UPCOMING FILM SCREENINGS as of April 5, 2009

The Prytania Screens Amy Serrano's The Sugar Babies

Thursday, April 9, 2009 7 p.m.

The Hope, Courage and Justice Project and Cinéma Première invite you to a screening of the award-winning film, The Sugar Babies, at the Prytania Theatre, 5339 Prytania Street. The screening, part of the New Orleans Afrikan Film & Arts Festival, will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the film's director, Amy Serrano.


The Hope, Courage and Justice Project will be collecting school supplies and new shoes to send to the children who live in the sugar plantations, so please bring what you can.

Tekrema Center Screens Amy Serrano's The Sugar Babies

Saturday, April 11 at 7 p.m.

The Hope, Courage an d Justice Project and Cinéma Première invite you to a screening of the award-winning film, The Sugar Babies, at the Tekrema Center for Art and Culture, 5640 Burgundy Street in the Lower 9th Ward. Part of the New Orleans Afrikan Film & Arts Festival, the screening will be preceded by a special performance by Dr. Jean Montes & the Molto a Chamber Orchestra, a photography installation on film, and possibly "dancing under the moon."


The Hope, Courage and Justice Project will be collecting school supplies and new shoes to send to the children who live in the sugar plantations, so please bring what you can.


IN this issue, we will highlight upcoming screenings starting next week in Maryland, plus film festivals in Montreal and Paris, and a university screening in Colorado. Then come April, two very special film, poetry, music and photography events in New Orleans--including one in the lower Ninth Ward as part of the New Orleans Afrikan Film Festival.

Also, we'll share updates on the recent "Beads for a Good Deed" collection, and school supply drives for the little ones.

Prior, I'd like to share clips from an interview on Maria Elvira Live along with Ambassador Armando Valladares, former US Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

CLIPS FROM MARIA ELVIRA LIVE, February 12, 2009

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lNdi00PK14
  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eipqDy_F9M0&feature=related

Together, we raise awareness and update you on field issues and needs. This interview is a follow up on the Emmy Award recently won for The Sugar Babies special. I had promised Maria Elvira and her producers that I'd appear on the show when next in Miami.

On a related but rare personal note, I did not anticipate having to be in Miami for my father's funeral. When my older brother went through my father's nightstand, he touchingly discovered theater ticket stubs, newspaper clippings, and programs dating back from the first human rights film I ever worked on, "Adios Patria: The Cuban Exodus," to the more recent news clippings and programs on "The Sugar Babies."

My father was a huge, huge fan of Maria Elvira's political issues show, and as it turns out, my father was a huge fan of my own work...

At some level and from where he is at present, I feel he was watching her show that night and appreciated our continuing call to do "the right thing" by making people aware of the children's realities and basic needs.

Monday, March 2, 2009, 2:00 pm
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
School of Public Health
615 North Wolfe Street
Feinstone Hall
Baltimore, Maryland

[Discussion following Screening in the presence of Executive Producer, Claudia Chiesi]

Monday, March 2, 2009, 7:00 pm
CATONSVILLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
800 S Rolling Road
Baltimore, Maryland

[Discussion following Screening in the presence of Executive Producer, Claudia Chiesi]

Friday, March 13, 2009, 5:00 pm
MONTREAL INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL
Cinema du Parc
3575 Avenue du Parc
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
http://www.cinemaduparc.com/english/prochainemente.php?id=ffdpm#top

Sunday, March 15, 3:00 pm
CRETEIL FILMS DES FEMMES FESTIVAL
La Maison des Arts
Place Salvador Allende
Paris, France
www.filmsdefemmes.com

[Followed by questions and answers with film's writer, director and cinematographer Amy Serrano]

Monday, March 16, 2:00 pm
CRETEIL FILMS DES FEMMES FESTIVAL
La Maison des Arts
Place Salvador Allende
Paris, France
www.filmsdefemmes.com

[Followed by questions and answers with film's writer, director and cinematographer Amy Serrano]

Thursday, March 19
REGIS UNIVERSITY

Public Talk on Women and Arts Activism* following film screening the night before at Campus Chapel, Denver, Colorado

*Given by writer, director Amy Serrano -- sponsored by Women's Studies at St. Regis

Coming in April, film screenings at the Prytania Theatre and the Lower Ninth Ward two evenings of Haitian Music, Film Screenings, Poetry and Photography as part of the New Orleans Afrikan Film Festival

BEADS FOR A GOOD DEED

Our "Beads for a Good Deed" drive began after witnessing scores of glittering necklaces lying on the ground in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.

