2008 Awarded Projects

Broadcast

A Death in Mexico
Xochitl Dorsey

Producer: Xochitl Dorsey
Category: Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

A Death in Mexico examines the circumstances that led to the tragic and untimely death of Brad Will, an American video-journalist, during the 2006 civil unrest in Oaxaca, Mexico. The story is told primarily through the eyes of Will himself, who tragically shot his death while documenting on video a clash between protesters and government militias. His killing drew worldwide attention and transformed the conflict overnight into a bigger international story that brought a new focus on violence against journalists and free press in Mexico.

Animas Perdidas
Monika Navarro

Producer: Monika Navarro
Category: Post-Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

In the winter of 1999, the filmmaker’s uncles, who had immigrated to the United States as children, were deported to Mexico and forced to leave the only country they knew and, as servicemen, had pledged to protect. As the filmmaker struggles to reconcile the internal border between citizen and immigrant, Animas Perdidas explores transnational identity through this very personal journey.

Beautiful Sin
Gabriela Quirós

Producer: Gabriela Quirós
Category: Post-Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

Beautiful Sin follows three infertile couples in Costa Rica as they cope with that country’s unique ban on an assisted reproductive technique called in vitro fertilization (IVF). Costa Rica is the only country in the world that has outlawed this medical treatment. The protagonists chart the emotional journey on which infertility has taken them and tell a universal story about the yearning to have children, and what happens when this primal desire clashes with state power and religious beliefs.

Cruz Reynoso: A Man for All Seasons
Abby Ginzberg

Producer: Abby Ginzberg
Category: Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

Cruz Reynoso: A Man for All Seasons is a timely and unforgettable portrait of one of the nation’s unsung heroes – a man whose entire life has been devoted to fighting for equality and justice for all, from working in the fields as a youth to presiding on the California Supreme Court. Bridging cultures and generations, A Man for All Seasons charts the lifelong struggle for justice of a remarkable individual who attained one of the highest offices in our nation, while never forgetting those still waiting to be embraced by America’s promise of equality.

Latin Music USA
WGBH
Elizabeth Dean

Producer: WGBH/Elizabeth Dean/Adriana Bosch
Category: Post-Production
Genre: Documentary
4 Episodes/60 Minutes

From Latin Jazz to Salsa to Tejano and Latin Pop, Latino USA tells the story of the rise of new American music forged from powerful Latin roots and explores the influence of Latin music in jazz, hip hop, rhythm and blues and rock and roll. In four, hour-long films, the project focuses on the fresh, new hybrid sounds created by Latinos over the past half-century, musical fusions that have deeply enriched popular music in the U.S. It is an unprecedented and ambitious approach, reaching across time and across musical genres to create a narrative that embraces the breadth of Latino music and lecture in the U.S. over more than five decades.

Making Viva Max
Jim Mendiola
Faith Radle

Director/Producer: Jim Mendiola/Faith Radle
Category: Post-Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

During the Spring of 1969 a Hollywood movie crew arrived in San Antonio, Texas to make a comedy about the Alamo. In the film, Mexicans retake the “sacred shrine.” The Alamo’s official custodians, the blue-blooded Daughters of the Republic of Texas, were not amused and tried to halt production. And thus converged a national media battle that resulted in permanent and unintended social change.

Mariachi High
Ilana Trachtman

Director: Ilana Trachtman
Category: Post-Production
1 Episode/60 Minutes

Beginning with the beguiling awkwardness of high-stakes band auditions, through annual events like the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio, and up to prom, graduation and a summer quinceanera, Mariachi High captures a year in the life of top-ranked student musicians in “Mariachi Halcon,” the varsity-level championship ensemble at Zapata High School on the border of South Texas. The film follows the students as they move from school to stage in competitions that are fierce battlegrounds filled with the flash and fire of musical virtuosity and traje de charro dress, from intimate scenes with family at home to auctioning their hand raised cattle at the annual Zapata County Fair.

Marthas
Cristina Ibarra

Producer/Director: Cristina Ibarra
Category: Post-Production
1 Episode/60 Minutes

In Laredo, Texas, on the Mexican border, a regiment of dresses is made in honor our nation’s Founding Father. A year in the making, each dress costs $28,000 – the median family income of Laredo. For 114 years, the Society of Martha Washington has invited the most prominent young Latinas in town – las Marthas – to debut theses dresses on George Washington’s birthday at an annual Colonial Ball. Marthas follows several Society daughters, the dressmakers Linda Leyendecker Gutierrez, and the workers who labor behind the scenes, as they prepare for this extraordinary rite of passage. In February, the debutantes are presented in a month-long celebration (culminating in the Ball) that each year brings in $21 million. Still, how did Laredo – the capital of a separatist Republic back when Texas was annexed, and Mexicans were getting their land stolen and even lynched – eventually come to host the largest celebration in the country in honor of George Washington? By tracing the creation of gowns, layered with the chronological rise of the celebration, we deconstruct this long-standing Tejano tradition, and how it reveals the social and economic underpinnings of a conflicted Mexican American identity, searching for a way to belong.

