'Granito: How to Nail a Dictator', 'Precious Knowledge' and 'El Velador' Screening at the 2012 CineFestival


CineFestival 2012 kicks off Friday, February 25, 2012, and features screenings, workshops, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and gala celebrations. The LPB funded films GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOREL VELADOR andPRECIOUS KNOWLEDGE have been selected to screen in what is recognized as the nation’s longest-running Latino film festival. PRECIOUS KNOWLEDGE will be awarded the Premio Mesquite for Best Documentary at the festival. Congratulations Ari Luis Palos & Eren Isabel McGinnis! For more information about CineFestival and for a complete schedule, please visit: www.guadalupeculturalarts.org/cinesch.html.

Producer: Paco de Onis
Director: Pamela Yates
Documentary/103 Minutes
Screening Sunday, February 26th at 1pm 

GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR is a story of destinies joined by Guatemala’s past, and how a documentary film intertwined with a nation’s turbulent history emerges as an active player in the present. In GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR our characters sift for clues buried in archives of mind and place and historical memory, seeking to uncover a narrative that could unlock the past and settle matters of life and death in the present. Each of the five main characters whose destinies collide in GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR are connected by the Guatemala of 1982, then engulfed in a war where a genocidal “scorched earth” campaign by the military exterminated nearly 200,000 Maya people. Now, 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: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR is a co-production of Skylight Pictures, Inc. and Independent Television Service (ITVS), produced in association with Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), with funding provided by Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). For more information about the film, please visit the filmmaker’s website at: www.skylightpictures.com/films/granito.

Director: Natalia Almada
Documentary/72 Minutes
Screening Wednesday, February 29th at 6pm  

Director Natalia Almada follows Martin, the night watchman of one of the most ornate cemeteries in northern Mexico, where drug lords and corrupt cops are laid to rest. A documentary spawned from violence, EL VELADOR shows the end result of a chronic societal crisis. But Almada’s approach is poetic, not sociological, filled with striking surreal images of elaborate mausoleums that disrupt the pastoral landscape. As the cemetery, filled with widows tending to their husband’s shrines, constantly expands, the dreamlike quality of Almada’s filmmaking creates a disembodied atmosphere where the poor and living labor day and night for the rich deceased. For more information about the film, please visit the filmmaker’s website at: www.altamurafilms.com/el_velador.html.

Director: Ari Luis Palos
Producer: Eren Isabel McGinnis
Documentary/90 Minutes
Screening Saturday, March 3rd at 11am 

PRECIOUS KNOWLEDGE interweaves the transformative stories of students in the Mexican American Studies Program at Tucson High School. The program has become a model of educational success with 100% of their students graduating from high school and 82% attending college. We filmed their social justice throughout an entire school year to document disenfranchised youth becoming engaged, informed and active Chicanos. However, Arizona lawmakers believe the students are being indoctrinated with dangerous ideology and that the classes teach anti-American, anti-capitalist destructive ethnic chauvinism.

PRECIOUS KNOWLEDGE is a co-production of Dos Vatos Productions and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), produced in association withLatino Public Broadcasting (LPB) and Arizona Public Media, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). For more information about the film, please visit the filmmaker’s website at: www.dosvatos.com/InProduction.


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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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