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Month of December, 2007

Community Screening at SAJE

On Thursday Nov 29th the Los Angeles based organization SAJE (Strategic Alliance for a Just Economy) held a special community screening of Made in L.A. This screening partner was one of five organizations from the SPIN network that were awarded minigrants from Active Voice to organize community screenings with Made in L.A.

It's great to be screening the film in other parts of the world and to see how deeply it touches people, but it's just awesome to screen the film in the community it represents: they understand every little detail, every wink, every joke! It was a powerful, deep and meaningful event. Lupe and Joann came with me to talk with the community members who were present. The reaction was simply amazing.

One woman rose to speak. She was crying. In Spanish, she explained that for years she has been organizing with a group fighting for better housing, and that they are currently going through a difficult period in their campaign (as the workers experienced in the boycott of Forever 21 that is portrayed in Made in L.A.) Seeing the film gave her the strength to continue, and her words gave all of us another lesson of perseverance. Another woman stood up and, in between tears, she explained that she and her husband were garment workers and were left without jobs during the holiday season (garment work typically decreases in November and picks up again in February -for immigrants working on a temporary basis, this means no work and no salary). As a result, they didn't have enough to pay for X-mas presents for their children. She said she felt different after seeing the film: stronger. We gave her a DVD as a present...

It was one of those days where you really feel proud of the work you did and forget all you've gone through to make it...

Made in L.A. awarded Best Documentary at Cuenca International Women Film Festival

Cuenca , a beautiful town in Spain, just celebrated Mujeres en Dirección's second successful year as one of Spain's most important womens' film festivals. I had just been in Spain for Valladolid and was in between travels, so I wasn't able to attend the festival. But the good news - that Made in L.A. won best documentary - came by e-mail, and my parents, who had arrived that same day from a trip to Argentina, went to Cuenca to receive the award on my behalf.
My mother looks out at the famous "hanging houses"


As it turns out my father kept making jokes throughout the speech (very much in the family style) so afterwards I received e-mails complementing me for having such great parents and wonderful ambassadors...

Here are a few photos:


My parents picking up award

 


My parents with the award winners
(note that my father is the only man holding an award...)



Left to right: Iciar Bollain (who received a special recognition for her professional career as a director, screenwriter and actress.), my mother, Marta Belaustegui (Actress and Festival Director), festival organizer and my father.


Para escuchar una entrevista con Almudena en el programa "De Pelicula" en Radio Exterior de España, pincha en el logo de la izquierda y ve a "escucha la segunda hora" (En castellano) (In Spanish)

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