Projects include a new biography of actor Raul Juliá, a look at Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s years in Detroit, portraits of undocumented workers in America and more

Los Angeles, CA (January 4, 2016) – Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), a non-profit organization funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, announces ten newly funded programs as part of its 2016 Public Media Content Fund. The initiative invites independent producers to submit proposals on Latino-themed programs, series and digital projects for funding consideration.

“LPB is extremely pleased to support the work of this year’s talented group of filmmakers who give voice and shine a light on the multitude of stories that define the Latino experience. These ten projects, which include both full-length documentaries and innovative projects for the web, span the breadth of America, from New York to California to Texas, as well as Latin America. Now more than ever, we look forward to working with these producers to bring these important stories to the American public on PBS,” said Sandie Viquez Pedlow, executive director of Latino Public Broadcasting.

Every year LPB invites independent filmmakers to submit proposals in various stages, from research and development, to production, post-production and digital. All proposals are reviewed by a group of public media professionals, station programmers, independent filmmakers, academics, and executives from funding organizations.

This year, ten projects were selected for funding. The line-up includes both established and emerging filmmakers and more than half of the funded producers are women.

The 2016 awarded projects (alphabetically) are as follows:

18 Bakers
Director/Producer: Andrew Bracken
Category: Digital Media; 20 Webisodes/3 Minutes

18 Bakers is a unique interactive web project about the 2008 immigration raid on the French Gourmet, a popular restaurant and bakery in San Diego, during which 18 restaurant workers were arrested, many of whom had been living in San Diego for years. The case quickly became national news, highlighting an effort by the federal government to crack down on employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers. Lost in the media glare of the case was the plight of those arrested. Using an innovative format built for the web, 18 Bakers will tell the story of the raid within the larger issue of immigration.

Director/Producer: Adelina Anthony
Category: Digital Media; 1 Episode/10 Minutes

Amigas is a digital short film about an elderly Latina lesbian’s fight for love that uses heart and humor to explore a story at the intersection of LGBTQ and elder rights.

Building the American Dream
Director/Producer: Chelsea Hernandez
Category: Post-Production; 1 Episode/60 Minutes

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and construction is no exception: it’s a $72 billion dollar industry but beneath the so-called recession proof “Texas Miracle” lies an uncomfortable truth. Building the American Dream tells the stories of the virtually invisible undocumented construction workers upon whose hard labor the boom is built and introduces Cristina Tzintzún, an uncompromising young female voice in the labor movement leading the fight for basic rights and safety conditions.

Cocaine Prison
Producer: Redelia Shaw
Director/Writer: Violeta Ayala
Producer, DOP and Editor: Dan Fallshaw
Category: Post-Production; 1 Episode/90 Minutes

Shot in Bolivia over the course of five years, Cocaine Prison offers a unique take on the ongoing war on drugs through the journeys of three people at the lowest rank of the international drug trade – a cocaine worker, a drug mule, and his young sister. Partially filmed inside a Bolivian prison, this revealing film offers a fresh perspective on the race and class injustices of the drug war.

Diego & Frida in Detroit
Director: Grace Raso
Category: Production; 1 Episode/90 Minutes

Diego & Frida in Detroit explores the life and art of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo during their time in 1930s Detroit, a critical turning point in both their artistic careers, and the indelible impression they left on the cultural identity and political history of the city and its people.

Perfectly Normal for Me
Director/Producer: Catherine Tambini
Producer: Elizabeth Hemmerdinger
Category: Post-Production; 1 Episode/60 Minutes

Every week Alexandria, Jake, Caitlin and Veronica attend Dancing Dreams, an after-school program in Queens, NY. The program combines physical therapy with the pleasures of a dance class for a diverse group of exceptional children who show us a thing or two about determination, perseverance, joy and the satisfaction of really being seen in a world often blind to their very existence.

Raúl Juliá: The World’s a Stage
Director/Producer: Benjamin DeJesus
Category: Production; 1 Episode/60 Minutes

Raúl Juliá: The World’s a Stage is a revealing portrait of the brilliant, charismatic actor who earned recognition for his dynamic work on stage and screen before his life was tragically cut short. Raúl’s journey from acting on local stages in his native Puerto Rico to prominence on Broadway and in Hollywood is one of passion, determination, and a bit of magic – all qualities for which his performances were known.

Stepping Up (working title)
Director/Producer: Juliane Dressner
Category: Post-Production; 1 Episode/90 Minutes

Karoline, a Dominican immigrant, and Christine, the daughter of Dominican immigrants, dream of being the first in their families to go to college and are determined to bring their peers with them. As peer college counselors in low-performing, highly segregated schools in New York City, they have taken it upon themselves to close the achievement gap, guiding their friends through the college process as they are applying themselves.

The Rise & Fall of the Brown Buffalo
Director/Producer: Phillip Rodriguez
Category: Production; 1 Episode/60 Minutes

From his early years in Jim Crow-era California to his mysterious disappearance off the coast of Mexico in 1974 at the age of 39, this film explores the life of lawyer, writer, and activist Oscar Zeta Acosta, one of the most enigmatic figures in U.S. counterculture and Latino history. From attorney and spokesman for L.A.’s Chicano movement to his collaboration and volatile friendship with journalist Hunter S. Thompson, from his days as a Baptist preacher in the jungles of Panama to the prisons and courtrooms of East L.A., from radical chic cocktail parties in the Hollywood Hills to narco trafficking in a coastal Mexican town, Acosta’s life is a fascinating untold story.

The Silence of Others
Co-Director/Co-Producer: Almudena Carracedo
Co-Director/Co-Producer: Robert Bahar
Category: Post-Production; 1 Episode/60 Minutes

The Silence of Others portrays the first attempt in history to prosecute crimes perpetrated in Spain under the 40-year dictatorship of Franco. In a groundbreaking international court case, victims of cases of stolen children, re-education camps, torture and extrajudicial killings have come together to break their silence and confront perpetrators who, unbeknownst to much of the world, have enjoyed impunity for decades.


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’ 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 have won over 85 awards, including the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award as well as two Emmys, two Imagen Awards and the Sundance Grand Jury Prize.  In addition, LPB has been the recipient of the Norman Lear Legacy Award and the NCLR Alma Award for Special Achievement.


Luis Ortiz, Managing Director
Latino Public Broadcasting

About Us
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. Latino Public Broadcasting is a registered 501(c)(3), EIN: 95-4776447.
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