The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University (CLACS), Cinema Tropical, and the World Council of Peoples for the United Nations / What Moves You?, are proud to announce the official re-launch of INDOCUMENTALES - a film and conversation series committed to exploring the multiplicity of Latin American migrant experiences in our country through compassionate representation and critical dialogue.
INDOCUMENTALES began in May of 2010 as Indocumentales: the US/Mexico Interdependent Film Series with screenings and panel discussions at New York University’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center and other venues throughout the five boroughs including the Americas Society and Cervantes Institute in Midtown Manhattan, the Dwyer Cultural Center in Harlem, the Casita Maria Center for the Arts in the Bronx, the Beacon Center for the Arts in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and the Queens Museum in Corona, New York. It since traveled across the U.S., as well as to Mexico and Canada, engaging diverse communities in reflecting on their relationship to the questions posed in the films.
For the fall of 2018 re-launch, INDOCUMENTALES is returning to its origins in New York City with two films that focus on immigrant experiences in this city. We are proud to present David Riker’s critically-acclaimed film La Ciudad (1998) followed by Jim McKay’s most recent feature En El Séptimo Día (2018). Twenty years between their releases, the films nevertheless employ similar narrative structures and production models: both are filmed on location in New York, in Spanish, with majority non-professional actors. Moreover, both films, through contrasting but complimentary styles, speak to the struggle of newly-arrived Latin American migrants for survival, respect, and meaning in unfamiliar territories.
The series is free and open to the public. All screenings are followed by panel discussions meant to bring together filmmakers, scholars, activists, policy makers, and community representatives concerned with the fortification of immigrant rights.
EN EL SEPTIMO DIA (Jim McKay, USA, 2018, 92 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
En el Séptimo Día is a fiction feature following a group of undocumented immigrants living in Sunset Park, Brooklyn over the course of seven days. Bicycle delivery guys, construction workers, dishwashers, deli workers, and cotton candy vendors, they work long hours six days a week and then savor their day of rest on Sundays on the soccer fields of Sunset Park. José, a bicycle delivery worker, is the team's captain - young, talented, hardworking and responsible. When José's team makes it to the finals, he and his teammates are thrilled. But his boss throws a wrench into the celebration when he tells José he has to work on Sunday, the day of the finals. José tries to reason with his boss or replace himself, but his efforts fail. If he doesn't work on Sunday, his job and his future will be on the line. But if he doesn't stand up for himself and his teammates, his dignity will be crushed. Shot in the neighborhoods of Sunset Park, Park Slope, and Gowanus, En el Séptimo Día is a humane, sensitive, and humorous window into a world rarely seen. The film’s impact is made quietly, with restraint and respect for the individual experiences, everyday challenges, and small triumphs of its characters.
En El Septimo Dia will have opening remarks by New York City Commissioner Bitta Mostofi, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, and discussion with filmmaker, Jim McKay, New York Immigration Coalition representative Kemah George, and Actor Genoel Ramirez, who plays Artemio in En el Septimo Dia. The discussion will be moderated by WCPUN Executive Director, Shamina de Gonzaga.
