Los Angeles, CA (February 7, 2023) – Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) today announced its latest round of projects selected for funding. Included are two projects by the Current Issues Fund, which supports films that explore contemporary social justice issues and have potential for civic dialogue beyond broadcast. The remaining projects are supported by LPB’s Public Media Content Fund and Digital Media Fund.
“We’re pleased to be providing funding this year for both new filmmakers as well as some LPB veterans,” said Sandie Viquez Pedlow, executive director of Latino Public Broadcasting. “This year’s awardees include acclaimed and award-winning filmmakers, such as Lourdes Portillo and Hector Galán, as well as first-time makers working in both film and digital. From New York to California, from Texas to Puerto Rico to Venezuela, these works offer an up-to-the-minute look at the rich and complex breadth of the Latino experience from a uniquely Latino perspective.”
The awardees are:
CURRENT ISSUES FUND
Laura Pacheco (Producer, Director) and Jackie Mow (Producer, Director, DP)
Can an undocumented high school kid with good grades realize his dream of succeeding in college? Or will the challenges that come with a lifetime of living in the shadows hold him back? Beyond Salinas follows Jose Anzaldo from age eight to 19 as he navigates homelessness, poverty, immigration status, and a global pandemic. Are these life skills enough to get him through college?
The People vs. Austerity/El Pueblo vs. La Austeridad
Gretchen Hildebran (Co-Director, Co-Producer) and Vivian Vázquez Irizarry (Co-Director, Producer, Writer)
Across Puerto Rico, fiscal control measures have circumvented democracy to impose austerity, an economic program that slashes essential public services to pay off dubious debts. Alongside activists and investigative journalists, filmmaker Vivian Vázquez Irizarry exposes austerity’s hidden agenda, from 1970s NYC to Detroit to Puerto Rico today, documenting communities that struggle to survive while challenging the terms of the debt and demanding accountability from those who profit.
PUBLIC MEDIA CONTENT FUND
Leandro Fabrizi Rios (Director, Writer, Producer) and Neyda Martinez (Producer) Funding: Post-Production
Tucked into the rural coffee-growing mountainside of remote western Puerto Rico is the tiny hamlet of Bartolo. It is home to an isolated agricultural community of just 12 families, landless and chronically impoverished, and longing for a new start following catastrophic climate events. The community seizes on a chance for a new beginning when a veteran organizer from out of town arrives with a radical new plan.
Evy Galan (Producer) and Hector Galan (Director, Producer)
On a spring April day in 2021, young Latinos, led by community leader Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, enter the Texas State Capitol and from the top of the Rotunda release 270,000 rose petals to symbolize the 270,000 Latino Texans who turn 18 each year and are eligible to vote. This action is but one of many as they organize to get out the vote for the upcoming 2024 Presidential election. The story of a changing state, Battleground Texas takes viewers inside the largest Latino voter registration mobilization in Texas history, led by a new generation on the frontlines of one of the most crucial battleground states that neither political party can ignore.
Isaac Artenstein (Producer) and Alejandro Meter (Director)
Border Noir is a cinematic journey along the U.S.–Mexico border featuring crime writers on both sides, working in a popular genre that reflects multiple and nuanced perspectives on immigration, sexuality, national identity, and globalization, while embracing a search for authenticity and justice.
Paquito D’Rivera: From Carne y Frijol to Carnegie Hall
Juan Mandelbaum (Director, Producer)
Paquito D’Rivera: From Carne y Frijol to Carnegie Hall tells the story of a superior clarinetist, saxophone player, and composer who also happens to be a great entertainer. His is a
quintessentially American story — the exiled Cuban immigrant who becomes a 14-time GRAMMY winner. Paquito is constantly exploring a wide variety of musical styles and collaborators, from pianist Chucho Valdés to cellist Yo-Yo Ma — always with his trademark blend of a razor-sharp musical mind, irreverent humor, and impeccable technique.
Remembering to Forget
Juan Carlos Zaldívar (Director)
Funding: Research & Development
Remembering to Forget follows filmmaker/artist Juan Carlos Zaldivar, who is walking the dementia journey with his mother. Refusing to follow the typically harrowing “dementia journey,” Zaldívar brings his mother back home from a care facility, joining a movement of trailblazers from around the world aiming to finally turn the page on our outmoded, stigmatized methods of treatment.
The Game Plan
Mylène Moreno (Director, Producer)
The Game Plan is a feature-length documentary about female junior college student athletes leveraging their soccer skills, wit, and drive to launch their lives. These futbolistas of Orange County’s Fullerton College are mostly low-income women of color, swimming against the tide and learning to manage adversity and juggle soccer balls, jobs, school, and their plans to get to the next level.
My Father’s Prison
Iván Simonovis (Director)
The son of a Venezuelan political prisoner tells the story of his father’s imprisonment. As both family and country fall apart, the father plots a risky escape.
DIGITAL MEDIA FUND
Annabel, TikTok Dancer
Ida Joglar (Director) and Amity Hoffman (Producer, Co-writer)
Funding: Digital Media
Annabel Hernandez, a young woman with Down syndrome, shares her love of performing and her unique perspective on life. This short film is at once an intimate portrait and a creative collaboration between the filmmakers and Annabel.
Flower of Anger
Edwin Alexis Gomez (Writer, Director, Producer) and Evelyn Angelica Martinez (Producer)
Funding: Digital Media
In this surrealist drama, a spirit visits a flower shop in the winter of 1999; a mother reveals how her partner died while her son grapples with a secret of his own
Looking at Ourselves (w.t.)
Lourdes Portillo (Director, Producer)
Funding: Digital Media
This creative documentary by award-winning filmmaker Lourdes Portillo is a journey through memory and time with performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña. The film explores what drives Gómez-Peña (and, by extension, other artists) to cross borders of all kinds, and how immigrant artists specifically take on the challenge of moving forward in a new geographical, psychological, and artistic space to create their legacy.
Bree Nieves (Director)
Funding: Digital Media
A reflection on a woman’s bittersweet relationship with her mother, as she becomes a mother herself.
Each year LPB invites independent filmmakers to submit proposals for R&D, production and post-production support. Submissions are reviewed by LPB and a group of public media professionals, including journalists, independent filmmakers, and executives from national organizations. For more information, visit lpbp.org.
Photos (clockwise from top left): THE GAME PLAN; REMEMBERING TO FORGET (courtesy of Juan Carlos Zaldivar); PAQUITO D’RIVERA: FROM CARNE & FRIJOL TO CARNEGIE HALL (credit: Ricardo Rios); BORDER NOIR; BARTOLO; BATTLEGROUND TEXAS (credit: Alejandro Moreno-Alanis); ANNABEL, TIKTOK DANCER (courtesy of Lifeboat Creative); THE PEOPLE VS. AUSTERITY (credit: Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi/Defend Puerto Rico); STRETCH MARKS (credit: Sarah Beth Morgan & Caresse Haaser).