It was on this day in 2004 that the United States was first confronted about Colombian drug smugglers through the eyes of the fictional and desperate young MarÃa in Maria Full of Grace. Inspired by the Colombian community in his Brooklyn neighborhood, director Joshua Marston wrote the story of 17-year-old MarÃa, down on her luck and willing to do anything to escape her home life. The title role landed then-unknown Catalina Sandino Moreno a Best Lead Actress Oscar nomination after winning the Silver Berlin Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. The movie itself won the Audience Award at Sundance and was nominated for the festâ€(tm)s Grand Jury Prize.
Quotable: â€œThere are over a billion people on the planet that are living on a dollar a day or less; theyâ€(tm)re not all drug mules. So the question poses itself: What does cause a person who is in desperate straits to become a drug mule? Well, there are as many answers as there are people who do it.â€? â€”Director Joshua Marston