Still struggling with loss, a caring father and his daughter are moved by the Christmas spirit to connect with their Puerto Rican roots by reaching out to victims of the hurricane.


A father and his eight-year-old daughter, Billie, decorate their Christmas tree for the first time since the loss of Billie’s mother. The news on the radio serves as a further reminder that it won’t be a merry Christmas for everyone. Weeks after the 2017 hurricane in Puerto Rico, residents still struggle with basic needs. Billie worries about her Puerto Rican family, her father manages to reassure her temporarily. Billie leaves a note for Santa before she goes to bed. At midnight, on Christmas Eve, Billie’s father carefully arranges her presents under the tree and reads her note to Santa. Billie has asked Santa to send her presents to the children of Puerto Rico. Her kind-hearted gesture brings her father to tears. Her inclination to help, reminds him of the last time he spent time with his late wife, a U.S. Marine, before she left to serve. As he dozes off, she visits him in his sleep. On Christmas morning Billie awakens to find that “Santa” has written her back a letter. Her presents will indeed go to children in Puerto Rico.


Short (12mins) Narrative Drama | United States of America


English, Spanish


Executive Producers:

Iris Peynado


Nina Spensley
M.J. Caballero


Laila Petrone


Laila Petrone Laila Petrone is an Italian/Dominican filmmaker. Born in the U.K., she was raised between Rome and Los Angeles. As a child of an actress, she spent most of her youth on Italian film sets. Laila went on to study International Affairs (John Cabot University) and Media and Communications (University of Florence). In 2007, she appeared as Pina in Spike Lee's Miracle at St. Anna. The experience inspired her to pursue a career behind the camera. In the following years, Laila worked as an Assistant Director and Producer. In 2014, Laila's directorial debut Your Love premiered at Urban World Film Festival in NYC. The short was awarded "Best of Festival" at the Black Women Film Network Summit in Atlanta, and was selected to screen on Aspire TV as part of the ABFF Independent series' short films program. She recently completed her second short film No me olvidaré de ti - I Will Not Forget You, conceived in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. No me olvidaré de ti - I Will Not Forget You Premiered in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Italia Film, Fashion & Art Fest 2019.


Courtney Charles, Ellie Diez, Alexandra Fagins, Nina Spensley