We began collecting beads to send to the children in the sugar plantations. We've collected several hundred sparkly beads so far!

We are awaiting more. If you have Mardi Gras beads to donate to the children and their mothers, please contact our very own New Orleans mother and daughter volunteer team, Terri and Shelby Stoor, at [504] 666-0502 and [504] 666-0269 respectively. We appreciate your bead donations, and we soooo appreciate mother-daughter Terri and Shelby. Shelby is even collecting beads in her high school !!!

SCHOOL SUPPLIES

Currently, we are looking to fill a shipping container to be sent to the island with assorted school supplies [and Mardi Gras beads!]. If you wish to make a donation, please contact Terri or Shelby Stoor at [504] 666-0502 or [504] 666 - 0269, or mail your school supplies to :

NEUTRAL LOGISTICS

Attn: Barbara Zorrilla for The Sugar Babies
8400 NW 25 Street
Miami, Florida 33122
www.neutralogistics.com

Donations are sent via Neutral Logistics in Miami to our field contacts in the sugar plantations of the Dominican Republic. These are then distributed directly within the "Bateys"* where children that appear in film continue to live. We also accept humanitarian supplies including medical. Ideal supplies include pencils, notebooks, crayons, pencil sharpeners and First Aid items.

Our shipping costs are covered through appreciated discounts from Neutral Logistics and proceeds from DVD sales.

You can acquire film through PAY PAL on www.sugarbabiesfilm.com

* A Batey is a community where the sugar cane workers and their families live

October Events Calendar

Friday, October 3, 2008 -Coral Gables, Florida -- 7:00-10:00 pm

Still Photography Exhibit and Live Music from "The Sugar Babies" during Gallery Night in the Gables

BOOKS & BOOKS [gallery space & courtyard]

265 Aragon Avenue

Coral Gables, Florida

www.booksandbooks.com [download attached Media Advisories]

Coral Gables Gallery Night: Exhibit of behind-the-scenes field portraits from the award-winning film, "The Sugar Babies: The Plight of Children of Agricultural Workers in the Sugar Industry of the Dominican Republic" www.sugarbabiesfilm.comStill photographs by Tico Pujals and Cynthia Hernandez-Cassano, music in courtyard by film's composer, Bill Cruz performing at 9:00 pm. Also present will be the film's poster designer Beni Mendez and from New Orleans, Amy Serrano, director, writer, cinematographer, producerand Salvador Longoria, Associate Producer. [Note:Exhibit runs from October 3 to November 2, 2008]

For media inquiries on South Florida events, please contact the film's publicist Maria Lanao of Creative Relations, 786-444-2700 or Maria@creativerelationsinc.com

Sunday-Monday, October 5 & 6,2008 -Miami Beach,Florida -- 8:00 pm

Official Miami Premiere of Film "The Sugar Babies" at the Miami Beach Cinematheque hosted by "Culture in the City"

MIAMI BEACH CINEMATHEQUE

512 Espanola Way [on SoBe a block & a half from Washington Ave]

Miami Beach, Florida

www.mbcinema.com [download attached Media Advisories]

www.cultureinthecity.org

Culture in the City and MB Cinematheque host award-winning filmmaker Amy Serrano in presenting " The Sugar Babies: The Plight of Children of Agricultural Workers in the Sugar Industry of the Dominican Republic." Panel discussion follows on Sunday with Amy Serrano, Alan Farago of Friends of the Everglades, and Tico Pujals on Corporate Social Responsibility; Q & A with filmmaker Amy Serrano after the film on Monday, Oct. 6.

