2004 Awarded Projects

Broadcast

A Texas Correction
Susanne Mason

Producer/Director: Susanne Mason
Category: Post-Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

In Texas, a cadre of prisoners composed of Latino, Black and White men collaborated on a lawsuit against the prison system that produced the most comprehensive state prison reform in U.S. history. A Texas Correction reveals how Fred Cruz, a Latino American prisoner from San Antonia, cut the path for these prisoners’ litigation, and empowered the movement for reform. With less than an eighth grade education, he taught himself law and led an extraordinary battle to expose in court the officially-sanctioned brutality that led to inmate deaths, and the unconstitutional rules that blocked Texas prisoners from legal representation in the 1950s and 60s. Drawing from the recollections of former prison officials and wardens, longtime inmates, and parolees, the film reveals the turbulent history of the prisoners’ rights movement and the fight for prison reform in Texas.

Al Otro Lado
Natalia Almada

Producer/Director/Editor: Natalia Almada
Category: Post-Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

Al Otro Lado begins in Sinaloa, the drug capital of Mexico and birthplace of some of the most famous corrido musicians. From the mountains where opium and marijuana grow in abundance to the Sea of Cortez where the contraband is trafficked to the “gringos,” we look at the economic crisis that forces so many to turn to drug trafficking or to risk their lives crossing the border illegally into the United States. Through the regional corrido music that takes its roots from medieval ballads and has the edgy grit of gangster rap, we will travel from Sinaloa north across the border to the other side, the same journey taken by millions of illegal immigrants, tons of narcotics and even corrido music. This hour-long documentary follows the story of three musicians who journey from Sinaloa to the United Sates singing songs about immigration and drugs.

Crossing Deadly Waters: The Last Hope for the American Dream
Josie Mejia Beeck

Producer: Josie Mejia Beeck
Category: Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

Every day Dominicans, Haitians, and the people from as far as China risk their lives and meager savings to cross the Mona Passage, a stretch of shark infested treacherous water between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. America’s little known back door entrance, the Mona Passage, is the setting for Crossing Deadly Waters: the Last Hope for the American Dream. The one-hour documentary records the brutal reality of this journey through the personal testimony faced by so many that continue to look to the United States as a way out of their poverty. We go to those who orchestrate and profit from these dangerous trips as well as to those involved in the regulation and deterrence of deadly voyages.

First Voice: Latino Literature in the U.S
Ray Santisteban

Producer/Director: Ray Santisteban
Category: Research and Development
Genre: Documentary
3 Episodes/60 Minutes

First Voice: Latino Literature in the U.S. provides a story driven history of Latino Literature in the United States. The program includes profiles of both pioneering and contemporary writers and includes a range of writing genres, poets and novelists. Each hour of the series will explore a key segment of time within both the history of Latinos in the U.S. and the Literature coming out of the communities. The series uses literature as a window into exploring the thoughts, feelings, fears and aspirations within various Latino communities, providing a unique look at Latino History through the eyes of many of its creative masters.

Latinos: Beyond Black & White
Phillip Rodriguez

Producer: Phillip Rodriguez
Category: Research and Development
Genre: Documentary
4 Episodes/60 Minutes

This summer, Latinos officially became the biggest minority group in the United States. They number nearly 39 million, or 13.5 percent of the total population – their ranks increasing at four times the overall rate. Even in light of this milestone, Latinos remain a fundamental paradox. They are a minority in our nation, yet a majority in our most populous state. They are often considered a race, yet they are not a race. They are our country’s newest immigrants, yet many are descendents of our continent’s oldest inhabitants. Latinos: Beyond Black and White, a four-part documentary, will explore the history and habits of this diverse group, as well as the challenges and opportunities it presents for America. Our goal is to present Latinos in all its complexity – for we have found that they continually resist our attempts to categorize them.

Letters from the Other Side
Heather Courtney

Producer: Heather Courtney
Category: Outreach
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

With searing intimacy and frankness, Letters from the Other Side gives voice to the side of the immigration story rarely told by mainstream American media – that of the families and communities left behind. How many Americans realize that the men waiting on the street corner for work are doing so for the wife and young children they left behind in Mexico? Letters From the Other Side interweaves the personal stories of several Mexican women with cross-border video letters between loved ones and strangers, examining the political indifference of Mexican and U.S. governments, who year after year fail to implement long-term solutions.

Masked Men
Carlos Avila

Producer/Director/Writer: Carlos Avila
Category: Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

Masked Men explores “Lucha Libre” and its role in Latino communities in the United States, Mexico and Latin America. Part circus, part athletic contest, the sport, which is famous for its masked wrestlers, provides a sense of “home” to new immigrants in the United States. It also continues to expand and build on its own unique cultural tradition in countries where it has enduring popularity. Simultaneously, “Lucha Libre” is contributing a lasting cultural idiom to America’s pop culture landscape.

