LPB Announces 16 Newly-Funded Projects


Awards Go to Film and Digital Media Projects Showcasing the Rich Diversity of the Latino Experience at Home and Abroad


Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) today announced its latest round of production funding recipients, including three projects supported by the Current Issues Fund. The remaining projects are supported by LPB’s 2021 Funding: Public Media Content Fund and Digital Media Fund.

This year’s funded projects explore a wide variety of stories, with a special focus on the rich diversity of Latino arts and up-to-the-minute reports on the changing political scene, both in the U.S. and throughout Latin America. Arts programs include The Music Never Ends, a crash course on the history of the New York Latin jazz scene featuring the Mambo Legends Orchestra; Border Noir, about the new wave of crime writers chronicling life in the U.S./Mexico border; and Paquito D’Rivera: From Carne y Frijol to Carnegie Hall, a biography of the Cuban-born jazz legend. Additional highlights include Igualada, about a young Afro-Latina community activist running for the presidency in Colombia; Undocumented Justice, a portrait of the first undocumented attorney to argue a case before the Supreme Court; and Mexico’s Reckoning: A History of Colorism, about the country’s burgeoning movement for racial justice.

“We are very proud to support the extraordinary work of these filmmakers who truly represent the amazing diversity within our Latino creative community,” says LPB Executive Director Sandie Viquez Pedlow. “These productions also represent a vital step in addressing the dismal lack of Latino voices in today’s media; our passion and our mission is to correct that imbalance. These new projects remind us that there is an endless number of stories about our community that need to be told and we can’t wait to share them with viewers nationally.”

Broadcast Projects

Untitled Prison Hunger Strike Film
Producer/Co-Director: JoeBill Muñoz
Funding: Current Issues Fund
Three men look to build new lives after surviving decades of solitary confinement in California prisons. But as time passes, memories of their past still grip them. This film tells how these men and 30,000 others overcome impossible odds and orchestrate a hunger strike to abolish indefinite solitary confinement.

Producer: Juan Yepes / Director: Juan Mejia
Funding: Current Issues Fund
As Colombia’s streets burn with unrest, one determined woman has the courage to challenge an entrenched political establishment on the country’s biggest stage. Against all odds, Francia Márquez, an Afro-Latina rural community activist, has launched a presidential campaign where her uncompromising appeal for justice inspires a country by allowing it to dream.

Producer/Director: Bernardo Ruiz / Producer: Gabriela Alcalde
Funding: Current Issues Fund
Part procedural, part true-crime thriller, this documentary tells the story of a history-making collaboration between a forensic scientist from Texas and a group of Latin American students, whose work to identify the bodies of missing migrants will ultimately change the course of forensic science and international human rights.

Border Noir
Producer: Isaac Artenstein / Director: Alejandro Meter
Funding: Public Media Content Fund
Border Noir is a cinematic journey along the U.S.-Mexico border featuring crime writers from both sides, working in a popular genre that reflects multiple and nuanced perspectives about immigration, sexuality, national identity, and globalization, while embracing a search for authenticity and justice.

Mexico’s Reckoning: A History of Colorism
Director/Producer: Phillip Rodriguez
Funding: Public Media Content Fund
This new documentary from Phillip Rodriguez (The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo, Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle) will follow the movement for racial justice in Mexico, capturing the clashes between the overwhelmingly white elites who deny the severity–or even existence–of Mexican racism, and the activists on the ground who are leading the movement to unmask and dismantle it.

The Music Never Ends
Executive Producer/Director: Mari Keiko Gonzalez / Executive Producer: Lorraine Galvis
Funding: Public Media Content Fund
This new musical documentary follows The Mambo Legends Orchestra, some of whom are former members of the legendary Tito Puente Orchestra. Equal parts love letter and history lesson, the film traces the cultural significance of Afro-Cuban jazz–a fusion of the big band sound of the jazz era with Cuban music created in New York City in the 1940s.

Paquito D’Rivera: From Carne y Frijol to Carnegie Hall
Producer/Director: Juan Mandelbaum
Funding: Public Media Content Fund
A look at the life and times of jazz legend Paquito D’Rivera and his extraordinary journey from child prodigy in Havana, Cuba, to 14-time Grammy-winning international music artist and composer.

The Game Plan
Producer/Director: Mylène Moreno
Funding: Public Media Content Fund
The Game Plan is a feature-length documentary about young female student athletes who are leveraging their soccer skills to launch their lives. Pre-Covid-19, the female futbolistas of Orange County’s Fullerton College were already swimming against the tide; since the pandemic, their obstacles have been fully exposed.

Producer/Director: William Caballero
Funding: Public Media Content Fund
TheyDream is an animated documentary and time capsule about the filmmaker’s Puerto Rican-American family, using motion-capture technology to creatively visualize their various realities, setbacks, hopes, and dreams.

Undocumented Justice
Director/Producer: Marlene (Mo) Morris / Co-Producer: Lidieth Arevalo
Funding: Public Media Content Fund
When ICE threatens 700,000 fellow DREAMers, Luis Cortes Romero fights back–and becomes the first undocumented attorney to argue a case before the Supreme Court.

American Sons
Director/Cinematographer: Andrew Gonzales / Producer: Laura Varela
Funding: Public Media Content Fund
A decade after the well-documented death of Corporal Jorge Villarreal during the War in Afghanistan, his closest Marine brothers are fighting their toughest battle yet–surviving in the civilian world.

Digital Media

Bertie the Brilliant
Writer/Producer/Director: Gabriela Garcia Medina / Producers: Vicki Syal, Tara Ricasa, Dylan Costa, Joshua Sankar / Co-Producer: Chris Fox
Funding: Digital Media Fund
A young boy takes on chores and small jobs around his neighborhood to raise money for a ticket to a magic show. But when his grandmother loses her job, he is faced with a difficult decision.

Producer: Brian Khan / Co-Creators: Lorena Diaz and Wendy Mateo
Funding: Digital Media Fund
When everything beautiful fades, the only thing left is the joy you shared in community. This is a story about a village contained in a Latina beauty salon, where hair–and spirits–are lifted.

The Kill Floor
Producer/Director/Writer: Carlos Avila
Funding: Digital Media Fund
When the Covid-19 pandemic engulfs a meatpacking plant in his rural hometown, a young Latino reporter returns to uncover the urgent and deadly circumstances threatening the plant’s workers – including his father.

First It Was My Dream
Creator and Cinematographer: Dylan Golden
Funding: Digital Media Fund
After the unexpected closing of New York City’s Mendez boxing gym, Andy Dominguez, an undocumented fighter from Mexico, tries to prove he’s worthy of a World Title shot despite his status.

Punk Is Punk
Producer/Director/Writer: Kimberly Bautista
Funding: Digital Media Fund
A punk rocker gender-queer parent is hesitant when their child wants a quinceañera, a gender-normative gathering that sets the stage for them to face their estranged, old-school father.

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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