Kelly+Yamamoto Productions | Startup Embassy
For more than twenty-five years, independent filmmakers Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto have been making critically-acclaimed films that have screened in theaters, film festivals, museums, and communities worldwide and aired on PBS, Showtime, Sundance, and Britain’s Channel Four, (among others). Their filmmaking philosophy is to take alternative looks at stories, themes and characters and to tell specific stories from which audiences can generalize universal truths.
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Startup Embassy

A feature documentary work in progress


STARTUP EMBASSY is about a Spanish entrepreneur who risks everything on a Silicon Valley incubation hive where he plays “father” to dozens of nascent entrepreneurs, while neglecting his own children back home in Madrid.

Every half hour, one person born in another country moves to Silicon Valley. Many are migrant entrepreneurs who arrive without money or contacts and, through Airbnb, land in hacker houses where each resident pays fifty dollars per night to share a bunk bed–outfitted room with seven other people in a suburban house. Set at Startup Embassy, a Silicon Valley hacker house, this documentary tells the story of its founder, CARLOS DE LA LAMA-NORIEGA, and two of its residents, all of who came to this high-tech Mecca believing their idea would change the world. Their chances of success are minuscule and while pursuing their dreams, each one endures painful extended separations from family. STARTUP EMBASSY is about the human cost of pursuing your dreams.

Note: The term hacker is most commonly used to describe someone who breaches the computer systems of governments or corporations. But that is far from its only meaning. The hackers of STARTUP EMBASSY are motivated not by the desire to steal and destroy but rather by the desire to succeed in the high-tech world through clever, constructive work. These hackers program computers, creating code for software, apps and websites, for example, the apps on your phone, websites, and browser were all made with code.

Key Credits

Director/Producer/Director of Photography/Editor: KENJI YAMAMOTO
Writer/Producer: NANCY KELLY

Funded by

The ITVS Diversity Development Fund
Silicon Valley Foundation
San Francisco Foundation