On the second installment of the Indocumentales series, we feature two short films that highlight the impact of deportations on families followed by a conversation about the role of filmmaking and activism featuring Paola Mendoza and Theo Rigby.
Indocumentales is a film and conversation series exploring the immigrant experience. This series is presented in partnership with Cinema Tropical, and What Moves You?, and brings together educators, filmmakers, community activists, and the general public in conversation about current issues related to migration and inspired by groundbreaking films.
About the films:
FREE LIKE THE BIRDS
(Paola Mendoza, USA, 2016, 10 min. In In Spanish and English with English subtitles)
Six year old, Sophie Cruz, took the world by storm when she broke through the police barricades in Washington DC to give the Pope a letter. Her letter asked the Pope to convince President Obama and Congress to pass immigration reform. In that moment Sophie became an Internet sensation. Free like the Birds is the intimate story her family fighting against the looming threat of deportation. Sophie is at the center of her family’s plight and that of millions of children like her. Through her innocence, her laughter and through her understanding of what it means to be an immigrant and an American, we bear witness to her family striving for the American Dream.
SIN PAÍS / WITHOUT A COUNTRY
(Theo Rigby, USA, 2010 21 min. In Spanish and English with English subtitles)
In 1992, Sam and Elida Mejia left Guatemala during a violent civil war and brought their one-year old son, Gilbert, to California. The Mejia’s settled in the Bay Area, and for the past 17 years they have worked multiple jobs to support their family, paid their taxes, and saved enough to buy a home. They had two more children, Helen and Dulce, who are both U.S. citizens. Two years ago, immigration agents stormed the Mejia’s house looking for someone who didn’t live there. Sam, Elida, and Gilbert were all undocumented and became deeply entangled in the U.S. immigration system. Sin País begins two weeks before Sam and Elida’s scheduled deportation date. After a passionate fight to keep the family together, Sam and Elida are deported and take Dulce with them back to Guatemala. With intimate access and striking imagery, the Student Academy Award winner Sin País explores the complexities of the Mejia’s new reality of a separated family–parents without their children, and children without their parents.
About the filmmakers:
Paola Mendoza, was named one of Filmmaker Magazine 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Ms. Mendoza made her narrative directorial debut with ENTRE NOS, which had its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival where it was awarded Honorable Mention. Entre Nos went on to win over twenty awards at film festivals from around the world. Ms. Mendoza is in development for her second feature film A PASO DE MANGLES, which she will direct in Colombia. Ms. Mendoza has written and directed several short films. Most recently she directed a short documentary series for Refinary29 about immigration, which was executive produced by America Ferrera. Her short, BROKEN TAIL LIGHT, currently has over 12 million views on Youtube. FREE LIKE THE BIRDS, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, and her documentary Z FOR ZENDAYA, staring Disney superstar Zendaya Coleman and her animated series, 11 Million Stories, about a dystopian future where mass deportation is law in the US was commissioned by Mark Zuckerberg’s foundation FDW.Us.
Ms. Mendoza began her career directing documentaries. Her feature documentaries AUTUMN’S EYES, and WITHOUT THE KING were embraced by the most prestigious film festivals around the world. Ms. Mendoza was a two-time nominee for the NALIP Estel Awards, given to Latino filmmakers that show extraordinary promise in the field of directing. She is a Tribeca All Access, Independent Film Week and Fast Track Alum. Ms. Mendoza’s novel, THE ONES WHO DON’T STAY, was published by Penguin Books in 2013.
Theo Rigby is a director, cinematographer, and photographer based out of San Francisco. He believes in the power of image and sound to create awareness and dialogue about the world's most pressing social and political issues. Theo has focused on topics ranging from the War in Iraq, to incarceration, and most recently, immigration in the U.S. His latest film, Sin País (Without Country), won a Student Academy Award, has screened in over 30 film festivals, and was nationally broadcast on PBS' Independent Documentary Series, POV, in August 2012. His new interactive project, Immigrant Nation, is a series of short films about immigration across the U.S., combined with live events and an online platform where you can create and share your own immigrant story.
This event is free and open to the public. ID is required to enter the building.