Ari Luis Palos, a Mexican-American filmmaker, started Dos Vatos Productions; a film and video production company dedicated to bringing the voice of Latino Americans to international audiences. Palos’s credits in cross-cultural productions include a documentary, made with Boyd Shearer, on historically-segregated African-American parks in Kentucky. His next project, The Beauty Salon, was a Super8mm short for children and adults. The film explores preconceived notions of masculinity. Palos was also an integral part of the production team of the ITVS funded PBS documentary, Tobacco Blues, serving as Director of Photography of the Second Unit. Another documentary collaboration had Palos shooting 16mm footage for Hill Stomp Hollar, which profiles the music and life of African-American bluesman and Fat Possum Records artist, R.L. Burnside. Hill Stomp Hollar was screened at the 1999 South by Southwest Film Festival, where it was named runner-up for the Best Documentary Feature. Palos also served as Cinematographer on Okie Noodling, named Audience Favorite at the 2001 South by Southwest Film Festival and perennial favorite on PBS.

The LPB funded Beyond the Border is airing on PBS to rave reviews throughout the nation. For audience feedback, air dates, and more information please check or Beyond the Border was awarded the Grand Jury Prize Winner for The Best Documentary Feature at The Great Lakes Film Festival, a Cinefestival’s Premiere Mesquite Award at Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio, Texas, and was featured in Latino Film Festivals in San Diego and San Francisco. Kit Kat, is part soap opera, part legend, part dream. In the tradition of Oaxacan folklore, Kit Kat blurs the line of reality and myth as a young girl races to save her father’s soul. On location in colonial streets, abandoned monasteries, and ancient pyramids, Kit Kat reveals the secret of the Malagueña. Kit Kat has screened at Lexington’s Splitscreen Film Festival, The New York Film Archive, the Cine Cuatemoc in Texas, and the International Film Festival in Quito, Ecuador. Day of the Dead in Teotitlan del Valle witnesses the return of the Zapoteco spirits to the pueblo. The smell of marigolds in the graveyard beckons them to enjoy tamales, mescal, and other sensory favorites of their living life.

Impresario, examines the life of African-American Opera star, Everett McCorvey, as he stages Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Impresario was the highlight of the Bluegrass Cinema Film Festival, which Palos organized in Lexington. The Kentucky Theatre examines, with intimacy and humor, the rebirth of a historic art house cinema and the unconventional people who work there. Palos is a regular contributor to the Biography series on the A&E channel.

Additionally, Palos has just completed shooting Al Garete. This project has its focus on the haunting music, as well as, the political and economic power of the women, of the Isthmus of Oaxaca, México. Another project taking place in Juchitan, México, is El Rio de los Perros. Ancient Zapotecs settled along the sacred Rio de los Perros (River of Otters) over 1500 years ago. Pollution from a Coca Cola plant and dumping have destroyed the beauty of the once magnificent river. Local students were compelled to make a video to promote river conservation. With the direction of Ari Palos, the project combines animation, documentary, and fiction and is the first locally produced film about the region. The Virgin of Miracles is celebrated every year in the small town of Palos de la Frontera, Spain, with live flamenco music, apple wine, and a reverence for the town’s favorite captain, Christopher Columbus in the documentary short, Corazon de Plata/Heart of Silver. Additionally, Palos just completed The PBS documentary, The Spirituals, recounting an indigenous American musical form’s bitter history through the work of a world-renown contemporary spiritual group. Palos, is beginning production on Election, which has its focus on the drama and intrigue of a high stakes presidential election at Tucson High School.

Eren Isabel McGinnis, a Mexican-American filmmaker, has been producing award-winning documentaries for PBS and other venues for several years. She is one of the co-founders of Café Sisters Productions; an all-woman film and video production company dedicated to bringing a feminist edge to television programming. The Southern Sex, a campy critique of stereotypical notions of womanhood, screened at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City and The American Film Institute in Los Angeles, and has won prizes from the New School in New York, the Atlanta Film Festival, and many others. Mother Love, a documentary examining the complexities of the mother and daughter relationship, continues to air on PBS member stations on Mother’s Day. Tobacco Blues, an ITVS co-production, was broadcast as part of POV’s 11th season and was screened by President Clinton while en route to Kentucky, aboard Air Force One. Café Sisters Productions most recent effort is The Girl Next Door, which documents the life of porn star, Stacy Valentine. The Girl Next Door opened for a nationwide theatrical release at New York’s Screening Room. Their website,, has reviews and photos. The Girl Next Door was also shortlisted to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Feature Length Documentary.