Cost: $10, MBC members, $7. A portionof proceeds from evenings ticket sales will be donated to the film's production entity "The Hope, Courage and Justice Project" of New Orleans for the project's human rights advocacy work and humanitarian relief efforts.

For media inquiries on South Florida events, please contact the film's publicistMaria Lanao of Creative Relations, 786-444-2700 or Maria@creativerelationsinc.com

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 -Plano, Texas -- 7:00 pm

Screening of Film "The Sugar Babies" at Collin College with Q&A and Executive Producer

COLLIN COLLEGE CONFERENCE CENTER

2800 E Spring Creek Parkway

Plano, Texas 75074

[972] 881-5721

Collin College presents film screening followed by Question and Answer session with film's Executive Producer-- Dr. Claudia Chiesi

Wednesday,October 22, 2008 -Geneseo, New York -- 7:00 pm

Screening of Film "The Sugar Babies" at State University of New York at Geneseo in partnership with Cultural Harmony Week

STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT GENESEO

Geneseo, New York 14454

State University of New York at Geneseopresents film screening followed by Question and Answer session with film's Director, Writer, Cinematographer andProducer -- Amy Serrano

Sunday,October 26, 2008 -Olean, New York-- 2:00 pm

Screening of Film "The Sugar Babies" at St. Bonaventure Universitywith Q&A and Executive Producer

St. Bonaventure University's Murphy Auditorium

St. Bonaventure, New York 14778

[716] 375-2358

St. Bonaventure Universitypresents film screening followed by Question and Answer session with film's Executive Producer -- Dr. Claudia Chiesi

A BLACK CAMERA INTERVIEW: AMY SERRANO

Modern day slavery is the subject of increasing concern and controversy, evidenced by its address in scholarly publications, investigative journalism, labor and human rights activism, and, no less, documentary films and videos. While slavery is distinctive in human history, its continuing presence in the modern world is manifest in the "disposable" labor that provisions the brothels and sweatshops in the global economy. It is also among the causes of the seemingly chronic poverty and growing inequalities in an international system of rule and exploitation-what Salih Booker refers to as "global apartheid." The interview with Amy Serrano, which follows, concerns her feature-length documentary The Sugar Babies: The Plight of the Children of Agricultural Workers in the Sugar Industry of the Dominican Republic (2007). The documentary examines an aspect of modern day slavery in which state governments are complicit in human trafficking and the abusive practices against Haitian migrants by sugar barons in the Dominican Republic. The film also illuminates a global trend in which migrants from poor countries, unable to emigrate to First-World metropolises, traverse borders-by legal and illegal means-to less poor ones. [more...]

"The Sugar Babies" to be released on DVD

Below, please find the following information to reserve your copy today!

  • General information on film including film screenings, film festivals, and awards
  • How topurchase or rentfilm for yourcollege, university or institution
  • How to purchase film for a not-for-profit organization or home use
  • How you to bring film and one of the film'sproduction team members to your college,university or orgnazition for a post screening discussion on human rights issues
  • What People have been saying about film......

Thank you for your interest and please know that proceeds from film sales and rentals are used for humanitarian relief to the people in our film sand for the continuity of our human rights work.

Scroll down for information or write us here at TheSugarBabies@aol.com

Many thanks,

THE SUGAR BABIES PRODUCTION TEAM

General information on film including film screenings, film festivals, and awards

"The Sugar Babies: The Plight of the Children of Agricultural Workers in the Sugar Industry of the Dominican Republic" [ USA , 2007]

While exposing those who continue to profit, the feature-length documentary film "The Sugar Babies: The Plight of the Children of Agricultural Workers in the Sugar Industry of the Dominican Republic" vividly explores the lives of the descendants of the first Africans delivered to the island of Hispaniola for the bittersweet commodity that once ruled the world. These very same people continue to be trafficked to work in sugar under circumstances that can only be considered modern day slavery.

