Raymond Telles receives a 2011 NCLR ALMA Outstanding Career Achievement Award for his drive to share Latino stories and culture with mainstream audiences through his distinguished 30-year career as a documentary filmmaker. His work frequently navigates his personal history and that of Latinos, offering profound insight into how Latino history has shaped the American present.
Telles produced and directed The Storm that Swept Mexico, a documentary that tells the story of the Mexican revolution, incorporating photographs and motion pictures that had never been seen before in the United States. The story is a personal one, as his maternal grandfather and great-grandfather fought against Mexican president Porfirio Diaz in the revolution of 1910. Discussing the film, Telles said, “This was family history to me…and it helps us understand the complicated relationship between Mexico and the United States.”
He co-directed and produced The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers’ Struggle, the first film to cover the full arc of Chavez’s life and the ALMA Award winner for Outstanding Made-for-Television Documentary in 1998, and Race is the Place, an examination of race in America. His work on television includes the PBS Frontline program Children of the Night,which won a DuPont-Columbia Gold Baton Award as well as a number of other honors. For PBS, he directed In Search of Law and Order, a groundbreaking series on juvenile justice that was broadcast nationally in 1999. His independent productions include films for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and ITVS. He is currently at work on The Latino Americans, a documentary series slated to air on PBS in 2012, which will tell the entire history of Latinos in the United States.
In addition to his ALMA Award, Telles holds a series of prestigious honors from a variety of awarding bodies, including three Emmys and two PBS Programming Awards for News and Current Affairs. He has been recognized with the Ohio State Award and a NATAS Community Service Award, and he has received top honors in San Francisco, American Film and Video Association, Chicago, and New York Film Festivals, and two CINE Golden Eagles. He has an MFA in film from UCLA and is a member of the Writers Guild of America and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
For his ability to connect his personal story to that of Latino and the nation as a whole in his career, Telles is a shining example that Latinos contribute not only to American history, but also to American film.
About the NCLR ALMA Awards
The National Council of La Raza is the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S. For more than 40 years, NCLR has been promoting the advancement of Latino families in this country, creating opportunities and opening doors. NCLR created the ALMA Awards in 1995 as part of its strategy to promote fair, accurate, and balanced portrayals of Latinos in the entertainment industry. The show was named “ALMA” (Spanish for “spirit”), which represents the determined spirit of the Latino people in an effort to reflect the spirit as well as the scope of the awards program. For more information about the ALMA Awards, please visit: www.almaawards.com.