The Cleaning Lady

An immigrant mother's journey as an invisible citizen in the United States...

Project type: Nonfiction Short
Project status: Production
Director/Writer/Producer/Editor: Ericka de Alexander
Associate Producer/ Post Sound: Trisha Golec
Instagram: @thecleaninglady.documentary
Twitter: @TLC_Documentary

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Over a decade ago, a loving mother of three, Marisol Reina, crossed the Mexico-U.S. border to provide a better life for her family, today she moves back home in hopes to reconnect with the family she once had to leave behind.


While there are many documentaries about immigration and its politics, this one is about the journey of a multi-layered undocumented immigrant who lives as an invisible citizen of the United States, while working as a domestic worker who moves mountains to secure a better future for her and her loved ones living in the homeland she left behind. The family that thanks her for her sacrifice, but resents her for leaving them.

Ultimately, this documentary explores the “what is it that makes this all worth it” for so many fragmented families who immigrate to the U.S. without a path to legal residence.

We intend on using a mixture of live-action footage and animated visuals to reference some of the stories Marisol talks about.

Meet the Filmmakers

Ericka de Alexander – Director/Writer/Producer
Ericka de Alexander is a Mexican-British writer/director and producer from Cuernavaca, Mexico. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in TV and Film Production from the University of Southern California in 2019. Her style focuses on exploring the inner-self through hope, vulnerability, and seeking the extraordinary within the ordinary. She focuses on magical realism and drama genres, with a touch of Mexican and Japanese cultures. Ericka’s most recent short film is The First Color, a story that explores relationships of a family living with ALS and finding hope, which she directed and cowrote, and premiered at the “LA Shorts International Film Festival” in 2020. The First Color was picked up for distribution by The Disorder Channel. Aside from directing, Ericka has produced numerous short films that have been official selections for film festivals such as “Austin Film Festival”, “San Diego International Film Festival”, and “Taiwan International Queer Film Festival”.

Trisha Golec – Associate Producer/ Post Sound
Trisha received her Bachelor’s Degree in TV and Film Production from the University of Southern California in 2019, where she focused in Post Production Sound. Trisha has produced short films that have premiered at Oscar Qualifying film festivals, such as “LA Shorts International Film Festival” and “Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival”. Outside of film, she spends her time enthusing about cats and meteorology.


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