Shot on location in the Dominican Republic , Haiti , England and the United States , the film is in Spanish, French, Creole and subtitled in English. Narrated by Edwidge Danticat. [ www.sugarbabiesfilm.com ]

  • " Best Documentary" Delray Beach Film Festival, 2008 [Jury Prize]
  • "Official Selection" New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival,
  • " Official Selection" Buffalo Niagara Film Festival, 2008
  • "Official Selection ," United Nations Through Women's Eyes Film Festival,
  • Tour of France with Amnesty International, France 2008
  • " Official Selection ," Montreal International Film Festival 2007
  • Words and Music Festival, 2007
  • mK2 Cinemas, Paris France 2007

How to purchase or rent film for your college, university or institution:

To reserve a copy,send check to:

The Hope, Courage and Justice Project
PO Box 51355,
New Orleans, Louisiana, 70113

DVD Sale to Libraries in Colleges, Universities or Institutions: $ 298.00

DVD Rental to Colleges, Universities or Institutions: $ 125.00

( DVD to be released by December 31, 2008)

Please note that proceeds from film rentals and sales will be directed towards humanitarian relief and the continuity of our human rights work.

For a public exhibition or to bring film and a member of the production team to your college, university or organization, please write us or scroll down for information. (Please add $3.50 for shipping and handling)

How to purchase film for a not-for-profit organization or home use:

To reserve a copy,send check to:

The Hope, Courage and Justice Project
PO Box 51355,
New Orleans, Louisiana, 70113

DVD Sale to Not-for-Profit Organizations:$ 150.00

DVD Sale for Home Use:$ 29.95

( DVD to be released by December 31, 2008)

Please note that proceeds from film sales will be directed towards humanitarian relief and the continuity of our human rights work. (Please add $3.50 for shipping and handling)

How to bring Film and a member of the Production Team to your College, University or Organization:

To help you in planning a screening and visit, other universities have organized and sponsored this through one or multiple departments; some of which include:

  • Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Women's Studies
  • Film Studies
  • African New World Studies
  • Theology or Religious Studies
  • Political Science OR International Relations
  • History Departments
  • Centers for Human Rights OR Modern Day Slavery OR Human Trafficking

And aside from a screening and post screening Question and Answer Session with someone from film, these departments have arranged for one or some of the following:

  • Panel Discussions with someone from film and faculty
  • Student Lectures on Human Rights OR Leadership OR the intersection of Arts and Activism and more...
  • Informal Lunches with someone from film and students for one-on-one discussions
  • Poster Signings
  • Classroom visits

Please contact us at TheSugarBabies@aol.com to reserve dates or for additional info.

What People have been Saying about Film:

Documentaries don't get much better than this either in content or technical quality."
Jan Holmes, Administrative Director, UNIFEM, Through Women's Eyes International Film Festival

"Sugar Babies" is a poignant, haunting film in the fine tradition of all great investigative reporting, shining a searing light on the plight of a desperately poor and disenfranchised people and those who would exploit them.
Ken Wells, Author and Senior Editor, Conde Nast, Portfolio

"I commend you for your conviction and the efforts you are making to inform more people like myself of the conditions on the sugar plantations in the DR. I thought you did a fabulous job as a filmmaker to create a coherent piece that flows well, educates, and without question, disturbs one's quietude."
H. Ross, Educator, Boulder, Colorado

"An amazing documentary that has made me think and ponder about life and humanity"
Elizabeth Suarez, Advertising Specialist, Denver, Colorado

"The film was incredible. Thank you for sharing with us. It was enlightening and provocative as well as visually stunning!"
Maurice and Tanzanika Ruffin, Attorneys, New Orleans, Louisiana

"The subject matter is sad, it's true, but you have a really positive outlook, and the delivery (for both the film and the questions and answers session) was extremely well-executed. I particularly enjoyed the poetic cinematography. There was a sense of the heat and sun and humidity in the colors and slow moving images. All of the images of children traipsing through sugarcane will stay with me.."
Sabrina Canfield, Novelist, New Orleans, Louisiana

"It is pro-active, ambitious, and very well crafted. You have made a really strong and interesting piece."
Patrick de Bokay, Festival Director, Miami International Film Festival

"Sugar Babies is, in short, brilliant. An amazing, amazing documentary, from beginning to end. It is beautifully paced and filmed, and the issues profoundly important."
Diane Mason, Director, HOPE Films

BY DEMAND: new dates added in Ft. Lauderdale's Cinema Paradiso

BY DEMAND: New Dates Added in Ft. Lauderdale's Cinema Paradiso -- if you haven't seen it yet. Read about the issues in the following article "The Sweet Truth" [http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2008-05-29/news/sweet-truth&page=1], then catch it at Cinema Paradiso from July 5-6 as part of the Environmental Festival!

