With the intention of documenting stories of inspiration and justice, Madeleine Blair and Betty Bastidas founded Maracuya Productions with the hope to bring about change. Their short “Can’t Hold Me Back”, a part of the American Graduate initiative, is currently streaming as part of the PBS Online Film Festival.
Watch 2013 Festival | Can’t Hold Me Back on PBS. See more from PBS Online Film Festival.
Launched in November 2012 by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), American Graduate Latino provides the core American Graduate initiative with broadcasts and online programming in both Spanish and English to engage viewers, teachers, and community leaders in identifying and implementing solutions to the high school dropout crisis. The initiative captures how Latino students are currently doing within the American education system, giving viewers a true visual of their experience and future.
Can’t Hold Me Back follows Fernando Parraz as he becomes the first in his family to earn a high school diploma, which is his ticket out of the struggles of inner-city poverty and violence. With a mountain of roadblocks stacked against his educational achievement, Fernando finds support from an unlikely figure: his father — a former gangster who has suffered the costs of his own mistakes.
Be sure to catch Can’t Hold Me Back and participate in the 2013 People’s Choice Winner by voting for this video.