USA, Colombia


The coming-of-age of a determined, young Colombian girl named Maria Alvarez. Seventeen years old, Maria lives in a small town to the north of Bogota where she works, along with her best friend Blanca, in an enormous flower plantation. Her job consists of inspecting thousands of roses a day, measuring them, removing their thorns and preparing them for export. It is tedious, difficult work, which Maria absolutely hates. To make matters worse, she is 3 months pregnant by her boyfriend Juan, whom she does not really love and has no intention of marrying. When she gets into a fight with her supervisor at work and walks out on her job, she becomes determined to find some other way of making a living and some other life for herself.
Maria sets out on a journey with Blanca that takes them all the way to New York - to the Colombian community of Jackson Heights, Queens. What unfolds is a character-driven piece about two girls growing up and becoming adults - about how leaving Colombia and arriving as immigrants in New York changes their lives and their friendship.

Director's Biography

Joshua Marston was born and raised in southern California and did his undergraduate work in Social Sciences at U.C. Berkeley. After working in Paris for Life Magazine and ABC News during the first Gulf War he spent a year teaching English at a public high school in Prague, Czech Republic. He received an MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago and an MFA in filmmaking from New York University. He has directed a number of award-winning short films, including "Bus to Queens", "Voice of an Angel" and "Trifecta". He has been a recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and residencies at the MacDowell and Millay artist colonies. Maria Full of Grace is his first feature-length film.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Joshua Marston

Written by: Joshua Marston

Produced by: Paul Mezey

Cast: Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria), Yenny Paola Vega (Blanca), Wilson Guerrero (Juan)

Nominations and Awards

  • Screen International Award (for a non-European film) 2004