“Visually glorious… a well-made look at the human side of carnivals.” – The Hollywood Reporter
(Los Angeles, CA) – Travelling carnivals have a magical place in the American imagination, evoking memories of family fun and hot summer nights. But rising expenses and changes in U.S. labor patterns have driven this once beloved tradition to the point of extinction. Farewell Ferris Wheel puts a human face on the struggles of a business trying to stay alive by employing Mexican migrant workers through the controversial H-2B visa program – and the difficult conditions those workers toil under. A film by Jamie Sisley and Miguel “M.i.G.” Martinez, Farewell Ferris Wheel premieres in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month on the WORLD Channel series “AMERICA REFRAMED” on Tuesday, October 10 @ 8p ET/9p PT (check local listings.) The program will be available to stream for free across the U.S. starting October 11th. AMERICA REFRAMED can be accessed online at http://worldchannel.org/programs/america-reframed/ and, https://www.facebook.com/AmericaReFramed https://www.facebook.com/WorldChannel @americareframed @worldchannel
Today, eighty percent of all carnival workers are Mexican citizens who legally travel north for the eight-month season, and then return home. Astonishingly, one third of the workers come from the same small town – Tlapacoyan, Veracruz. Filmed over the course of six years, Farewell Ferris Wheel explores the complex ramifications of the H-2B guestworker visa program by following the struggling carnival owners who use it, the broker who act as a middleman between the workers and the owners, and the laborers themselves. These men, who work long hours in often appalling conditions are the ones who assemble and run the carnival attractions as they move from town to town – toiling largely unnoticed by the boisterous crowds.
About the Filmmakers
Jamie Sisley’s (Producer/Co-Director) narrative short film, Stay Awake, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, won the Jury Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival, and received the National Board of Review Short Film Prize. Jamie earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, and an M.F.A. in Film from Columbia University and is now in development to direct his first narrative feature based on Stay Awake.
Miguel “M.i.G.” Martinez’s (Co-Producer/Co-Director) originates from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico but now resides in Washington, DC. He is currently collaborating on a series of music videos with Grammy Award winners, Ozomatli and Orishas while pursuing his passion for photography with artists like Carlos Santana.
About Latino Public Broadcasting
Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) is the leader in 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 public broadcasting stations and other public telecommunication entities. Latino Public Broadcasting provides a voice to the diverse Latino community throughout the United States and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Latino Public Broadcasting produces the series VOCES, PBS’s signature Latino arts and culture documentary showcase and the only ongoing national television series devoted to exploring and celebrating the rich diversity of the Latino cultural experience. Between 2009 and 2016, LPB programs won over 85 awards, including the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award as well as two Emmys, two Imagen Awards and the Sundance Film Festival Award for Best Director, Documentary. In addition, LPB has been the recipient of the Norman Lear Legacy Award and the NCLR Alma Award for Special Achievement – Year in Documentaries. For more information, visit www.lpbp.org.
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