To bring film to your college or university, please write to TheSugarBabies@aol.com.

While exposing those who continue to profit, the feature-length documentary film "The Sugar Babies: The Plight of the Children of Agricultural Workers in the Sugar Industry of the Dominican Republic" vividly explores the lives of the descendants of the first Africans delivered to the island of Hispaniola for the bittersweet commodity that once ruled the world. These very same people continue to be trafficked to work in sugar under circumstances that can only be considered modern day slavery.

The Sugar Babies examines the moral price of sugar -- present and past -- from the perspective of the conditions surrounding the children of sugar cane cutters of Haitian ancestry in the Dominican Republic, and the continuing denial of their basic human rights.

[more...]

Sweet Truth: A filmmaker's exposé peeves the sugar powers.

By Edmund Newton, Alexander Zaitchik, Francisco Alvarado. Published on May 29, 2008

If they gave an Oscar for the muckraking documentary that most riles the world's fat cats, turning them into red-faced, sputtering stuffed shirts, Amy Serrano's film about Big Sugar would surely win hands down. The exposé film Sugar Babies, which won best documentary two weeks ago at the Delray Beach Film Festival and is having its first commercial screening this week in Fort Lauderdale, has sugar barons and their allies scurrying around the globe trying to stop people from seeing it.

So far, the barons — including Palm Beach County's famous Fanjul family — have had moderate success. A scheduled screening at this year's Miami International Film Festival was abruptly canceled, probably after pressure from the sugar industry (the ostensible reason: The film had already been screened at Serrano's alma mater, Florida International University, a fact that Serrano says she discussed ahead of time with the festival's organizers, who said, "no problem"). Then the Women's International Film Festival got a similar case of cold feet (the event's South Florida organizer supposedly told Serrano that she feared for the future of the festival if they showed the film)

Who knows how many other invitations were not extended because of threats?

When Sugar Babies does get screened, it brings out the wrathfulness in some people. The showing at FIU attracted a visibly agitated Manuel Almanzar, the Dominican Republic's Miami consul, who simmered through the film, then sought to take over a subsequent discussion, and finally stormed out during a raucous Q&A session with Serrano.

A screening in Paris during a human rights conference attracted hired Spanish-speaking goons, who joined a line of well-wishers who waited for just the right moment to curse Serrano to her face, warning her that they were going to "get" her. The same dudes showed up at a subsequent screening in Montreal. Serrano says she has encountered strangers watching her house in New Orleans, as well as people with subpeonas rushing up to serve her.

Serrano, a short woman with long blond hair and a formal, teacherly way of expressing herself, says all the hullabaloo has complicated her life but has not deterred her. "I have learned to take precautions," she said the other day in a Fort Lauderdale restaurant.

The film grew out of a visit Serrano made to the Dominican Republic in 2005 with UN Ambassador for Human Rights Armando Valladares. Touring the southeastern cane fields and the bateys — rural shantytowns, where Haitian workers are housed — Serrano and Valladares found entire communities that were close to malnutrition, widespread illnesses with little access to medical care, and downcast, unschooled children, many of them working in the fields with their parents.

Back in the States, Serrano scrounged together $150,000 from foundation grants and donations to bankroll the film. It records her secret visits, along with a priest-activist and others, to interview batey residents. Not only were conditions appalling, but also the Haitian residents were virtual prisoners in the work camps because they lacked Dominican documents allowing them to travel.

