The documentary Crossing Over looks at the lives of 3 transgender Mexican women as they seek political asylum in the United States to escape transphobia in their homeland.

Francis Murillo, Brenda Gonzalez and Abigail Madariaga fled Mexico and are now living in Los Angeles to escape the stigma, discrimination and persecution associated with being transgender in the highly Catholic nation.

“There were various abuses,” Gonzalez says in the film. “They would tie me from my hands and feet to rape me, to abuse me.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

The documentary is the first for director Isabel Castro, a Mexican immigrant who recently graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

“I have always been passionate about immigration issues and about highlighting the reasons for why immigration is often necessary,” Castro told On Top Magazine in an e-mail. “In exploring this issue, I learned more about the extent of transphobia in Mexico and in the United States and have now become focused on shedding light on the obstacles that the transgender community faces.”

She said she expects to finish the film in January and premiere it on next year's festival circuit.

Castro has also launched a campaign to raise funds to cover post-production costs at IndieGogo.