The Graduates/Los Graduados

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

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

Bernardo Ruiz

Bernardo Ruiz is a two-time Emmy® nominated documentary filmmaker based in New York. He was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and grew up in Brooklyn. His directorial feature debut, Reportero, (POV, 2013) about a group of dogged reporters at a Tijuana weekly, premiered at Full Frame (U.S.), IDFA (Europe) and Ambulante (Mexico). New York Magazine called it “a Show more powerful reminder of how journalism often requires immense amounts of physical and psychological bravery.”  His second feature documentary, Kingdom of Shadows, financed by Participant Media, (POV, 2016) premiered at SXSW in the U.S. and IDFA in Europe. “Many documentaries have chronicled the drug war in the U.S. and Mexico,” writes Slackerwood of the film, “but few have humanized it as poignantly as Kingdom of Shadows. [It] is more observant than crusading...rooted in first-rate journalism.” The New York Times called it “unforgettable.”  His latest, Harvest Season, about the behind-the-scenes players in the premium California wine industry, premiered on Independent Lens in May 2019. “Told expertly and with some startlingly gorgeous photography,” Criterion Cast writes of the film, “director Bernardo Ruiz gives a first hand account of small wine producers and the struggles they face both economically and politically in 2018 America...a film that’s as beautiful as it is intimate and emotionally moving.”  Ruiz is a recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) fellowship in film and was awarded the Rockefeller Bellagio residency. His work has been funded by the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur foundation Sundance, ITVS, Cinereach and the Fledgling Fund, among others. In the fall of 2015, Ruiz was a filmmaker in residence at the Investigative Reporting Program (IRP) at the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He currently serves on the advisory board of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and recently joined the documentary branch of The Academy. Show less

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Producer

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

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Producer

Katia Maguire

Katia Maguire recently produced Participant Media’s Kingdom of Shadows (SXSW, Full Frame, DocNYC, IDFA 2015), a documentary about the US/Mexico drug war that aired on PBS’s POV September, 2016. She also produced The Graduates/Los Graduados, a bilingual series about Latino high school students that premiered on PBS’ Independent Lens in 2013. Show more Previously she was senior associate producer on Women, War & Peace, a five-part PBS series about women and modern conflict, and co-producer on Quest for Honor, a documentary about violence against women in Iraq that was short-listed for the 2010 Academy Award and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. 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.

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