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TOCAYOS (2023)


A young man from the United Kingdom struggles to acclimate to life in a new country. Stumbling across Daniela one night, they explore ways to find a sense of belonging and a home away from home. 

Runtime: 11 mins

Starring: Michael MacLeod & Mikaela Celeste

Directed by: Caden H. Hollander

Written by: Michael MacLeod

Produced by: Michael MacLeod

Associate Produced by: Yuwan Ye & Dara Adedara

Composed by: Joseph Djafar & William Bourassa-Bennett

Director of Photography: Brandon Ortiz

Edited by: Kelly Osmolski

Assistant Directed by: Yuwan Ye

Production Designer: Kiara Simmons

Sound Designer: Amaya Cranston

Production Sound: Phoenix Derba

Assistant Camera: Aaron Gallegos

Gaffers: Phoenix Derba & Dillan Mehta


When Michael first approached me about directing "Tocayos," I was immediately taken with the beauty of the story, one about the beauty of cultural exchange and the difficulties in finding home away from family. 

While I was initially skeptical to tackle a project that is so focused in the American immigrant experience (I was born in America and have never lived in any other country), Michael encouraged me to find similarities within my own life experience, and to use that to broaden out the project, hopefully making it accessible for all audiences.

In this exercise of diving into my past, I questioned why I connected with Michael's story, even though I'm not an immigrant, and realized that the themes Michael was tackling were much broader than his specific personal story.


Having moved around throughout my entire childhood, I always struggled with the idea of where my "home" was. Throughout growing up, I at one time or another thought of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Connecticut and San Diego as my "home." Whenever my family moved to one of these new places, it never felt like anything close to a home, and I was forced to forge a new life for myself in this new environment. In depicting Daniel's longing for his home in the UK, Daniela's longing for Oaxaca and the unfamiliarity of their new environment, I tapped into those experiences. 

Ultimately, I'm really proud of the work that everyone put into this film. Our incredible cast and crew worked tirelessly to bring Correspondent Productions' first film to life, and I'm so blessed to be a part of this feel-good story. I hope you enjoy Tocayos :)



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