El Norte is a 1983 American and British film, directed by Gregory Nava. The screenplay was written by Gregory Nava and Anna Thomas, based on Nava's story. El Norte received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay in 1985, the first American independent film to be so honored. In 1995, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The drama features Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez and David Villalpando, in their first film roles, as two indigenous youths who flee Guatemala in the early 1980s due to the ethnic and political persecution of the Guatemalan Civil War. They head north and travel through Mexico to the United States, arriving in Los Angeles, California, after an arduous journey.