The Graduates/Los Graduados

Latino students from across the United States struggle and triumph through the challenges faced in the American public education system.

Graduates 01
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
October 28, 2013
120 minutes
Funding Initiative
Series and Special Projects
Director and Executive Producer

Bernardo Ruiz

A writer and documentary filmmaker born in Guanajuato, Mexico and raised in Brooklyn, Bernardo Ruiz founded Quiet Pictures in 2007 to produce independent documentary projects at the intersection of journalism and film. He is the director/producer of American Experience: Roberto Clemente (PBS, 2008), winner of the NCLR ALMA Award for Outstanding Made Show more for Television Documentary. Most recently, he directed and produced Reportero (POV, 2013), a gripping look in to the world of Mexican journalists who cover organized crime and political corruption. Before starting Quiet Pictures, Ruiz worked as a freelance director/producer for a variety of media outlets, including PBS, National Geographic, Planet Green and MTV, among others. He studied documentary photography with Joel Sternfeld at Sarah Lawrence College. Before embarking on a career in documentary, he taught as an artist-in-residence in New York City public schools through Learning through an Expanded Arts Program (L.E.A.P.) He grew up in a household where education was a frequent topic of conversation — his mother has been a teacher of high-school Spanish for nearly 40 years. Show less

Aguilar pamela filmmaker bio

Pamela A. Aguilar

Pamela A. Aguilar is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with over ten years of experience producing innovative and informative programming for PBS.  She co-produced the Emmy-nominated documentary The Longoria Affair (Independent Lens, 2010) about the racial divides in a South Texas town, that led to the uprising of the Latino Civil Rights Show more Movement.  She also produced two hours of the nationally acclaimed four-part PBS series Latin Music USA, covering the contributions of Latin sounds in American music. Other public media credits include Beyond Brown, Matters of Race, and FRONTLINE. Theatrical documentary credits include Bigger, Stronger, Faster, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, and Shut Up and Sing, as well as the co-production of an investigative documentary on No Child Left Behind Legislation for the Emmy Award-winning series, CNN Presents.  She’s a graduate of New School University, a CPB/PBS Producer’s Academy Fellow, and currently resides in New York City. Show less

Maguire katia filmmaker bio

Katia Maguire

Maguire most recently worked with Bill Moyers as an associate producer on the public affairs news program Moyers & Company and for Bill Moyers Journal. She was the senior associate producer for Women, War & Peace, a five-part PBS documentary special exploring women’s strategic role in conflict and peace-building, and a co-producer on Quest for Honor, Show more a documentary about honor-based violence in the Kurdish region of Iraq that was short-listed for the 2010 Academy Awards and premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. She is a recipient of ITVS Diversity Development Funding for her documentary Jessica Gonzales vs. The United States of America. Katia was a 2009-2010 fellow with the Union Docs documentary arts collaborative in Brooklyn. Show less

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The Film

Two-part, bilingual documentary explores pressing issues in education today through the eyes of six Latino and Latina adolescents from across the United States, offering first-hand perspectives on the barriers they have to overcome in order to make their dreams come true.