Series Features Films about Celia Cruz, Tito Puente and More
Premieres Fall 2009 on National Public Television
Films also Available for Online Viewing at www.voces.tv
(Los Angeles, CA) Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) announced today that the new season of their signature series VOCES, a showcase of outstanding documentaries celebrating the rich diversity of Latino life, will be presented on national public television beginning in September 2009, in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month. Featuring films about musical legends Tito Puente and Celia Cruz and documentaries about subjects ranging from the Puerto Rican activist Antonia Pantoja to Mexican “guest workers” to a unique soccer league made up of former stars from Latin America, VOCES is a presentation of Latino Public Broadcasting and is distributed by American Public Television. Luis Ortiz, Managing Director of Latino Public Broadcasting, is Series Producer, and Gabriela Gonzalez at LPB is Associate Producer. In addition to the public television broadcast, the eight VOCES films will be available for online viewing on their broadcast premiere dates on the VOCES website, www.voces.tv.
Acclaimed actor Edward James Olmos will introduce each week’s program. Says Olmos: “Our Latino culture is deeply woven into the fabric of American life — one doesn’t exist without the other. These Latino stories presented in this new season of VOCES — Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Chilean, and Peruvian stories — are above all American stories and VOCES is the only series devoted to bringing these terrific films to a national audience.”
Patricia Boero, Executive Director of Latino Public Broadcasting, is the Curator and Executive Producer of the series. “We at LPB are delighted that VOCES will be airing its second season this fall. Our first season was a great hit with audiences and stations, and we think this season’s lineup is wonderful. Besides being great entertainment, VOCES is a reminder of the enormous influence that Latinos have had on every aspect of American life, from music to sports to education to public service… Our hope is to bring these stories to a wide audience, including Latinos, who will be proud to see their community’s achievements on screen.”
Screeners are available and the filmmakers and subjects are available for interviews. Complete information and downloadable images are available at www.voces.tv.
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VOCES – 2009 Series Lineup (check local listings for dates/times)
Premieres Tuesday, September 1 at 10PM (check local listings)
Celia the Queen by Joe Cardona and Mario de Varona
Celia the Queen is a loving look at the amazing life and legacy of a woman whose voice symbolized the soul of a nation and captured the hearts of fans worldwide. Erupting onto the Cuban music scene as the lead singer for La Sonora Matancera, Celia Cruz broke down barriers of racism and sexism. With the powerful weapon of her voice and the warm tolerance of her heart, Celia soon became all things to all people. The film shows the diversity of the people whose lives she touched, from stars like Quincy Jones, Andy Garcia, and Wyclef Jean to ordinary people all over the world who loved not only her music but her incredible spirit. A co-presentation with National Black Programming Consortium.
Premieres Sunday, September 6, 2009 at 10PM (check local listings)
Antonia Pantoja: ¡Presente! by Lillian Jimenez
Antonia Pantoja: ¡Presente! tells the story of educator/organizer Antonia Pantoja, founder of the New York-based advocacy organization, Aspira. A passionate, indomitable leader, Pantoja worked with Puerto Rican “immigrant-citizens” to fight against second-class citizenship and to secure a bilingual voice. Through passionate personal testimony, never-before-seen home movies, archival footage, and the work of visual artist Juan Sanchez, the feisty Antonia Pantoja guides us through the Puerto Rican community’s struggles and triumphs.
Premieres Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 10PM (check local listings)
Bracero Stories by Patrick Mullins
Bracero Stories explores the personal experiences of five former “guest workers” in the controversial U.S.-Mexican bracero program, which granted temporary work contracts to several million Mexican laborers between 1942 and 1964. Their stories are interwoven and illustrated with archival materials, creating a composite narrative of the “bracero” experience. Interviews with other participants in the program assess its effectiveness and lasting impact. These discussions mirror and inform current debates about immigration and the role of imported labor in our economic development.
Premieres Sunday, September 20, 2009 at 10PM (check local listings)
The Golden Age by Phil Tuckett
The Golden Age documents a season in the life of the Golden Age League, a soccer league in Corona Park, Queens, New York. Not just any soccer league, the highly competitive Golden Age League is made up of middle-aged former World Cup players from mostly Central and South America. With muscles creaking, hairlines receding, and waistlines expanding, these incredibly skilled players compete at a level never before documented. During the week, these men are window washers, traders, and electricians — but the weekend is theirs, and the passion for the game remains.
Premieres Sunday, September 27, 2009 at 10PM (check local listings)
Special Circumstances byMarianne Teleki
At 16, Héctor Salgado was arrested and tortured by Pinochet’s forces. By 20, Héctor was without a country, living in exile in the U.S. Special Circumstances follows Héctor as he returns to Chile almost 30 years later, camera in hand, to confront the perpetrators and his former captors, looking for answers and justice. In the process, the film takes an unflinching look at U.S. foreign policy in Latin America in the ’70s and the legacy of Pinochet with which Chile still struggles today.
