Presented by Latino Public Broadcasting, Bertie the Brilliant follows the story of a young boy, Bertie, who lives with his grandmother. Upon learning that his favorite drag king magician, Maya the Magnificent, will be performing for one-night only, Bertie begins picking up some light work to save up for his ticket. After an unfortunate turn of events, Bertie’s grandmother is fired from her job and Bertie is left with a difficult decision – support his grandmother or see Maya the Magnificent.
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“I wanted Latinos to watch Bertie the Brilliant and see themselves represented in a film that was bright, uplifting and empowering for the entire family. I think it’s important for families (specifically BIPOC families) to see positive representations of supportive family members on screen and I think it’s super important for children to see positive representations of other children expressing themselves freely. I wanted to offer my community a grounded, authentic story, that was elevated by style and artistry, and I hope that they enjoy it.” says director Gabriela Garcia Medina.
Growing up as a Cuban immigrant in a working-class family, director Gabriela Garcia Medina saw how hard her parents worked to give her a comfortable life, and to Medina this was magic. Medina’s greatest inspiration was her younger cousin who grew up in Cuba in the 90s when food was difficult to come by. After saving up for months for a hotdog, a luxury at the time, her younger cousin opted to instead buy her great grandparents a carton of milk rather than spend the money on herself. Glossy with a dash of grit, Medina delivers a heartwarming story that we all relate to in one way or another.
“We are honored to present Bertie the Brilliant at this years’ PBS Short Film Festival,” says Sandie Viquez Pedlow, LPB Executive Director. “It has always been our mission to lift up stories like this that showcase the beauty and strength of our community and celebrate the uniqueness within it.”
The PBS Short Film Festival is part of a multiplatform initiative to increase the reach and visibility of independent filmmakers and to provide a showcase for diverse storytelling that both inspires and engages. The festival features 23 short-form independent films presented in six categories: culture, environment, family, identity, society and inspiration.
About Latino Public Broadcasting
Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) is the leader in the development, production, acquisition and distribution of film and digital 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 media entities. Providing a voice for the diverse Latino community throughout the United States, Latino Public Broadcasting is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. LPB also produces the acclaimed PBS documentary series VOCES, featuring the best of Latino arts, culture and history. Devoted to exploring the rich diversity of the Latino experience, VOCES presents new and established filmmakers and brings their powerful and illuminating stories to a national audience — on TV, online and on the PBS Aapp.
Over the years, LPB programs won over 125 awards, including three prestigious George Foster Peabody Awards as well as Emmys, Imagen Awards and the Sundance Film Festival Award for Best Director, Documentary. LPB has been the recipient of the Norman Lear Legacy Award and the NCLR Alma Award for Special Achievement – Year in Documentaries. Sandie Viquez Pedlow is executive director of LPB; Edward James Olmos is co-founder and chairman.
About PBS Short Film Festival
Since its inception in 2012, the PBS Short Film Festival, formerly called the PBS Online Film Festival, has showcased independent films of all genres. The festival, now in its eleventh year, features short films created by PBS member stations, ITVS, POV and a wide variety of public television producers. Each year the films highlight topics like social injustice, religion, addiction, public policy, love and other subjects inspiring to the filmmakers. Throughout the festival, viewers can watch, love and share their favorite films on a variety of platforms. At the close of the festival, a prize is awarded to the film chosen by the hand-picked jury. The 2023 PBS Short Film Festival represents a celebration of independent films and filmmaking, and a love for the craft. For more information, visit www.pbs.org/filmfestival.
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 42 million adults on linear primetime television, more than 15 million users on PBS-owned streaming platforms, and 56 million people view PBS content on social media, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature, and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS LearningMedia for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. As the number one educational media brand, PBS KIDS helps children 2-8 build critical skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality content on TV — including a PBS KIDS channel — and streaming free on pbskids.org and the PBS KIDS Video app, games on the PBS KIDS Games app, and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, Facebook, Instagram, or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Communications on Twitter.