“La Gloria” Uses Desert Locations to Bring Story Alive at ShortFest


This is the second film from Evangelista that has made the ShortFest lineup following last year’s Fran This Summer, which screened at more than 30 festivals in 2019. A California native, Evangelista has lived in New York for the past few years after earning her Master’s in Fine Arts from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for Writing and Directing. Palm Springs Life spoke to her about La Gloria and her emerging film career.

Where did the idea for La Gloria originate?

La Gloria is made through the Film Independent’s Project Involve, which is a program where they take a bunch of emerging filmmakers from different backgrounds, different places, and we each to have a goal to make a short film over a six-month period. So I’m the director of La Gloria, but this is written by Stephanie Adams-Santos, who is a Guatemalan-American. The executive team ends up kind of guiding the screenwriter to go and elaborate on two ideas. And then the directors pitch for films that they want to direct. And La Gloria was my favorite story, and it was also something that Steph was like, “I think this is for you,” and I completely agreed. Being queer myself, and I have a very close relationship to my mother and my grandmother. And just when we started the collaboration, it was just this sort of serendipitous kind of, wow, this story was meant to be.

Why was the desert a good location to shoot?

The desert was always something that I had envisioned, that was inspiring Gloria’s and her other worldly dreams. I wanted it to be something like, this is something she sees, the desert, and these dry, barren areas. And especially the Salton Sea, where there’s suddenly water in the middle of nowhere. It just made so much sense that this is something that she can just take in, because this is kind of her natural place, but it becomes something else in your dreams, which is kind of what places become when you do dream. It just felt really natural to place Gloria there.


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