Premieres Sunday, October 4, 2009 at 10PM (check local listings)
Tito Puente: The King of Latin Music byGeorge Rivera
Of all the musicians who have contributed to the popularity of Latin music, none is more recognized than the man known simply as “The King,” Tito Puente. His family, friends and colleagues all pay homage here: Bill Cosby, Marc Anthony, Armand Assante, Geraldo Rivera, Jimmy Smits, Paquito D’Rivera and many more. The life of this influential bandleader, percussionist and composer – and one of the most charismatic performers of all time – is recalled through archival footage and interviews as well as excerpts from one of his last concerts.
Premieres Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 10PM (check local listings)
Soy Andina by Mitch Teplitsky
Soy Andina tells the story of two women raised in different worlds: an immigrant folk dancer from the Andes, and a modern dancer from Queens, NY, who return to Peru to reconnect with their culture. After 15 years in New York, Nelida Silva returns to fulfill a lifelong dream and host the fiesta patronal — a celebration of dance, music, and rituals from Incan times. Meanwhile Cynthia Paniagua, a dancer raised in Queens, embarks on her own journey, determined to “quench a burning desire to know the real Peru, to unearth the mystery of the dances.” Soy Andina is an exuberant cross-cultural road trip, yet its theme is universal: a yearning for roots and connection in turbulent times.
Premieres Sunday, October 18, 2009 at 10PM (check local listings)
Dream Havana by Gary Marks
In August 1994, more than 30,000 Cubans attempted to leave the island by sea. Two writers, friends since adolescence, are faced with a choice: continue struggling with the hardships of the island or brave the open water on a homemade raft. Ernesto Santana chooses Cuba; Jorge Mota, chooses the sea. This is the story of their struggles, their successes and the friendship that binds them across the distance, from Chicago to Havana.
VOCES — Producer Bios
Joe Cardona, Director, Celia the Queen
Joe Cardona has directed 11 feature length documentaries, mostly dealing with issues of cultural identity and Cuban history, topics close to his heart as he was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, of Cuban parents. His films include Adios Patria, Café con Leche, The Flight of Pedro Pan, Jose Marti: Legacy of Freedom, Havana: Portrait of Yesteryear, Honey Girl, and White Elephant. Nine of his films have aired on PBS and other various outlets throughout Europe and Latin America. Cardona has also directed, produced and written two feature films, Water, Mud and Factories and Bro, which have traveled the world through film festivals.
Lillian Jimenez, Producer/Director, Antonia Pantoja: Presente!
For nearly 30 years, Lillian Jiménez has worked as a producer, media arts center manager, media activist, exhibitor, funder, and educator in a number of organizations, including Young Filmmakers Foundation (now known as Film Video Arts); Third World Newsreel: The Foundation for Independent Video and Film; The Film Fund; co-founder of The Paul Robeson Fund for Film, Video and Radio at the Funding Exchange; Media Network; and the National Latino Film and Video Festival of El Museo del Barrio. Her clients include Women Make Movies, Fresh Air Radio, The Foundation for Independent Video and Film, and Urban Bush Women. A co-founder of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), she was its first recipient of the Life Achievement Award for Activism. She currently serves on the board of the Funding Exchange, a national network of community funds dedicated to supporting social justice.
Gary Marks, Producer/Director, Dream Havana
In 1998, Gary Marks left his hometown Chicago and a thriving antique concern in order to rekindle his passion for music. Gary travelled to Havana, where he had the opportunity to study piano with some of Cuba’s finest musicians. During the years he lived there he formed deep and lasting relationships. The desire to communicate his experiences and impressions of Cuba led to his entry into the world of documentary filmmaking. Dream Havana is Mr. Marks’ first film, and his most challenging and rewarding experience to date.
Patrick Mullins, Producer/Director, Bracero Stories
Patrick Mullins has been producing and directing documentaries and sponsored video for the past 15 years. He was also a freelance music editor and assistant picture, sound, and music editor on feature films and television programs for over 20 years. He has an M.A. in Communications from William Paterson University of New Jersey (1996), and an M.A. in Cinema Studies and Cultural Studies from NYU (1999). Patrick is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Communication at the University of Texas El Paso, where he teaches video production and editing, and other courses in film and media.
