A hotel housekeeper has won a City Council seat in Providence, RI, taking her advocacy for low-income workers from the margins to city politics.

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Margo Guernsey

Margo Guernsey’s films document American stories where the protagonists work in challenging spaces toward a more equitable world. Councilwoman is her first feature length documentary. She has two other projects in development including Pauli Murray: An American Life (w.t.), which has received NEH development funding. In between films, Margo Show more directs and produces short films and promotional videos for non-profit organizations and small businesses. Over the past 20 years, Margo has worked as a union organizer, non-profit development director, Spanish/English translator and media instructor. She began her film career in 2010 as a producer at WPBT2 (Miami). She holds an MFA in Film (University of Miami), MA in History (Umass/Amherst), BA in History (Brown University), and is a Tribeca/Camden/CNNFilms Retreat Alumni. Show less

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Patricia Benabe

Patricia Benabe is a documentary film producer and writer. She produced the two documentary short films Love The Sinner and Field of Vision’s They Took Them Alive, as well as feature documentary Memories of a Penitent Heart which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in 2016 and broadcast on POV in 2017. Patricia also co-produced The Hand That Feeds (Audience Show more Award at Full Frame Film Festival, 2014; America ReFramed 2016) and Reportero (Emmy nominee; POV, 2013). Patricia served as associate producer on Roberto Clemente (ALMA Award, 2009) and as coordinating producer on the Annenberg series An Invitation to World Literature (WGBH, 2010). She field produced for The Undocumented by Marco Williams and Aaron Lubarsky’s The Naturalized, which was commissioned by The History Channel. Her films have received support from Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, Ford Foundation, Cinereach, Latino Public Broadcasting, ITVS, POV, Chicken and Egg, and LEF. Show less

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The Film

A hotel housekeeper from the Dominican Republic, Carmen Castillo, has won a City Council seat in Providence, RI, taking her advocacy for low-income workers from the margins to the center. She faces skeptics who say she doesn’t have the education to govern, the power of corporate interests who take a stand against her fight for a $15/hourly wage in the City, and a tough re-election against two contenders—all of this while balancing the challenges of managing a full-time job cleaning hotel rooms, and a personal relationship. It’s a journey behind the scenes of politics after the victory.