Serrano says the lockdown was achieved with the complicity of the government, whose representatives not only recruited new Haitian workers and funneled them to the sugar plantations but also kept them in line once they were settled.

Riptide wasn't able to reach representatives of the Fanjuls, who produce 10 million tons of sugar a year here and abroad, or of the Big Sugar family the Vicinis. The Fanjuls, who own a controlling interest in Domino Sugar, boast they produce two of every three spoonfuls of sugar consumed in the United States. Fanjul family representatives have responded in the past that the conditions shown in Serrano's film have since improved.

Perhaps that's true, acknowledges Serrano. "I couldn't tell you, because I've been declared persona non grata by the Dominican government," she says. "God willing, there are improvements. But why do we have to rely on people speaking out, putting their lives at risk, before changes are made?"

Sugar Babies runs this week from Wednesday through Sunday at Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale.

[more...]

The Sugar Babies wins "Best Documentary !

New Orleans, LA (May 13, 2008) -- Following its May 10, 2008 screening at the Delray Beach Film Festival, "The Sugar Babies" wins the jury award for "BEST DOCUMENTARY." The Delray Beach Film Festival ( www.dbff.us ) is a highly regarded, boutique festival that promotes the fine art of independent filmmaking.

Concerning "The Sugar Babies," Delray Beach Film Festival director Dr. Michael Posner shares "People loved the film ! We sit around in our own little world not knowing what is really going on in the real world. This was a real shocker and I am glad it was so well received. The audience got to see the ongoing atrocities that still exist in the world today." Dr. Posner has already asked the film's director Amy Serrano about forthcoming works and anticipated submissions to next year's film festival. . .

With no future film projects planned at this time -- and following the controversy and ongoing harassment surrounding a film that seeks to share the bitter truth behind the bloody history and present day conditions within the sugar industry -- the filmmaker is currently engaged in writing a book and producing events that will bring continued awareness and sustainable humanitarian relief to the children in film.

We are further proud to announce that in an affiliation with the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, ( www.fliff.com ) "The Sugar Babies" will be screened at their Cinema Paradiso venue from May 28-June 1, 2008 [see details below] in the presence of the film's Director, Writer, Cinematographer and Producer, Amy Serrano who will be joined by Ambassador Armando Valladares, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

Ambassador Valladares accompanied the crew, witnessed and testifies about the findings shared in "The Sugar Babies." In addition, Bill Cruz, the film's composer will perform 2 of the songs written for film "Branded" and "The Devil's Work".

About upcoming screenings at the Cinema Paradiso, Gregory Von Hausch, Presdent and C.E.O. of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, expresses "we are thrilled to present this important film, however, our lasting desire is for this film to spur positive change for those laboring in the sugar industry as well as towards the ecological impact big sugar unleashes on our State."

For more information about film, visit www.sugarbabiesfilm.com or write TheSugarBabies@aol.com.

For more information about Sugar Babies events and show times at Cinema Paradiso in Ft. Lauderdale (May 28-June 1, 2008/ 503 SE 6 Street, Downtown Fort Lauderdale) see details below. To bring film to your college or university, scroll down.

Film schedule -- Cinema Paradiso

Wednesday, May 28, 8:00pm film, 7:00pm Reception
Thursday, May 29, 8:00 PM | Friday, May 30, 6:00pm
Saturday, May 31, 5:00 PM | Sunday, June 1, 7:00 PM

Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door.General Admission $8.00 | Seniors and Students $7.00 | FLIFF Members $5.00

For advance tickets and additional details: www.FLIFF.com or 954-525-3456

Location: Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE 6 Street, downtown fort Lauderdale

Parking: Free after 6pm, Monday-Saturday and Free all day Sunday in the Courthouse parking garage and at meters.

[more...]

Future Screenings

FILM FESTIVALS/ CINEMA CYCLE

The Delray Beach Film Festival, has chosen film as part of its Official Selection -- to be screened May 10, 2008 Click here: The Sugar Babies in the presence of the film's composer, Bill Cruz

Also, stay tuned for more info on screenings at Ft. Lauderdale's Cinema Paradiso from May 28 to June 1 with a Special Event on May 28 attended by former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human RIghts Commission, Ambassador Armando Valladares, a live, acoustical performance by Bill Cruz featuring songs from the film and his upcoming album., and the film's Writer/ Director/ Cinematographer/ Producer Amy Serrano.

