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Made in LASpread the Word

Update on the Film

When Made in L.A. premiered in 2007 we wrote, "We know this film can make an impact... and we suspect that our journey with Made in L.A. is only beginning." Little could we have guessed then that the film would lead to a little movement of its own, that we would spend two years on the road traveling with the film and doing outreach, that so many people's hearts would be touched, and that Made in L.A. would be honored with a national Emmy Award! It's now been two years since we finished Made in L.A. and we are still working full time to make sure that Made in L.A. makes an impact and serves as a tool for social change.

Made in L.A.'s Festival Life

Joann Lo, Maura Colorado, Lupe Hernandez, Maria Pineda, little Araceli Pineda and Almudena Carracedo at the Los Angeles Film Festival
Made in L.A. premiered in June 2007 at the Silverdocs Documentary Festival in Silver Spring, MD, (just outside Washington D.C.) and then, one week later, premiered on the West Coast in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Even 400 and 600-seat theaters were packed, and, in addition to each film festival's regular audiences, immigrant workers from worker centers and community groups attended the screenings in force.
It was inspiring to see diverse crowds, who didn't necessarily speak the same language and who might normally never meet each other, sit in the same theater, laughing and crying along with the women in the film... The audience response was just incredibly emotional! We also suspect that people really hadn't expected to have so much fun watching the film, and at the same time to be so emotionally affected by the stories of each woman's empowerment and transformation. While we had always believed that the film would be beautiful, it was thrilling to see how much it touched people as it began to make its way out into the world!

Almudena and Robert speak at the Spanish premiere of Made in L.A. at the Valladolid International Film Festival, where they received the Special Mention of the Jury
These first two screenings helped us understand the power of Made in L.A. to put a human face on so many issues, and encouraged us to explore the film's full potential to make change. Following these screenings, Made in L.A. began to receive invitations from festivals all over the world. Like a snowball, Made in L.A. has now screened at over 80 international film festivals, including the Havana International Film Festival (Cuba), Morelia International Film Festival (Mexico), Docaviv (Israel), Valladolid International Film Festival (Spain), São Paulo Mostra Internacional de Cinema (Brazil), DocumentaMadrid (Spain), and MARFICI (Mar de Plata Independent Film Festival, Argentina). It has also screened at numerous Human Rights film festivals including One World International Film Festival (Czech Republic), and the Amnesty International Film Festival (Canada). Women's film festivals have also embraced Made in L.A. including the Barcelona Women's Film Festival (Spain), Women Make Waves Film Festival (Taiwan) and Seoul International Women Film Festival (Korea), among many others. And, Made in L.A. has toured through France with the Paris International Human Rights Film Festival, through Poland with the Traveling Refugee Film Festival, and soon in the Slovak Republic with the One World Film Festival. We're excited to say that it is currently touring as part of the "American Documentary Showcase", a program of the US Department of State that brings documentary films to US embassies for public screenings around the world!

When we have had the privilege of attending international festival screenings, we've been impacted by the emotional response of international audiences. From Moroccan immigrant men crying in Paris, to fashion students geared up for action in Madrid, to Chilean labor rights activists embracing the film, we have seen that there's a level of emotional engagement that transcends culture and country. When we see audiences around the world laughing or crying at the very same moments (really!), it serves as a powerful reminder of the universality of the struggles and the search for dignity represented in the film.

For a full list of festivals and other screening events visit our Sceenings page.

Community Outreach and Engagement

From the very beginning, our goal with Made in L.A. was to make a film that could be used, that could become a tool for social change, and that would make an impact. Over these two years, we've focused on using the film to support the efforts of advocates for immigrants rights, humane immigration reform, low-wage workers, women's empowerment and anti-sweatshop campaigns in the United States.

Almudena and Robert speak at a presentation of Made in L.A. at UW Seattle

The film has been screened at hundreds of community and university events around the country, and we've attended as many of those events as possible! We've also done three invigorating screening tours, including a Northern California Tour, a New England Tour, and a Pacific Northwest Tour in collaboration with Sweatfree Communities. Each of those events has been special and impactful in its own way. For example, Yale University held a bilingual screening for students, organizers, immigrant workers and professors. The panel included professors, us, and perhaps most importantly, organizers from Unidad Latina en Acción, who spoke about supporting immigrant workers organizing in local restaurants and at Yale itself. Students have gotten involved with the workers' struggle, several screenings have followed by groups in New Haven, and the film has been incorporated into local activism. In fact, at a press conference for 12 Latina home care workers launching a lawsuit for unpaid wages, the plaintiffs stood proudly in front of a Made in L.A. poster. They explained that the film had given them courage and strengthened their campaign!

To see some videos of these presentations, check out Robert and Almudena speaking at a screening for hundreds of high-school students at the AFI Silver Theater in Maryland, or at a screening at 92Y Tribeca in New York with local Chinese organizers.

In May 2009 we launched our "May Day to Labor Day" campaign, which continued until Labor Day in September. As part of this effort, more than 100 national organizations, grassroots groups, faith-based congregations and individuals across the country have screened Made in L.A. as a tool to put a human face on the issues of immigration, immigrant workers' rights, and supporting humane immigration reform. Several partnerships have emerged out of this campaign, including a national initiative with the United Methodist Church's Task Force on Immigration, and chapter-based screenings with the National Council for Immigrant Women's Rights, among others.

Policy-related Work

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
As filmmakers, but also as activists, we believe that well-told, powerful personal stories can help shape the thinking of leaders and policymakers around an issue. A film like Made in L.A. provides a window so that they can see first hand how other people live and what they experience. Thus, part of our journey with Made in L.A. has been to bring the film not just to regular folks, but to policy environments, where it can also make an impact. We've done several special events geared towards legislators, policymakers and thinkers including a special screening on Capitol Hill, a screening at the National Council of La Raza with Amnesty International and Sojourners, and a special screening at the Reform Immigration for America Campaign Summit, which brought together 800+ organizers to launch a national campaign for immigration reform.


Robert and Almudena receive an Emmy for "Outstanding Coverage of a News Story -long form" at the 29th Annual News and Documentary Emmy® Awards
When you spend five years of your life making a film, of course you hope that it will do well. But we honestly never could have anticipated the awards that we would receive or the impact that Made in L.A. would make. At the Emmy ceremony, the first thing that went through our minds when we heard "And the winner is... Made in L.A.!" was, "This is going to be great to reach even more people with the film!" We are thrilled that the film continues to receive recognition, and we were  honored to recently receive the Hillman Prize for Broadcast Journalism. While such awards do honor our hard work, they also honor the struggle of the women in the film and, by extension, the struggles of millions of immigrant workers and women like them all over the world. If the awards that Made in L.A. has received help the story of this struggle reach more people, then that's very exciting!

To view a list of the awards Made in L.A. has received, visit out "About the Film" page.

Closing thoughts

Our outreach and community engagement efforts have been inspired by the same passion that lead us to make the film in the first place. The last two years have been a beautiful and inspiring journey, taking Made in L.A. out into the world, and seeing it move people to make change in their lives, and to fight for the rights of others. We're excited to see where this journey will lead us next...

- Almudena Carracedo & Robert Bahar
August 2009



Want to stay up-to-date about where we go and issues related to Made in L.A.? Visit our blog!

To learn more about upcoming screening events, visit our Screenings page.

To learn more about ways to get involved, visit our Get Involved page.




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