Storytelling that Matters — Lyft's Driver Community Shares Their Stories

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Everyone has a story to share. Yet as humans we’re inclined to stick with what we know, to stay in our lane of what feels familiar. It’s a mode of avoidance that works well until we’re required to see beyond our own experiences. But it’s a cycle we can break and should.

To do just this, the creative studio powered by filmmakers, Even/Odd teamed up with Lyft to create “America is an Idea, Not a Geography” — a stirring series incorporating photography and filmmaking to amplify the voices and stories of immigrants.

The project circulates around immigrant families of different national backgrounds, all connected through Lyft as a means for generating a living wage.

A big “conversation” on how immigrants fit into the economic picture continues to exist — American born citizens equating the influx of immigrants to less job opportunities across the board. But one piece of the discussion rarely is addressed: how immigrant workers are carrying the weight of the burdensome, more intensely laborious work. They’re showing up for the work many are rejecting and refusing to own. Most importantly, many are sidestepping the human rights portion.

Lyft’s short film series tackles this very notion in the most ambitious way possible, by passing the mic to their community — the drivers who uphold the services, the oil and wheel to their machine.

The series “Nine Numbers” film, directed by Mohammed Gorjestani and Andrew Batista, follows Cesar Virto’s life as a business man/writer/Lyft driver — he happens to be undocumented. A recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Virto’s story has a weight of unpleasant truth; his youth plagued with barriers due to his undocumented status.

The project features background music from Marmoset artist, Drew Barefoot. The licensed song “The Forest in Bloom” sets the stage for this complex, heavyhearted issue. The song is meandering and reflective — Virto’s story isn’t of defeat but is the glimpse of a long journey, contrasting moments of highs and lows.

Virto’s story is ongoing, he still faces many questions of his status as a DACA recipient. We invite and encourage you to watch & listen to his story here.


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Learn more about FWD and community partners supporting individuals like Virto:

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