COLLEGES/ UNIVERSITIES

To bring the film and a member of the film's production team to your college or university, please contact us at TheSugarBabies@aol.com

To help you in planning a screening and visit, other universities have organized and sponsored this through one or multiple departments; some of which include:

  • Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Women's Studies
  • Film Studies
  • Theology or Religious Studies
  • Political Science OR International Relations
  • History Departments
  • Centers for Human Rights OR Modern Day Slavery OR Human Trafficking
And aside from a screening and post screening Question and Answer Session with someone from film, these departments have arranged for one or some of the following:
  • Panel Discussions with someone from film and faculty
  • Student Lectures on Human Rights OR Leadership OR the intersecton of Arts and Activism and more...
  • Informal Lunches with someone from film and students for one-on-one discussions
  • Poster Signings
  • Classroom visits
[more...]

Upcoming Events Calendar

[Friday, March 28, 2008 / Buffalo, New York / 2:30 pm]
Screening of "The Sugar Babies" at the Buffalo-Niagara Film Festival
Market Arcade Film and Arts Centre - SCREEN 1
639 Main St.
Buffalo, NY 14203
[Q & A to follow with Claudia Chiesi, the film's Executive Producer ]
http://www.buffaloniagarafilmfestival.com/2008-films/SugarBabies.php * "OFFICIAL SELECTION *

[Thursday, April 10, 2008 / San Juan, Puerto Rico / 7:30 pm]
Screening of "The Sugar Babies" at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico
Ave. Juan Ponce de León
Santurce, Puerto Rico
[Hosted by Comite Pro-Niños Dominico Haitiano as a benefit for School Supplies to the Children of the Bateys]
http://www.museocontemporaneopr.org/

[Saturday, April 12, 2008 / New Orleans, Louisiana / 9:30-4:30 pm]
On Saturday April 12th, local high school age writers can join peers from Lusher Charter High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts|Riverfront for this first of its kind event: a day of master classes, seminars, food and sharing of their work and ideas.
NOCCA | Riverfront
New Orleans, Louisiana
[ Master Class on writing for Documentary Films by Amy Serrano ]
http://www.nocca.com/students/cw/litfest.php

[ Saturday, April 19, 2008 / New Orleans, Louisiana / 4:00 pm ]
Screening of "The Sugar Babies" at the New Orleans 5th Annual International Human Rights Film Festival
ZEITGEIST MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTS CENTER
1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd
[Q & A to follow with Salvador Longoria, the film's Associate Producer and Amy Serrano, the film's Director, Writer, Cinematographer and Producer]
http://www.nolahumanrights.org/content/view/27/187/#P-Z "OFFICIAL SELECTION"
[more...]

What People are Saying About the Film

"Documentaries don't get much better than this either in content or technical quality."
Jan Holmes, Administrative Director, UNIFEM, Through Women's Eyes International Film Festival

“Sugar Babies” is a poignant, haunting film in the fine tradition of all great investigative reporting, shining a searing light on the plight of a desperately poor and disenfranchised people and those who would exploit them.
Ken Wells, Author and Senior Editor, Conde Nast, Portfolio

"I commend you for your conviction and the efforts you are making to inform more people like myself of the conditions on the sugar plantations in the DR. I thought you did a fabulous job as a filmmaker to create a coherent piece that flows well, educates, and without question, disturbs one's quietude."
H. Ross, Educator, Boulder, Colorado

"An amazing documentary that has made me think and ponder about life and humanity"
Elizabeth Suarez, Advertising Specialist, Denver, Colorado

"The film was incredible. Thank you for sharing with us. It was enlightening and provocative as well as visually stunning!"
Maurice and Tanzanika Ruffin, Attorneys, New Orleans, Louisiana

