We're thrilled that BillMoyers.com has listed Made in L.A. as one of "Ten Documentaries On Champions of Social Justice".
The other nine films are extraordinary: Stanley Nelson's Freedom Riders, Jay Rosenstein's The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today, Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz's The Interrupters, Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith's The Most Dangerous Man in America, Shola Lynch's Chisholm '72 Unbought and Unbossed, Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer's Brother Outsider, George Stoney, Judith Helfand and Susanne Rostock's The Uprising of '34, Robert Epstein's The Times of Harvey Milk, and Barbara Kopple's Harlan County, USA.
We encourage you to watch the trailers at BillMoyers.com and to use the films as part of the fight for social justice.
Made in L.A. screened at MASS MoCA once before, as part of Working Films' "Content + Intent" Documentary Institute. We're thrilled to be back, and we agree with the curators that hosting this exhibit at MASS MoCA could not be more fitting: "Once the site of a bustling factory itself -- whose closure in the face of intense international competition left nearly a third of its community out of work -- MASS MoCA is perhaps uniquely positioned to present this timely show. The history of North Adams' workers mirrors that of many in the United States and abroad today who have lost a way of life to the perennial hunt for cheaper labor, even while the low-wage workers who replaced them have just begun to organize for more rights and better working conditions..."
Visit MASS MoCA's website for all the details. Special thanks to the co-curators of the exhibition, artist Carla Herrera-Prats and MASS MoCA curator Susan Cross!
| Robert and Almudena receive the award|
Alexandra Lescaze, executive director of the Sidney Hillman Foundation, Robert and me,
|Frank Sharry, America's Voice; Congresman Luis Gutierrez; filmmaker Almudena Carracedo; Congreswoman Diane Watson, filmmaker Robert Bahar; and Bill Mefford, United Methodist Church/ Interfaith Immigration Coalition|
|Sally Jo Fifer, ITVS; filmmaker Almudena Carracedo; Congresmember Diane Watson; filmmaker Robert Bahar; and Simon Kilmurry, American Documentary | POV.|
|Congreswoman Diane Watson applauds Made in L.A. during her opening remarks.|
It was quite impressive to be there and to listen to the comments of these community leaders and congress members. Congresswoman Diane Watson opened the event, which was sponsored by the Congressional Entertainment Industries Caucus, which she chairs: "As we watch Made in L.A., I'd like you to take in the journey that these courageous women made staring directly into the face of adversity and remember one word: perseverance... You'll see that Lupe and Maura and Maria could have been any of us if born under different circumstances. And who among us would not fight for a better life, and a safe life, and fair working conditions for their family, our children and our community? These inspiring women found strength in numbers and fought until justice and equality prevailed. It is my hope that we as lawmakers and concerned citizens will take the information from today's film and discussion and apply it to our continuing fight for fair wages, for decent working conditions, and a safe place to work without the threats of abuse regardless of one's immigration status."
|Congresman Luis Gutierrez speaks passionately about Made in L.A.|
Luis Gutierrez, Chair of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus Immigration Taskforce spoke about the Historic Family Unity listening tour and how these experiences have shaped his views on the need for immigration reform. He commented how he cried when he saw Made in L.A. and later added: "Made in LA is a breathtaking and deeply touching depiction of the human cost of our immigration crisis. I'm thrilled my colleagues and I had the opportunity to screen this movie on Capitol Hill. I urge anyone who is uncertain about the need for humane reform to see this movie."
|Frank Sharry, Founder and Executive Director of America’s Voice|
Frank Sharry, Founder and Executive Director of America's Voice, framed the film with passion and humanity: "Those of you who get a chance to watch this film, many of you will have the same experience that I've had countless times. I get asked all the time why does some middle class white guy work on an issue that mainly affects working class Latino immigrants. And I'll tell you why, it's because I've had the opportunity through unusual circumstances to get to know thousands of people and their life stories. And once you know, everything's different. I love the title, "Made in L.A." cause it speaks to that "are they ‘them' or are they ‘us'." And I think this country will be so much better off when we realize that the ‘thems' are ‘us' in everything but paperwork and that when the ‘thems' become ‘us', ‘us' will become much stronger. Our hearts will be more open, our country will be stronger, and we will live true to ideals that we sometimes forget. So I think ‘Made in L.A.' is ... a beautiful film, and I think that it will challenge all of us to continue to stretch so that America becomes what it might yet be rather than what it's recently become. And when we do, I think the ‘stars' of the movie will make all of us feel proud that we were made in America."
|Bill Mefford, Interfaith Immigration Coalition; Angela Kelley, Immigration Policy Center; filmmaker Almudena Carracedo; and Congreswoman Diane Watson during the panel discussion.|
The panel that followed the screening explored some of the previous efforts to pass immigration related legislation, and highlighted the wonderful work of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, Immigration Policy Center, America's Voice, and many other organizations that are working to facilitate a national dialogue around the issues of immigration and immigrant workers.
Senior Vice President of Television Content at the Corporation For Public Broadcasting Ted Garcia highlighted the story and mission of Made in L.A. and acknowledged the many partners that came together to make the film possible: "Made in L.A. highlights some of the reasons why public service media is so crucial... I'm so pleased that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting through our support of ITVS, POV and Latino Public Broadcasting has played a role in ensuring that this story would be told." We were also touched by Sally Fifer's comment that "Made in L.A. represents exactly that kind of deep, authentic filmmaking that breaks new ground and brings us new understanding."
We are happy and honored that Made in L.A. was able to contribute, even in a small way, to this national dialogue, and that both the event and the publicity around it helped get the film into the hands of lawmakers, and policy professionals.
Acceptance speeches provide a unique opportunity to say "thank you", since this film could not have been made without the care, support and encouragement of literally hundreds of people. And so we took the moment to thank our families, our friends, our amazing crew, the organizations that believed in us (including NALIP and our fiscal sponsor Women Make Movies), and the hundreds of individuals that have supported this film throughout its journey. Special thanks must also go to our Executive Producers Simon Kilmurry, Cara Mertes and Sally Jo Fifer, and to Cynthia Lopez, Annelise Wunderlich and the amazing teams at American Documentary | P.O.V. and ITVS that took such care and devotion in bringing Made in L.A. to a national audience. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to PBS and to our funders ITVS, POV, the Sundance Documentary Fund, Latino Public Broadcasting, CPB, Pacific Pioneer Fund, Unitarian Universalist Fund for a Just Society, Diane Middleton Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Agape Foundation, and nearly 300 individual donors. Finally, we thank our outreach partners for helping us to spread the word and make an impact!
Above all, we owe the deepest, most personal thanks to the people in the film and to the three amazing women in Made in L.A., Lupe, Maria and Maura, who opened their lives to us and allowed us to capture and portray their stories in Made in L.A. As we said in front of more than 1,200 attendees on Monday night, we dedicate this award to them, because it was their fight for their rights and personal dignity that taught us the true meaning of courage and perseverance.