In "Go for Sisters," LisaGay Hamilton plays a parole officer who gets a parolee, a friend from her high school days, to help search for her son, who may be in big trouble across the border.
Edward James Olmos plays an ex-cop hired to track him down before it's too late.
Sayles worked hard and fast to get this movie shot.
"The toughest thing was that we had 65 locations in 19 days," said Sayles. "So even up here -- we shot two-thirds of it up here in the San Fernando Valley -- and even up here we were moving two or three times a day."
Sayles asked Olmos if he'd like to come on board not only as a star, but also as one of the film's producers. There was no hesitation.
"And so I jumped on board right away without reading anything," said Olmos. "Then I read it and I called him back and said, 'Wow, this is an amazing story,' because it was right there on the page.
"This film is very special to me. John Sayles, to me, is really one of the great independent filmmakers of all time," said Olmos.
That sentiment is shared by the film's leading lady.
"Ever so subtly, he's talking about immigration. Ever so subtly, he's talking about what it is to be an African-American woman, an African-American male and be immersed in the criminal justice system," said LisaGay Hamilton. "What's your rate of survival of getting out of that?"
"And there's not going to be a lot of gratuitous sex and violence and craziness and spaceships and helicopters in any of John's films," said Hamilton.
Sayles, who hired Hamilton for one of his earlier films, "Honeydripper," wrote this role specifically with her in mind.
"She doesn't have to scream and cry to get emotion. And there's a kind of power and intelligence there," said Sayles.
"To hear him say, 'I wrote this film thinking of you' is rather humbling, to say the least," said Hamilton.
Sayles, Hamilton and Olmos will take part in a question and answer session with audiences Friday and Saturday night after 7 o'clock screenings at the Landmark Nuart Theatre in West Los Angeles.