About the Director:
Jim McKay (Writer/Director/Producer) is a filmmaker and co-founder, along with Michael Stipe, of C-Hundred Film Corp. He has produced and directed a feature-length documentary, Lighthearted Nation; a feature-length concert film, R.E.M.'s Tourfilm; numerous music videos and an award-winning series of public service announcements called Direct Effect. In 1995, McKay co-wrote, directed and co-produced Girls Town, which received the Filmmakers Trophy and a Special Jury Prize for Collaboration at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival. The film was released in 1996 in the U.S. by October Films. His second feature as a director was Our Song (1999), which premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, played at New Directors/New Films in 2000, and was distributed theatrically in the U.S. by IFC Films. McKay's third feature, Everyday People (2004), was selected as the Opening Night Film of New Directors/New Films 2004 and played at festivals around the U.S. before showing on HBO. His fourth feature, Angel Rodriguez, co-written with Hannah Weyer, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005, had its U.S. premiere at MoMA and showed on HBO in fall 2006. McKay was a co-writer of Nelson George's Golden Globe Award-winning HBO Film Life Support, starring Queen Latifah. McKay has directed numerous tv shows, including The Wire, Big Love, Treme, In Treatment, Mr. Robot, The Americans, The Good Wife, Boss, Breaking Bad, Rectify, Power, BrainDead and Law and Order. McKay served as a producer on American Movie (Chris Smith), The Sleepy Time Gal (Christopher Munch), Spring Forward (Tom Gilroy), Stranger Inside (Cheryl Dunye), La Boda and Escuela (Hannah Weyer), Brother to Brother (Rodney Evans), Room and Fourplay (Kyle Henry), Memorial Day (Josh Fox) and Mosquita y Mari (Aurora Guerrero). McKay was a Rockefeller Fellow in 2003 and a Guggenheim Fellow in 2004. In 2005, he was a recipient of the Lincoln Center Martin E. Segal Award.
About the Speakers:
Bitta Mostofi is a long time immigrant rights advocate and human rights organizer. After graduating law school from DePaul University in Chicago she practiced civil rights law with a particular focus on the discriminatory impact of immigration practices on Muslim or Middle Eastern immigrants. Shortly thereafter she joined Safe Horizon and continued her legal practice representing immigrant crime victims, asylees, and others in both affirmative and defensive petitions before the immigration court. Bitta led the organization’s advocacy work on behalf of immigrant crime victims seeking U visas, including before the City and Department of Homeland Security. Along the way Bitta has continued her community organizing, increasing awareness of global human rights injustices and the plight of refugees. Since joining the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs in 2014, Bitta has advanced the rights and well-being of immigrant New Yorkers. After spearheading the IDNYC outreach campaign, Bitta helped design the ActionNYC legal services program and was promoted to Assistant Commissioner of MOIA in January of 2016. In May of 2018, Mayor de Blasio appointed Bitta to Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.
Kemah George is the NYIC Community Engagement Manager. Kemah works to strengthen immigrant communities through education and engagement. In her advocacy role, she supports the Black Immigrant Engagement Initiative and Know Your Rights workshops. Prior to joining the NYIC, Kemah served as the Coordinator of Social Justice at the YWCA Brooklyn, where she developed programs and implemented social justice initiatives for women and girls. She also assisted in the development of the Central American Minors program at the International Rescue Committee in Silver Spring, MD and facilitated community orientation sessions for newly arrived refugees at the IRC in Atlanta, GA. Kemah was born in Brooklyn, New York to Liberian immigrants. She holds a law degree from Howard University School of Law, a Master's of Public Policy from George Mason University, and a B.S.Ed in English Education from The University of Georgia.
Genoel Ramírez was born in Aztla Puebla, a pueblo southwest of the state of Puebla, Mexico. He has worked in electronics, electronics stores and general warehousing. He has been a musician since he was 5 years old. He likes all kinds of music. He plays the drums in a hardcore punk band and also plays the sax, among other instruments. Being part of the movie En el Séptimo Día has awakened the desire to continue doing what he likes. It has taught him that he is capable of doing a variety of things. He wants to break limits and show the world that Puebla has very good actors but the world just doesn’t know it yet.
Shamina de Gonzaga is Executive Director of the non-governmental organization, World Council of Peoples for the United Nations (WCPUN); Editor-in Chief of Centerpoint Now, a WCPUN publication; and Co-founder of What Moves You?, an educational media collaborative, and the itinerant film and dialogue series, Indocumentales. A representative of NGOs since 1996, she worked as Special Adviser on NGO relations in the Office of the President of the United Nations General Assembly for three successive presidencies, helping to ensure impactful civil society participation in the work of the General Assembly. She served as Chair of the 61st Annual Conference of NGOs “Reaffirming Human Rights for All: The Universal Declaration at 60” (UNESCO, Paris). A contributor to various NGO publications, she co-authored Founding a Movement: Women's World Banking 1975-1990.