Roberto S. Oregel and Sergio Mortara began their collaboration three years ago when Sergio approached Roberto after a screening of his film, Casa Libre, asking to meet with him about a film documentary idea.

Reflecting on their first meeting, Roberto notes:

I came to this meeting with cynicism and expecting to make it a very brief meeting. Instead, I was riveted by Sergio’s story and life long struggle with obesity. Not only was Sergio’s story extremely compelling, but his heartfelt desire to share his story to one of the hardest hit communities, his community—Latino Americans—was sincere and infectious.

That day we met for more than 5 hours talking about the subject. Throughout the conversation, I related to him the difficulty and long road in making a film like this. Despite my efforts, he was completely committed and ready to take this challenge. Sergio’s desire to make a difference and help children is one of the most important things in his life.

As they began research for the film, Oregel and Mortara immediately discovered that a key element of combating any epidemic—effective communication to the populations most at risk—was failing miserably in the fight against obesity in the Latino community. Obese City, as a multi-faceted project, has developed in consultation with health care professionals, academics, nutritionists, exercise and rehabilitation scientists, youth program leaders, and with everyday people struggling with obesity. A primary goal of this project is to bring awareness and solutions directly to Latinos in a way that is culturally sensitive and most effective. We believe that this project will make that difference.

Production Team