Ovarian Psycos

Ovarian Psycos

  • BY Joanna Sokolowski and Kate Trumbull-LaValle | IN Women & Girls
    Premiered March 27, 2017

About the Film

Ovarian Psycos is about a new generation of fierce, unapologetic and feminist women of color from the Eastside of Los Angeles who confront injustice, build community, and redefine identity through a raucous, irreverently named bicycle crew: The Ovarian Psycos Cycle Brigade.

Through the personal stories of the crew’s rabble-rousing founder, Xela de la X, activist, poet M.C., and single mother; street artist and original Ovarian Psyco, Andi Xoch, and a bright-eyed young woman from the neighborhood, Evelyn (Evie), the film traces how the “Ovas” emerged from the diverse, youthful, Latino, working class, immigrant neighborhoods of Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles, a community situated within the historic legacy of the Chicano/a Civil Rights Movement that emerged from L.A. in the late 1960s. MORE

For members Andi and Evelyn, the Ovas speak to the broken, to the uneducated, and to those who live the hard life. Meanwhile, the pressure to raise a young daughter by herself ultimately puts Xela at a crossroads with her own role in the Ovas. But through all the obstacles they invariably face, the group as a whole becomes a rising force, as these young women continue to call out to new riders to join them on their journey: “Whose streets? Our streets!”

The Filmmakers

Joanna Sokolowski is an Emmy® Award-winning documentary filmmaker. She co-produced the HBO film Very Semi-Serious (2015), a feature-length documentary about New Yorker cartoonists that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. She has worked as a producer at Walking Iris Media and Open Studio Productions. Her short film, Still Time (2012), chronicles life after serving 20 years in prison. She holds a BA in Community Development & Urban Planning and received her MA in Social Documentation at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she was the recipient of the Human Rights Center fellowship.

Kate Trumbull-LaValle is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker who first began in the field of social justice media as an educator and media maker for the Media Arts Center San Diego and the San Diego Latino Film Festival. She was associate producer and assistant editor for Renee Tajima-Peña’s No Más Bebés (2015), which profiles the history of Latina women coercively sterilized at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center during the late 1960s and 1970s, and aired on Independent Lens. She directed the short documentary, Abaayo/Sister (2012), an intimate portrait of two Somali friends caught in a cultural tug-of-war and is a UC Berkeley Human Rights Fellow (2010) and graduated with an M.A. from the Social Documentation Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. LESS

Film Credits

Directed and Produced by
Joanna Sokolowski and Kate Trumbull-LaValle

Executive Producers
Sally Jo Fifer
Lois Vossen

Supervising Producer for ITVS
Shana Swanson

Consulting Producer for ITVS
N’Jeri Eaton

Victoria Chalk

Additional Editor
Susan Metzger

Director of Photography
Michael Raines

Jimmy LaValle

Location Sound
Joanna Sokolowski and Kate Trumbull-LaValle

Associate Producer
Ellie Loarca

Motion Graphics and Title Design
Rachel Arnold

“Ovarian Psycos” Logo Designed by
Andi Xoch

Aerial Cinematography
Will Sampson

Camera Rental and Support
27 Notch

Andrew Balis

Online Editors
Harry Locke IV
Matt Radecki

Sound Editor and Re-Recording Mixer
Joe Milner

Foley Recorded at
Sound Troop

Finishing Editor
Jim Rosenthal

Assistant Editors
Ciaran Michael Vejby
Natalie Rold

Additional Camera
Beau Lambert
Evelyn Martinez
Mykee Del Mundo
Sage Seb
Mina T. Son

Consulting Editors
Kate Amend
Johanna Demetrakas

Story Consultant
Renee Tajima-Peña

Transcription Services
Lexscribe Inc

Brenda Avila Hanna
Juan Palacio
Enrique Ramirez
Mayra Eliana Vasquez Jimenez

Outreach Coordinator
Maryna Harrison

Production Assistant
Valerie Medina

Clearance Counsel
Donaldson + Callif, LLP

Legal Counsel
Shannon C. Hensley. Esq.

Front Row Insurance Brokers, LLC

Karin Kerylow
Michael Raines

Featuring (In Order of Appearance)

The Ovarian Psycos Cycle Brigade
Andi Xoch
Maryann Aguirre a.k.a. "La Fingers"
Joan "Zeta" Zamora
Imelda Romero
Pauletta Pierce
Dalia Palacios
Shamir Castillo
Alejandra Ocasio
Joss the Boss
Karen Díaz
Evelyn (Evie) Martinez
Xela de la X
Mas Vuelo
Moni Perez
Taryn Nicole Randle
Magally "La Maga" Miranda
Claudia Lara
Natalia Efe
Gloria Vasquez

Yolihuani N. Tekolokuautli
Maria Isabel Torres
Maria Olvera
Amoxeh Tochtli
Nayeli de la Rosa
Marcello Macias
Maria Luisa Ramirez
Maylei Blackwell
Delia Aguirre
Joseph Bray-Ali
Ren Conde

Archival Footage and Stills Courtesy of
Nico Avina
Rafael Cardenas
Moctesuma Esparza
Cinthia Garcia
Gustavo Muñiz
Tom Myrdal
The Ovarian Psycos Cycle Brigade
Maria Luisa Ramirez
Xela de la X
Bill Yahraus

Additional Archival Sources
ABC Inc., KABC-TV Los Angeles, 2014
Canal Estrella TV, 2011
CBS Local Media, KCAL 9, 2011
Coke Escovedo, Mercury Records, “I Wouldn't Change a Thing," 1976
KABC-TV/DT, 2011
Unknown Photographer, Black and White Photos, ca. 1970s

Cihuatl Ce
El Haru Kuroi

Special Thanks
Nels Bangerter
Kimberly Bautista
S. Leo Chiang
Christine Davila
Alan Del Rio Ortiz
Rian Dundon
Sasha Friedlander
Jen Gilomen
Yu Gu
Gena Hamamoto
Kathy Huang
Courtney Magner
Felicia Montes
Curran Nault
Xochitl Palomera
PJ Raval
B. Ruby Rich
Julie Sauton
George Schmalz
Mike Simpson
Tom and Frances Sokolowski
Clara Solis
Jennifer Taylor
Richard and Sylvia Trumbull
Juli Vizza
Leah Wolchok
Kenji Yamamoto

Fiscal Sponsors
Women Make Movies, Inc.
Media Arts Center San Diego

Funding Provided By
California Humanities
Pacific Pioneer Fund
And others. A complete list available from PBS.

Ovarian Psycos is a co-production of Sylvia Frances Films and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

This program was produced by Sylvia Frances Films, which is solely responsible for its content.
© 2016 Sylvia Frances Films.
All Rights Reserved.

Are you familiar with urban bicycling culture like the one depicted in the film? Would you start a similar bicycle group in your area? Does your community have safe streets for women? What can the Ovas story teach us about challenging stereotypes about femininity?
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Are you familiar with urban bicycling culture like the one depicted in the film? Would you start a similar bicycle group in your area? Does your community have safe streets for women? What can the Ovas story teach us about challenging stereotypes about femininity?