Films explore an American filmmaker’s complex Bolivian heritage, Mexico’s ‘son jarocho’ musical tradition, the death of an American journalist in Oaxaca, the 1992 L.A. riots, immigrant carnival workers, and more
(Los Angeles, CA) – Six new films from Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) will premiere on public television’s WORLD Channel in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month 2017 (September 15-October 15). The films include two one-hour documentaries – Rick Tejada-Flores’ My Bolivia, a fascinating look at the filmmaker’s complex roots among Bolivia’s ruling elite, and Farewell Ferris Wheel, about the workers from Mexico who supply 80% of the labor for America’s travelling carnivals. Four half-hour films will also premiere, exploring the Mexican tradition of ‘son jarocho’ music (Beyond La Bamba), the 1992 L.A. riots and the reporters of color at the Los Angeles Times that covered them (K-Town ’92 Reporters), the search for the truth behind a mysterious Old West legend (The Head of Joaquin Murrieta), and the tragic 2006 murder of American journalist Brad Will (Shot in Mexico).
Complete information follows, in order of broadcast premiere:
Wednesday, Sept 20th at 9PM ET/6PM PT
Beyond La Bamba by Marco Villalobos
Mexico’s 300-year-old son jarocho musical tradition comes vividly to life through the bittersweet story of José Luis Utrera, a young man who leaves his rural Mexican home to follow his dreams to Milwaukee, forging a new life for himself through his family’s musical legacy.
Wednesday, Sept 20th at 9:30PM ET/6:30PM PT
The Head of Joaquin Murrieta by John J. Valadez
Filmmaker Valadez has been fascinated by the legend of Joaquin Murrieta for decades. A Mexican-American Robin Hood who, at age 19 in 1853, was killed by bounty hunters and decapitated, Murrieta’s head was displayed throughout the West in saloons, hotels and brothels. When a man told John that he actually had the head, the lead never panned out — until ten years later when a strange box arrived at his doorstep. Deeply personal, often irreverent and always surprising, the film follows Valadez’s search for the truth.
Sunday, October 8th at 10PM ET/7PM PT as part of the series “DocWorld” and available to stream starting October 9th at http://worldchannel.org/
My Bolivia by Rick Tejada-Flores
My Bolivia tells what happens when a Latino filmmaker from the United States tries to unravel the myths and realities of his family’s history in Bolivia, the country where his father was born. Rick Tejada-Flores grew up in a prosperous California family, but never connected with his father’s world until he was in his 50s. When he did he uncovered a history of slavery, his grandfather’s role as President during the bloodiest war in Latin American history, the never-mentioned family member who wrote the land reform that stripped the family of its estates — and family connections to a notorious Nazi war criminal.
Monday, October 9th at 9PM ET/6PM PT as part of the series “LOCAL USA”and available to stream starting October 10th at http://worldchannel.org/
K-Town ‘92 Reporters by Grace Lee
Twenty-five after the 1992 Los Angeles riots following the Rodney King verdict, th
ree journalists of color – Tammerlin Drummond, Hector Tobar, and John Lee, who were junior staff members at The Los Angeles Times – reflect on the responsibilities and tensions they felt covering a multi-ethnic civil unrest for a newspaper run by a mostly white newsroom.
Tuesday, October 10 @ 8p ET/9p PT as part of the series “America ReFramed” and available to stream starting October 11th at http://worldchannel.org/
Farewell Ferris Wheel by Jamie Sisley and Miguel M.i.G. Martinez
Travelling carnivals have a magical place in the American imagination, evoking memories of family fun and hot summer nights. But rising expenses and changes in U.S. labor patterns have driven this once beloved tradition to the point of extinction. Farewell Ferris Wheel puts a human face on the struggles of a business trying to stay afloat by employing Mexican migrant workers through a controversial visa program.
Shot in Mexico by Xochitl Dorsey (Broadcast date TBA)
Shot in Mexico tells tragic story of Brad Will, a young American activist/journalist who was killed in 2006 while filming a violent rebellion in Oaxaca, Mexico, and the tangled aftermath of his death and the investigation that followed.
For more information, visit www.lpbp.org.
About the Filmmakers
BEYOND LA BAMBA
Marco Villalobos (Director/Director of Photography/Producer) is a Fulbright Scholar, a UNESCO Ashberg Laureate, and a Latino Broadcasting Fellow who has written for television, film, and lifestyle magazines for over a decade. Marco’s work has been featured on northern Californian public television station KQED’s arts blog, The Economist, and the PBS NewsHour.
FAREWELL FERRIS WHEEL
In addition to Farewell Ferris Wheel, Jamie Sisley’s (Producer/Co-Director) narrative short film, Stay Awake, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, won the Jury Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival, and received the National Board of Review Short Film Prize. Jamie earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, and an M.F.A. in Film from Columbia University. He’s now in development to direct his first narrative feature based on his short film, Stay Awake.
Miguel “M.i.G.” Martinez’s (Co-Producer/Co-Director) originates from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico but now resides in Washington, DC. He’s currently collaborating on a series of music videos with Grammy Award winners Ozomatli and Orishas while pursuing his passion for photography with artists like Carlos Santana.
THE HEAD OF JOAQUIN MURRIETA
Peabody Award winning filmmaker John J. Valadez (Writer/Director) has been writing, directing and producing nationally broadcast documentary films for American television — mostly for PBS and CNN — for nearly two decades. Some of his major works include two episodes of the 2013 PBS series The Latino Americans (Prejudice and Pride, War and Peace), The Longoria Affair (2010/Independent Lens), The Chicano Wave (2009, Latin Music USA/PBS), and The Last Conquistador (2008, PBS/ITVS/POV).
K-TOWN ’92 REPORTERS
Grace Lee (filmmaker) is a Los Angeles based Korean American filmmaker whose work explores questions of history, race, politics, and community. She directed the 2014 Peabody Award-winning American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs in addition to The Grace Lee Project, Janeane From Des Moines, the Emmy-nominated Makers: Women and Politics and Off the Menu: Asian America (PBS). Lee was recently a Women at Sundance Fellow (2016) and co-founded the Asian American Documentary Network.
Rick Tejada-Flores (Producer/Director) has made documentary films for over 40 years. They include films for PBS, the Sundance Channel, Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History and YLE Finland. Among his credits are Rivera In America, Jasper Johns Ideas in Paint and Orozco, Man of Fire for the PBS series American Masters, The Fight in the Field:, Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers Struggle, The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It, and Race is the Place.