Director: Cati Gonzalez
Writers: Cati Gonzalez, Mike Gonzalez
Duration: 80 min
Stars: Jake Mestre, Scooter LaForge, Badd Idea, Vinny Cruz, Mario Piantini, Carlos Anaya, Prince Franco, Joey Lopez, Johnny King, Maximillian France
Think “Kids” meets “Midnight cowboy.”
EKAJ is a love story between two drifters, a naive teenager and a hustler. The film capture’s a runaway journey to New York City. Ekaj meets Mecca who takes him under his care. Mecca has AIDS and multiple problems of his own. He is high all day but still manages to be the only voice of reason in Ekaj’s hopeless world. They cruise the city together looking for money and places to stay.
The core of the movie is Ekaj, who thinks he will become the lover of a rich man and be taken care of for life but ends up finding his dreams quickly shattered. Although he makes some money as a prostitute, he finds he is disposable, replaceable and lacking what it takes to survive in the city. Their mutual loneliness leads to genuine friendship.
The Film is a First-Time Feature by NYC Female Fashion Photographer Catie Gonzales turned Director, and aims at raising awareness on important issues like: Homeless LGBT Youth, HIV/AIDS, Addiction, Bullying, Rejection/Acceptance, Perseverance and Love.
Cati Gonzalez was born in Cordoba, and raised in Barcelona, Spain.
She moved to NYC in 1990 where she became a Photographer working in Fashion. Her work has been seen in French Photo,I.D, Spin, Vogue, Colors, Vibe, Interview, Paper, Big, Blaze, Trace, Surface, Liberatiòn, El Pais, Mademoiselle, New York magazines and other publications doing celebrity portraits such as Director David Cronenberg, Russell Simmons, Notorious B.I.G., Pharrell Williams, The Ramones, David Byrne, Thurston Moore, Chloe Sevigny, Jaime King, Common, Beenie Man among others. She has also worked on various music artists’s album covers for Sony, Warner Bros., and Atlantic Records.
She has received many awards for her work such as “Festival De Le Mode Exhibition,” Nice, France, “The American Photography Magazine Awards”, French Photo listed as “Photographers of the Future” and Macy’s Windows Art Photographers Exhibition.
Cati has also written a couple of scripts including one short and a feature, and has been working for the last 3 years on EKAJ. She has worn many hats as Writer/Director/Cinematographer/Editor and Co- Producer of the Film. As Cinematographer she goes under the name “De La Gata Real”
You can see some of Cati’s photography work HERE
Mike Gonzalez was born in New York City and raised in Housing Projects on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Mike experienced first hand a similar story to the film EKAJ, beginning with his mother dying of Aids in the early 1980’s and then being tossed out on the street at 13 years old where he ended up homeless for 4-5 years struggling to survive as a young teen. He is fully aware of what you go through surviving the streets as a youth and overcoming rejection to finally becoming a self taught; Technical Editor, Sound Recordist and Sound Editor. He’s also a Producer and Partner in the Film. Mike is currently writing a script partially about his life which he plans to put on the big screen together with Cati Gonzalez.
Cati and Mike first started the film project EKAJ as “Cati and Mike Gonzalez Films.” Together they ended up forming Tompkins Square Park Films, LLC in memory of the years they both spent living there in the Lower East Side.