McGinnis was the co-creator of The Beauty Salon, a Super 8mm narrative short that employs philosopher Judith Butler’s concept of performativity to undermined preconceived notions of masculinity. The Beauty Salon recently screened at MOCA in Tucson, Arizona. Beyond the Border/Más Allá de la Frontera, is another ITVS and LPB co-production. This documentary traces the painful transition made by four sons in the Ayala family, who leave their parents and sisters in Michoacan, México, and fight cultural, class and language barriers in Kentucky. Kit Kat, has a young girl saving her father’s soul amidst the beauty and magic of Oaxaca, México. Impresario, examines the life of African-American Opera star, Everett McCorvey, as he stages Mozart’s Don Giovanni and brings his spiritual ensemble to Brazil. The Kentucky Theatre, a funky historical documentary, covers eighty years of history, as told by its current employees and fans of the cinema. She recently made a richly textured altar, celebrating her dead relatives, for The Living Arts and Science Center’s Dia de los Muertos and assisted the artist Christo with his public arts Gates project in Central Park.

McGinnis has a second-degree brown belt in Shotokan Karate (ki-yah!), a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology from San Diego State University, and a certificate in Film and Video Theory and Production from the University College Dublin, in Ireland. McGinnis, with the support of a Fulbright, The Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media, and The Kentucky Foundation for Women, spent a year of living, writing, and filmmaking in Juchitán, México. She recently completed the PBS documentary, The Spirituals, a fresh gaze at African American history as told through the legacy of the sorrow songs. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona where she is writing a script for Lawrence, who is a scientist from Africa who becomes lost in suburban America and then finds hope in the form of a beauty from Mexico. Inspired by the desert McGinnis is starting production on an ambitious series on sustainable housing and communities.

Jacob Bricca is a film editor, director, and teacher. He is the editor of Lost in La Mancha, the feature documentary released by IFC Films about Terry Gilliam's ill-fated attempt to make a film adaptation of Don Quixote. He also edited Jimmy Scott: If You Only Knew, a feature documentary about the famed jazz singer that has won rave reviews in Variety and the Los Angeles Times and premiered on PBS's Independent Lens in February 2004 and was voted the audience favorite by the viewers. Other recent editing credits are What A Girl Wants, a short about the media's impact on girls' self-image (which he also co-directed) that is currently used in media education programs throughout the country. As director, he has meditated on the power of the moving image in All Of It, documented angst-filled teens in Nothing, and lost himself in abstract imagery in a variety of experimental shorts. Bricca recently completed and is now screening Indies Under Fire. He has an MFA in Film Editing from the American Film Institute, and a BA in Film Studies and Sociology from Wesleyan University. He currently divides his time between filmmaking and teaching, holding a post as Visiting Assistant Professor of Film Studies at Wesleyan University. Jacob is also the “The Third Vato”, having served as the Editor on four PBS and Dos Vatos Productions: Beyond the Border, Impresario,The Kentucky Theatre, and The Spirituals.

Oaxacan guitarist and bassist José Gil Sánchez began his music study at age 10 en the Casa de la Cultura de Oaxaca where he studied classical guitar. His performances as a guitarist began at the Casa de la Cultura and the Oaxaca Museum of Contemporary Art, and others. In 1986 he began playing trova and popular music, and formed the trova group “Guitars and Song.” In 1998 he joined the group “Yulinehui” (All my Song). Sanchez has also accompanied Mexican/American singer Lila Downs. Together with José Hinojosa, he produced Susana Harp’s “Xquenda.” Sánchez has performed in a duo with Tlálok Guerrero. Sánchez has also presented music with performances at the Macedonio Alcala Theatre, the Alvaro Carrillo Theatre, Plaza of Dance, The Oaxacan Festival of Contemporary Trova, The River Festival of Juchitán, Oaxaca, and the Cultural Event, “Together with the victms of Hurricane Paulina.” | The Spirituals | Beyond the Border | The Kentucky Theatre

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