Marianne Teleki, Producer/Director, Special Circumstances
Marianne was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area- California, Mexico and Brazil. Special Circumstances, Marianne’s directorial debut, received the Special Jury Prize at the International Documentary Film Festival, FIDOCS, in Santiago, Chile and Best Documentary at the Berkeley Film Festival. In addition, Marianne received the award for Best Bay Area Filmmaker at the International Latino Film Festival in San Francisco. Special Circumstances received funding from Latino Public Broadcasting in 2004 and 2005, from the Pacific Pioneer Fund, the Katahdin Foundation and Fleishhacker Foundation among others. Marianne has worked as a field producer for Television Nacional de Chile and is a member of National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), Bay Area Women in Film and Television (BAWIFT) and the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC). She resides in Berkeley, California US.
George Rivera, Producer/Director, Tito Puente: The King of Latin Music
George Rivera grew up immersed in the salsa music and street life of Upper Manhattan. He has close to 25 years of experience in network television, public broadcasting, and cable which has resulted in five National Emmy Awards. George Rivera projects include Imaging America, an hour-long, prime-time PBS newsmagazine series; Latino New York Live, an ongoing series of concerts by Latin Jazz’s greatest legends and rising stars; and NY Crossroads, an educational series using the Empire State as a virtual classroom to explore sites of cultural and historical significance. As the president of GRP, Mr. Rivera has also served as Acting Director of Programming for News and Public Affairs at PBS’ flagship station in New York, WNET.
Mitch Teplitsky, Producer/Director, Soy Andina
Mitch is a documentary producer and marketing consultant; Soy Andina is his first film. Back in the 70’s, he used to annoy his sisters with a super-8 camera in suburban New Jersey. He ended up at the Wharton Business School and worked for companies including Viacom, Arbitron, MTV and the New York Times. Fortunately he got laid off, which forced him to remember what he used to really like to do — tell stories. He bought a movie camera and called the Film Society of Lincoln Center. He became the Film Society’s first marketing director. On weekends, he headed to the Bronx to videotape his Grandma, or to Jersey for Peruvian parties with long-time friend Nelida. One day, Neli told Mitch she was returning to Peru for a festival. He bought a new camera and made Soy Andina.
Phil Tuckett, Producer/Director, The Golden Age
In a 30 year career as a producer/director/writer/editor/cinematographer with NFL Films, Phil Tuckett has developed a distinctive style of documentary filmmaking and has won 30 individual Emmy Awards. Tuckett has produced such critically acclaimed sports specials as Autumn Ritual, NFL Symfunny, 25 Years of Sports Illustrated, Pro Football, Pottstown, PA, and Munich Revisited, the ABC documentary that took a look back at the 1972 Israeli hostage tragedy. Tuckett also ventured outside the sports arena with the Emmy Award winning Blood From A Stone for The History Channel. Tuckett’s other non-football documentary credits include My Father’s Gun and Ship Ablaze.
About Latino Public Broadcasting
Latino Public Broadcasting supports the development, production, acquisition and distribution of non-commercial educational and cultural television that is representative of Latino people, or addresses issues of particular interest to Latino Americans. Over 100 hours of quality program content have been produced by LPB for dissemination to public broadcasting entities. LPB provides a voice to the diverse Latino community throughout the United States. LPB and VOCES receive support from the Corporation of Public Broadcasting as well as the Ford and MacArthur foundations. For more information, visit www.lpbp.org.
About Patricia Boero, Executive Producer and Curator of VOCES; Executive Director of Latino Public Broadcasting
Patricia Boero was Director of the Sundance Institute’s International Program, and managed media programs at the MacArthur Foundation, including funding for public radio and public television series. She also worked at the Rockefeller and Levi Strauss foundations. Boero directed Hispanics in Philanthropy’s Transnational Program, and most recently, was Director for International Corporate Social Responsibility at the Starbucks Coffee Company. She studied film, arts and law at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and directed documentaries for Film Australia and the public TV station SBS. She was a producer for TV Latina and correspondent for BBC Radio’s World Service in Havana, and field producer for CNN in Latin America. Boero was a founding member of LPB’s Board of Directors, 1998-2006.
About American Public Television
With more than 10,000 hours of programming in its library, American Public Television (APT) has been a prime source of programming for the nation’s public television stations for 48 years, distributing more than 300 new program titles per year. Known for its leadership in identifying innovative, worthwhile and viewer-friendly programming, APT has established a tradition of providing public television stations with program choices that strengthen and customize their schedules, such as Rick Steves’ Europe, Worldfocus, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, Sara’s Weeknight Meals, America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Doc Martin, Lidia’s Family Table, Rosemary and Thyme, P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home, The Big Comfy Couch, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, Smothered: The Censorship Struggles of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Monarchy With David Starkey, Spain…on the road Again, and other prominent documentaries, dramatic series, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies. For more information about APT’s programs and services, visit www.APTonline.org.