2011 Awarded Projects


Bienvenida Matias/Sonia Gonzalez-Martinez/Tami Gold

Producer/Director: Bienvenida Matías
Category: Production
1 Episode/60 Minutes

More than a bragging right, the Coquito Master contest gives a platform to Puerto Ricans from diverse backgrounds – and with recipes that are closely guarded family secrets – to keep alive the making of this traditional Christmas drink, and along with this show the changing faces of Puerto Rican culture. Coquito is a metaphor for cultural longing that many Puerto Ricans in the diaspora feel for the island they left behind. Debbie Quiñones, the Coquito Contessa and founder of the International Coquito Federation, holds court as she with the panel of distinguished judges, crown the Coquito Master winner.

Bienvenida Matias/Sonia Gonzalez-Martinez/Tami Gold

Producers: Bienvenida Matias/Sonia Gonzalez-Martinez/Tami Gold
Category: Research & Development
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

More than bragging rights, the Coquito Master contest gives a platform to Puerto Ricans from diverse backgrounds – and with recipes that are closely guarded family secrets – to keep alive the making of this traditional Christmas drink, and along with this show how the changing faces of Puerto Rican culture. Coquito is a metaphor for a cultural longing that many Puerto Ricans in the diaspora feel for the island they left behind. Debbie Quiñones, the Coquito Contessa and founder of the International Coquito Federation, holds court as she with the panel of distinguish judges, crown the Coquito Master winner.

Children of Giant
Hector Galan

Producer/Director: Hector Galan
Category: Post-production
Genre: Documentary
1 Episode/60 Minutes

Children of Giant exposes the events and emotions that transformed the small town of Marfa, Texas (the film site of George Steven’s epic Giant) during and beyond Anglo/Latino segregation, through the voices of the individuals who experienced it firsthand.

For 75 years, Blackwell School in Marfa, Texas exclusively served Latino students. The deteriorating building and stringent learning conditions for the students typified the disparity and racism between whites and Mexican Americans. The school itself both resulted from and perpetuated de facto segregation in terms of class and race. This film will look at the years leading up to and following its disbanding in 1965 when the Latino students were told to pick up their desks and carry them across tracks to the Anglo school. Using clips from the locally filmed Hollywood feature film Giant (George Stevens, 1956), Children of Giant will explore whether Marfa, like so many towns throughout the Southwest, has truly achieved success in integration.

Escaramuza: Riding from the Heart

Producer/Director: Robin Rosenthal/Bill Yahraus
Category: Post-Production
1 Episode/90 Minutes

Escaramuza Charra Las Azaleas are a gutsy team of women rodeo riders vying to represent the U.S. at the National Charro Championships in Mexico—where “to be Charro is to be Mexican.” Escaramuza, or skirmish, describes both their daredevil horseback ballets, ridden sidesaddle at top speed, and the intensity of their competition season. Neither life-altering challenges at home nor cartel violence across the border can keep Las Azaleas from their goal. The documentary explores the ways their identities as first-generation Mexican Americans are shaped by the values of their traditional equestrian culture.

Farewell, Ferris Wheel
Miguel Martinez
Jamie Sisley

Producer/Director: Jamie Sisley
Co-director: Miguel Martinez
Category: Post-Production
1 Episode/60 Minutes

Almost 80% of all carnival labor is foreign labor. Nearly 30% of the workforce comes from Tlapacoyan, a small town located in the foothills of central Mexico. Farewell, Ferris Wheel will illustrate the immense complexities that the American carnival industry and its workers face in order to legally navigate the U.S. immigration system with the H-2B seasonal work visa. Through a series of character-driven stories, the film examines the escalating tension surrounding the H-2B and it’s far-reaching impact on American commerce, the town of Tlapacoyan, and the debate surrounding comprehensive immigration reform.

Lezama Lima, Una Sensible Pérdida
Adriana Bosch

Producer/Director: Adriana Bosch
Category: Development
1 Episode/90 Minutes

Una Sensible Pérdida (A Regretful Loss) pivots around selections from nearly 100 letters written by Lezama Lima between 1961 and 1976 to his sister Eloisa, living in exile, first in Puerto Rico and later in Miami. The letters detail the withering of the life and spirit of a literary master, José Lezama Lima, one of the most prominent, but certainly not the only victim of the most transforming, yet most intolerant years in the history of revolutionary Cuba. Uniting the letters with Lezama’s readings and the voices of witnesses, writers and historians, the documentary is part biography and part cultural history, as it reconstructs the life of a Latino American literary and his contribution to the construction of Latino American culture in the Twentieth Century. In its essence the story is a tragedy, not only a personal tragedy, but also a national tragedy. It is a window into a time in the history of the Cuban Revolution when lives were lost, families torn, reputations ruined and careers cut short. This is an era that has been long overlooked and often ignored; one that most Cuban intellectuals today, and even Fidel Castro, reflecting the more tolerant approach that has gradually developed toward artistic freedom and homosexuality that is evident in today’s Cuba, recently referred to, as “a time of great injustices.”