"The subject matter is sad, it's true, but you have a really positive outlook, and the delivery (for both the film and the questions and answers session) was extremely well-executed. I particularly enjoyed the poetic cinematography. There was a sense of the heat and sun and humidity in the colors and slow moving images. All of the images of children traipsing through sugarcane will stay with me.."
Sabrina Canfield, Novelist, New Orleans, Louisiana

"It is pro-active, ambitious, and very well crafted. You have made a really strong and interesting piece."
Patrick de Bokay, Festival Director, Miami International Film Festival

"Sugar Babies is, in short, brilliant. An amazing, amazing documentary, from beginning to end. It is beautifully paced and filmed, and the issues profoundly important."
Diane Mason, Director, HOPE Films

[more...]

Filmmaker: Sugar family may have blocked documentary about them

By LAURA WIDES-MUNOZ, AP Hispanic Affairs Writer, Posted on Sat, Mar. 08, 2008 | MIAMI -- From their perch atop Florida's sugar industry, the Fanjul family wields political and cultural power from the sunny sands of Palm Beach to the corridors of Washington.

Now filmmaker Amy Serrano believes the family has used that power to block the showing of her documentary critical of their umbrella company, Flo-Sun Inc., at the Miami International Film Festival. And she says her project about the Fanjuls is not the only one to run into trouble in recent months. She points to a film Jodie Foster wanted to make about them that was scrapped and the fight the CBS TV series "Cane" faced before it was aired.

"I feel like my film has been blackballed," said Serrano of her documentary, "The Sugar Babies." It's about the plight of Haitian sugar workers in the Dominican Republic, where the Fanjul family and other companies harvest cane.

Gaston Cantens, a spokesman for the Fanjuls' West Palm Beach-based Florida Crystals Corp., called any accusation that the Fanjuls exerted undue pressure ridiculous.

Serrano's film was rejected from the festival, which runs through Sunday, days before the final lineup was announced. The rejection came despite initial support from the festival's organizers and acclaim at more than a dozen other festivals worldwide.

The Dominican Republic's Vicini sugar family recently hired a Washington, D.C., law firm to sue the makers of another documentary, "The Price of Sugar," for defamation.

Cantens said the sugar industry is tired of one-sided portrayals of "big sugar."

The Fanjuls' political influence is no small thing. It was the Cuban-American patriarch Alfie Fanjul's telephone call that interrupted President Clinton during an indiscreet moment with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. The family and its network have already given more than $300,000 so far in the 2008 election cycle to political committees and candidates from both major parties.

Film festival officials originally said the FIU showing was fine, according to e-mail exchanges with Serrano. But, on Jan. 25, Serrano got another letter telling her the showing was a problem because of the media coverage, which disqualified it.

Days after the film festival's rejection, the Women's International Film Festival in Miami, which opens March 26, also began to backpedal on its invitation to show the film, Serrano said. Eventually the organizers offered a small theater with a forum to bring in different views on the issue.

Serrano, who has lined up a number of other festivals, plans to decline.

http://www.miamiherald.com/775/story/448810.html

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NEWS: Sugar Babies on MEGA TV

Please stay tuned to MEGA TV -- for a special on Maria Elvira Salazar's "POLOS OPUESTOS" to talk about the the human rights issues of the Bateys in the Dominican Republic, and why the Miami International Film Festival pulled the film from its programming at the very last minute.

Taped in Miami on Tuesday, the show is scheduled to air FRIDAY of this week [March 07, 2008]

Appearing on the show will be the film's Writer, Director, Cinematographer and Producer Amy Serrano, along with former US Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Ambassador Armando Valladares, who accompanied the very first mission to the island. They will be joined live via satellite by one of the film's Producers Thor Halvorssen, President of the New York based Human Rights Foundation. Also appearing is Jean de la Fortune, a Haitian Human Rights Activist, who will be presenting the film before the Organization of American States tomorrow. This show is in Spanish.

MEGA TV is now available throughout the United States and Puerto Rico via Direct TV. OTHER NEWS: "The Sugar Babies" has recently made "OFFICIAL SELECTION" of 2 more Film Festivals. More soon.

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