICE, Nico begins to bristle under the restrictions. Breaking the rules and wandering through the house at night, he surprises the Barrises’ teenage daughter Lauren (Sadie Stanley), who has her own misgivings about the Ibarras’ presence.
As time goes by and tensions mount, each family begins to question the other’s motivations in this riveting and emotional thriller.
AUGUSTUS MELEO BERNSTEIN (Director, Writer, Producer) is a writer, director and producer from Los Angeles. He has an M.F.A. in directing from the American Film Institute. Before earning his masters, Bernstein graduated with a degree in cinema studies from the University of Pennsylvania. At the Gates is his directorial feature film debut.
AUGUSTUS MELEO BERNSTEIN (Director, Writer, Producer)
is a writer, director and producer from Los Angeles. He has an M.F.A. in directing from the American Film Institute. Before earning his masters, Bernstein graduated with a degree in cinema studies from the University of Pennsylvania. AT THE GATES is his directorial feature film debut.
JHANVI MOTLA (Producer) is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker from Mumbai whose films have shown at Deauville American Film Festival, New York Film Festival, AFI Fest and exhibited on platforms such as Netflix and HBO Max. Her producing works spans across narrative films, documentaries, branded content, commercials and music videos. Her most recent short film, “Mirage“, was produced as part of NALIP’s Women of Color Incubator, sponsored by Netflix.
ALAN TORRES (Director of Photography) is a Los Angeles-based cinematographer best known for lensing the award-winning indie “Same Difference”, as well as a number of short films and music videos.
Torres’ artistic interests focus on story-driven cinematography that enhances what is already on the page. His work has been featured on Hulu, Netflix, Channel 4 and BET+. Torres most recently shot additional photography for the feature “Skater Girl”, the story of a teen in rural India whose life is changed when she discovers a passion for skateboarding.
In addition to his narrative work Torres is working on a documentary in Mexico about Bacanora, an agave-based spirit largely unknown to the world until now. He is also a frequent collaborator with Jaden Smith on his music videos and the fashion company MSFTSrep.
FRIDA OLIVA and ANDREW KIM (Production Designers) are a design duo with an extensive portfolio across television, films and commercials. Their recent work includes Amazon’s special “Yearly Departed” and the feature films “Paradise Highway”, “Faith Based” and “Heartthrob”. Oliva and Kim founded the design firm Wabi Sabi Labs in 2020. Creating spaces that live and breathe and exploring depths in layers are the foundation of their practice.
Hailing from Mexico City, Oliva has been designing movies for a decade. Kim has been art directing and working in the art department for more than 12 years. Both are members of the Art Directors Guild.
JACOB EHRLICH (Editor) has edited several award-winning short films and web series including the award winners “Rinse & Repeat” and “A Dolt’s Life.” Ehrlich makes his feature-film debut with AT THE GATES. Though based in Los Angeles, he recently graduated from Tufts University with a degree in film and media studies as well as computer science.
JULIA NEWMAN (Composer) is a Los Angeles-based film composer and songwriter with a long family history in entertainment. She is the daughter of composer Thomas Newman and one of only two female composers in the Newman dynasty. Her credits include the award-winning web series “Coupled” and she has worked across a variety of media platforms including short films, documentaries and video games.
Newman’s harmonic and textural sensibilities, along with an innate understanding of what constitutes drama, set her sound apart and make her work both recognizable and culturally relevant.
BEACON PICTURES (Production Company) is a film and television production company that has made 48 films and over 200 episodes of prime-time television. Films that Beacon has produced or executive produced include “Air Force One”, starring Harrison Ford; “The Hurricane”, starring Denzel Washington; “Spy Game”, starring Brad Pitt and Robert Redford; “The Family Man”, starring Nicolas Cage; “Ladder 49”, starring John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix; “The Guardian”, starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher; “Children of Men”, starring Clive Owen; “Dawn of the Dead”, starring Sarah Polley; “Bring It On”, starring Kirsten Dunst; “Open Rang”e, starring Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall and Annette Bening; “Thirteen Days”, starring Kevin Costner; and “A Lot Like Love”, starring Ashton Kutcher.
PICTUREHOUSE (Production Company) is a Los Angeles-based content marketing and distribution company led by CEO Bob Berney and COO Jeanne R. Berney. The company acquires, markets and distributes global content across all platforms. Originally formed in 2005 as a joint venture between Time Warner’s HBO Films and New Line Cinema, the Picturehouse brand has a long history of storied excellence. For more information visit Picturehouse.com.
FIVE TOWERS (Production Company) is a full-service production company located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles. Established in 2014 by Paulo and Alan Torres; together they have produced a range of work for global brands and talent spanning from Music Videos and Commercials to Narrative work in Short Films, Documentaries and Feature Films. Five Towers work has been featured on Netflix, Hulu, and BET+.