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.

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.

Son Siglos
Marco Villalobos
Daffodil Altan

Producers/Directors: Marco Villalobos/Daffodil Altan
Category: Production
1 Episode/60 Minutes

Son Siglos tells the story of three direct inheritors of son jarocho, Mexico’s oldest musical tradition, but where and at what costs? Separated from their families to chase their dreams, Rubí Osegura becomes the first female direct descendant to produce and direct a full-scale jarocho production but she cannot get the funding for the production in Veracruz, son jarocho’s birthplace. Noé Gonzalez avoids the slow decline he observes in his family’s musicality when they’re forced to play for tourists in Cancun, and sets out on his own to earn the international recognition and reputation he feels he deserves. José Luis Utrera leaves his land-devoted, musical family in Veracruz to cross into the U.S. illegally, and inadvertently finds a way to financially support himself via his family’s musical tradition.

Tales From a Ghetto Klown
Benjamin DeJesus

Producer/Director: Benjamin DeJesus
Category: Post-Production
1 Episode/90 Minutes

Tales From a Ghetto Klown profiles the renowned actor/playwright John Leguizamo and his unorthodox rise to success, while capturing his struggles to mount his latest one-man show on Broadway. When it comes to opening up about your life, most normal people prefer to speak to their close friends, family or even a therapist. But when John Leguizamo bares his soul, he chooses one of the most public venues of all – the Broadway stage. For the fifth time in his career, the respected actor and all around funnyman has chosen to share tales from his life – chancletas and all – in his new one man show Ghetto Klown. Far from his Colombian/Nuyorican roots in the melting pot mofongo of Jackson Heights, John’s latest opus sheds light on his days as an outsider on some of the most exclusive sets in Hollywood. But before John Leguizamo can celebrate his latest triumph, he and his team have to navigate the seemingly endless obstacles they face in mounting a Broadway show. From securing a suitable (and available!) theater to out-of-town tryouts, last minute tweaks and aggressive marketing plans, Tales from a Ghetto Klown is a profile of John Leguizamo as an artist, writer and bi-cultural phenomenon. Intercut with the making of Ghetto Klown on Broadway, the documentary also features intimate interviews with colleagues, family, friends, celebrities and John himself, revealing his journey from the ghetto to a respected place as one of the most unique voices in American theater.

The Silence of Others

Producer/Director: Almudena Carracedo
Category: Development
1 Episode/90 Minutes

It is estimated that 200,000 babies were stolen in Spain between 1936 and the 1990’s in an attempt to “improve the Spanish race” and eliminate “leftists”. The Silence of Others will follow these children and families as, for the first time, they search for loved ones and confront the perpetrators. Their stories will be juxtaposed with the director’s personal meditation as a new mother and a daughter of Spain’s silent transition from dictatorship to democracy. The story has implications far beyond Spain because Spain’s transition has been used as a model in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, it influenced Eastern Europe’s 1989 “Autumn of the Peoples” and it has even been proposed as a model for the transitions that may follow the “Arab Spring.” Through deeply human stories, The Silence of Others will offer a cautionary tale about the “Spanish model” of transitional justice and will explore the director’s country’s grief, its transition and its ongoing division.

The State of Arizona

Co-Director/Producer: Carlos Sandoval
Co-Director/Producer: Catherine Tambini
Category: Post-production
Genre: Documentary 1 Episode/90 Minutes

The State of Arizona chronicles the passing of the controversial immigration law SB1070, also known as the “papers please” law that ignited a national maelstrom in Arizona and around the country. Combining interviews with footage of heated protest rallies and television coverage, the film tells the stories of Arizonans on all sides of this divisive issue depicting a state and its people testing the edges of our democratic values. With dozens of states considering a similar approach, The State of Arizona holds up a mirror, asking Americans who they are, and who they want to be.