Nuestra Familia/Our Family
Oriana Zil De Granados/Julie

Producer/Co-producer: Oriana Zil De Granados/Julie
Reynolds
Category: Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

Nuestra Familia is a documentary about California’s gangs, their devastating effect on Latino families, and the controversial war to stop their spread. By going inside the gangs, the story reveals how an organized criminal enterprise based in California’s state prisons is running Latino street gangs across the state; how California’s state prisons are serving as sophisticated training grounds for these gangs; how the FBI has had minimal success fighting gangs and has misused paid gang informants; and how former gang members attempting to reintegrate into society after serving prison sentences face enormous obstacles. Just as compelling, the documentary reveals the struggle faced by Latino families to overcome the gang influence, and the work of some brave community leaders to fight the gang’s spread.

Orozco: Man of Fire
Rick Tejada-Flores & Laurie Coyle

Co-Producers/Directors: Rick Tejada-Flores & Laurie Coyle
Category: Post-Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

This biographical documentary explores the life and art of Jose Clemente Orozco, a prolific member of the Mexican mural renaissance and one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. One of the great-untold stories of modern art, the life of Jose Clemente Orozco is filled with drama, adversity and remarkable achievement. Orozco’s story is played out against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution, the Great Depression and both World Wars. It captures the vibrant New York art scene between the world wars, and explores the rich cultural ties that link Mexico and the United States. Orozco’s travels back and forth across the U.S.-Mexico border are emblematic of the experiences of millions of migrants and immigrants during the 20th century. His strong personal convictions, artistic integrity and sheer tenacity in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles make him a compelling figure with universal appeal.

Rebel
Writer: Maria Agui Carter

Director/Writer: Maria Agui Carter
Category: Post-Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 minutes

Rebel is an hour-long historical documentary about Loreta Janeta Velazquez, a Cuban-born teenager from New Orleans who fought disguised as a man during the American Civil War. Based on a 600-page memoir published in 1876, this film tells the story of an unusual Civil War soldier who was considered a hoax for over a hundred years, but contemporary historians have found evidence of her existence. Rebel weaves dramatic reenactments with archival material, verité footage and interviews to tell this dramatic story.

Special Circumstances
Marianne Teleki

Producer: Marianne Teleki
Category: Post-Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

Special Circumstances is a documentary about the devastating impact of U.S. foreign policy in Chile during the 1970s and the long-term human costs of state-sponsored violence. Through the story of one survivor, Héctor Salgado, audiences will come to understand the legal, political and social obstacles standing in the way of a nation’s attempt, thirty years later, to overcome its brutal history.

The Devil’s Miner
Kief Davidson

Producer/Director/Editor: Kief Davidson
Category: Post-Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

This is the story of a fourteen-year-old miner, Basilio Vargas, who begins work together with his twelve-year-old brother Bernaldino, in the Bolivian silver mines of Cerro Rico. Through Basilio’s eyes, we will encounter the mysterious and fascinating world of the devout Catholic miners who sever their ties from God when they enter the mountain. On the inside, they worship an ancient devil represented by hundreds of statues scattered in the tunnels. Raised without a father, the boys assume many responsibilities and must work to afford their education. Basilio believes if the mountain devil is generous, they will make enough money to continue the new school year. Without an education, the Vargas brothers have no chance of escaping their destiny in the mines. Basilio’s journey uncovers the rich history of Cerro Rico, sacrificial ceremonies and an ultimate confrontation with the omnipresent devil.

Visions of Aztlan
Jesus Trevino

Producer: Jesus Trevino
Category: Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

Visions of Aztlan focuses on the emergence of Chicano and Chicana artists in the nineteen sixties and early seventies and explores how their art evolved a visual language inspired by key events, organizations and ideology of the emergent Chicano civil rights movement. These art works and imagery, in turn, were used by activists to further propel the Chicano movement and set the stage for the emergence of a new phenomenon – some say a new school – in American art. At a time when Latinos grapple with questions of identity, and how much of their ethnic identity they may have to give up to become mainstream Americans, the Chicano art movement persist as a profound example of how one community added tot eh definition of what it means to be American by expressing their unique differences through artistic expressions. The legacy of this movement has been to change American perceptions of art community and identity.

When the Tide Comes In
Lourdes Portillo

Producer: Lourdes Portillo
Category: Research and Development
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

When the Tide Comes In is an experimental documentary that uses the story of the fisherman as a window through which we can see the effects of globalization on a traditional culture that has little to immunize itself against the vices of the outside world. The film examines how Mexico’s underdeveloped Mayan Coast is being pulled in the direction of other Caribbean resort communities that are a playground of the international leisure class, and also in the direction of Colombia and other South American countries that provide drugs to illegal U.S. markets. It looks at the consequences of shifting wealth, as Mexican workers in boomtowns are separated from their traditional livelihood, becoming instead the workforce that provides the material amenities – beachfront condominiums, five-star restaurants, nightclubs, adventure excursion – of imported industries.

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Latino Public Broadcasting is the leader of the development, production, acquisition and distribution of non-commercial educational and cultural media that is representative of Latino people, or addresses issues of particular interest to Latino Americans. These programs are produced for dissemination to the public broadcasting stations and other public telecommunication entities. LPB provides a voice to the diverse Latino community on public media throughout the United States.
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