Mexican Pipe Dream
David Ruiz Marquez

Producer: David Ruiz Marquez
Category: Research and Development
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/90 Minutes

Mexican Pipe Dream is the story of one man’s quest to overcome the hardships of his troubled youth in order to follow his dream of becoming one of the world’s most respected big wave surfers. At the age of eight, Mexico’s most reputable surfer, Carlos “Coco” Nogales, was a runaway sleeping under newspapers and selling gum in the streets of Mexico City. He saved his money and made his way to Puerto Escondido, a small fishing town where kids could ride surfboards on big waves. Since his arrival to Puerto Escondido, Coco has racked up more tube time, and ridden more deadly waves than virtually anyone, anywhere.

New Muslim Cool
Jennifer Maytorena Taylor

Producer: Jennifer Maytorena Taylor
Category: Outreach
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

New Muslim Cool follows a Puerto Rican-American Muslim hip-hop artist and his family facing life in post-9/11 America. This observational documentary’s three acts follow Jason “Hamza” Pérez as he works to build a religious community in Pittsburgh, seeks custody of his children after a failed first marriage, and marries Rafiah, a devout young woman from a conservative African American Muslim family. After the FBI raids their mosque, Hamza and Rafiah cope with the fear of losing their new family, and they forge unexpected friendships with Christian and Jewish allies.

Now en Español
Andrea Meller

Producer: Andrea Meller
Category: Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

Now en Español chronicles the experiences of a small group of Latina actresses working as dubbers in Hollywood while trying to find more prominent, on-screen roles. Among them, they are single mothers, divorcees and recent immigrants struggling to balance Hollywood dreams with the responsibilities of making rent and raising children. Through these portraits of Latina women living and working in Los Angeles, Now en Español examines the way Latinos are represented in the media and documents the transformation of a nation dealing with changes in culture, language and identity.

Our Women, Our Struggle
Melissa Montero

Producer: Melissa Montero
Category: Post-Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

Our Women, Our Struggle chronicles the lives of three Puerto Rican revolutionary women – Isabel Rosado, Lolita Lebron, and Dylcia Pagan – who dedicated their lives to the Puerto Rican independence movement. As a result, the women were subjected to FBI surveillance and each spent many years in prison. The women speak about their involvement in the historical struggle and the persecution they faced. These controversial women were labeled as a threat to society and national security yet were loved by their people, becoming a symbol of the island’s patriotism.

The Third Root
Reed Rickert

Producer: Reed Rickert
Category: Post-Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/90 Minutes

The Third Root follows Mexican guitarist Camilo Nu on a journey to discover the rich cultures embodied in the under-recognized roots of Mexican music. Traveling over three continents through Mexico, Spain and Morocco, Camilo engages with masters of Son Jarocho, Son Huasteca, Flamenco, Gnawa, Sufi, Andalusian, and Berber music, creating captivating new sounds fused by these traditions. Interviews with various roots music masters, important contemporary Mexican and world musicians, along with ethnomusicologists and historians, illuminate the under-appreciated historic cultural transactions that left an immense footprint in Mexico’s identity. Camilo and his new friends touch a place deep within the very essence of the human spirit that connects us all – a universal language that communicates beyond words and political borders and bridges the gap between any culture… the language of music.

Two Trinities
Sandra Guardado

Producer: Sandra Guardado
Category: Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

Two Trinities explores the Trinity Foundation and its leader Ole Anthony in their holy quest to bring down televangelists who prey on the poor and the desperate using the lure of the “heavenly lottery.” Recognized nationally in the media for its investigations of televangelists, the Trinity foundation has devoted itself for 20 years to expose the self-dealing empires and ultimately empty promises of televangelist preachers, while keeping their own mission of picking up the cross daily and helping others. Once again, the Trinity Foundation has been drawn into the center of controversy – an unprecedented Federal inquiry by a U.S. Senator into the finances of several high-profile televangelists. These unfolding events are stirring national debate on what it means to be a believer and what responsibilities religion has in American Society.

¿Donde Estan? The Disappeared Children of El Salvador
Maria Teresa Rodriguez
Kathryn Pyle

Producers: Maria Teresa Rodriguez/Kathryn Pyle
Category: Post-Production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

¿Dónde Están? The Disappeared Children of El Salvador is a documentary about children, now adults, who vanished during the Salvadoran civil war of the 1980′s. Many were survivors of massacres, taken from the scene by U.S. Trained soldiers of the Salvadoran Army, permanently separating them from their communities and their identities. Told through the eyes of three survivors who were separated from their families, the documentary reveals the protagonists’ effort to reclaim their lost identities in an El Salvador in transition from armed conflict. Through the stories of Jenny Wolf, Miguel Morales and Margarita Zamora, and the civil society organizations that support their quest, ¿D&oactue;nde Están? The Disappeared Children of El Salvador asks the larger question: How does a society heal itself from the scars of a civil war?

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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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