Digital Media

Frontera! Animated Histories of the Southwest Borderlands
John Jota Leaños

Producer/Writer: John Jota Leaños
3 Webisodes/10 Minutes

Frontera! Animated Histories of the Southwest Borderlands, a series of animated documentary shorts, traces the complex social history of southwest borderlands, of the United States, along four major river systems – the Río Grande, the Colorado, the Mississippi and the Sacramento Rivers – to document critical, but marginalized moments of a contested border region. Laced together with a musical narrative approach sung by a chorus of contemporary Mariachi, the webisodic series of three, ten-minute documentary animations begins with Frontera! The Making of the Southwest Borderlands, a remapping of centuries of migration, settlement and conflict along major rivers in North America. The second episode, Black Legend: Rebellion on the Río Grande, traces two Indigenous uprisings in New Mexico: the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and the assassination of the first American governor of New Mexico, Charles Bent, in 1847. The third chapter, Eureka! Gold on the Sacramento River, tells the story of Sutter’s Fort along the Sacramento River and the social and environmental consequences of the Gold Rush. Frontera! offers new perspectives on immigration, racial tension, nationhood and the formation of southwest borderlands where the culture and heritage of America remains contested yet deeply connected.

Nuestro Mundo, Mi Voz
Amie Williams
Kamala Lopez

Producers/Directors: Amie Williams/Kamala Lopez
10 Webisodes/3 Minutes

Nuestro Mundo, Mi Voz is an engaging, ten part interactive new media webisode series produced with the one tool every teenage girl cannot do without – the cellphone. The series will be a compilation of community-based news stories, blogs, vlogs and youth savvy magazine-style reports about life as a young Latina navigating and narrating her life as she sees it reflected (or not) in new media

Community Engagement

Granito: Every Memory Matters
Paco de Onis
Pamela Yates

Producer: Paco de Onis
Director: Pamela Yates
1 Episode/60 Minutes

Sometimes a film makes history; it doesn’t just document it. So it is with Granito: How to Nail a Dictator. Part political thriller, part memoir, Granito transports us back in time through a riveting, haunting tale of genocide and returns to the present with a cast of characters joined by destiny and the quest to bring a malevolent dictator to justice. As if a watchful Maya god were weaving back together threads of a story unraveled by the passage of time, forgotten by most, our characters become integral to the overarching narrative of wrongs done and justice sought that they have pieced together, each adding their granito, their tiny grain of sand, to the epic tale. Granito: Every Memory Matters will implement a multi-platform approach to the documentary by facilitating an intergenerational exchange to awaken and restore the collective memory of Guatemala through an online public archive.

Justice for My Sister
Kimberly Bautista

Producer/Director: Kimberly Bautista
1 Episode/70 Minutes

Adela, 27, left home for work one day and never returned. Her ex-boyfriend brutally murdered her. Her story is all too familiar in Guatemala, where nearly 6000 women have been murdered in the last decade; only 2% of the killers were sentenced. Determined to bring Adela’s killer to justice, her sister Rebeca, 34, takes on Guatemala’s notoriously corrupt legal system. Completely transformed by her two-year-long fight, Rebeca emerges as a feminist leader in her rural community with a message for others: justice is possible. The community engagement campaign seeks to help women take action for justice through community screenings, an interactive map and website and a text message based hotline known as the Texting Peace project.

TRUST: Second Acts in Young Lives
Nancy Kelly

Producer/Director: Nancy Kelly
1 Episode/60 Minutes

TRUST begins in a smaller theater as a group of teenage actors receive a standing ovation. The film then takes us back to the beginning, when Marlin, an 18-year-old Hondureña shares a little bit about her childhood with the company. It is a traumatic story. Amazing things unfold as the young, mostly Latino, actors of Chicago’s Albany Park Theater Project (APTP) transform the story into a daring, original play. TRUST is about creativity and the unexpected resources inside people who are often discounted because they are poor, young, or of color. Located in one of America’s most diverse communities, APTP is a neighborhood theater project dedicated to helping young people re-imagine their experiences on stage. Marlin’s story is about resilience: she endured rape as a young girl, survived a harsh and difficult journey from Honduras to the U.S., suffered further abuse at the hands of her own brother, and overcame substance addiction. Through theater, she re-claims the narrative of her life story. A multi-platform engagement campaign will include an interactive website, bilingual engagement tool kit and discussion guide and community screenings.

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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. Latino Public Broadcasting is a registered 501(c)(3), EIN: 95-4776447.
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