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The Graduates: Where Are the Boys Now?

The second part of the film The Graduates (Los Graduados), by Bernardo Ruiz, premieres on PBS tonight (Monday, November 4) at 10 PM (check local listings). This hour focuses on Latino teens who have had to beat the odds — breaking free of the temptations of gangs, homophobia and bullying, and higher education’s prejudice against undocumented status — to get … READ MORE

The Graduates: America’s Graduation Report Cards

In conjunction with the broadcast premiere of The Graduates on Independent Lens (part two, the “boys hour,” airs Monday November 4 and you can catch part one online on PBS), we created a couple of handy infographics as seen below.

The Graduates: Where Are the Girls Now?

After watching The Graduates (Los Graduados) [airing on PBS in two parts, tonight October 28 and November 4], you — like those of us here at Independent Lens — will no doubt be curious as to what the students featured in the film are up to now.  Straight from the film’s producers, we’ve already received an update, and in some cases … READ MORE

“I’m Graduating/I Graduated Because…”

The Graduates/Los Graduados offers a first-hand perspective of the challenges facing many Latino high school students. While you’ll be hearing from the six students in the film itself (which premieres on PBS Monday, October 28 and concludes November 4), we also want to hear from you — any student past or present. Here’s how it works: … READ MORE

The Graduates: Interview with Filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz

We spoke with The Graduates filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz about what lead him to make this film, how he decided on the six students featured in the film and got them to trust him and his multitalented crew, other documentaries that influenced him, and the impact he hopes the film has.

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American Graduate Shorts: Skipping Up

Last, but certainly not least, in our mini-festival of American Graduate short films, is Skipping Up, directed by Jim Mendiola and Faith Radle. Set primarily in Mark Twain Middle School in San Antonio, Texas, Skipping Up follows a group of eighth graders as they finish their year in the Middle School Partners Program, a new and … READ MORE

American Graduate Shorts: Immigrant High

Our American Graduate short film festival continues with Immigrant High, a film by Xochitl Dorsey. [Go here for more on the American Graduate films.] Immigrant teens find face discrimination, language barriers, unfamiliar cultural traditions — while dealing with the changes all teens struggle with. Many give up on school. Immigrant High takes us into the halls … READ MORE

American Graduate Shorts: I Really Want to Make It

We continue our look at the American Graduate shorts with I Really Want to Make It, a film by Ray Telles and Angela Reginato. Sharon Montano of Oakland decides to go back to school at age 20 after several years of substance abuse and other struggles. When she discovers Civicorps Academy, where she meets other young people who have … READ MORE

American Graduate Shorts: Can’t Hold Me Back

Our “mini-festival” of American Graduate shorts continues with Can’t Hold Me Back, directed by Betty Bastidas and Madeleine Bair. Detroit teen Fernando Parraz, an accomplished rapper and budding filmmaker, aims to become the first in his family to earn a high school diploma — his ticket out of the struggles of inner-city poverty and violence. He … READ MORE

American Graduate Short Films: Baby Mama High

It’s a startling statistic: 52% of American Latina girls get pregnant in their teens; more than half of those in high school never graduate. Heather Ross’s short documentary Baby Mama High looks at this issue from the perspective of an Escondido, CA, teenager. It’s the last few weeks of high school for Yessenia, a soft-spoken senior with … READ MORE

The New Community Cinema Goes Bilingual and Digital

Guest post by Renee Gasch, National Community Engagement Manager for ITVS & Independent Lens Nine years ago, a dear colleague in Boise, Idaho planted the seed for Community Cinema. Lynn Allen, a longtime public media maven, had been hosting a regular series of documentary film screenings and discussions in Boise; they were well attended and the … READ MORE

Independent Lens Announces New Season Lineup

The Independent Lens documentary series launches its 12th season on PBS on September 30th with a lineup of 23 films from both new and established filmmakers. Actor/director Stanley Tucci will be returning as the series host. The season will kick off with Ramona Diaz’s Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, about Filipino singer Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from YouTube to … READ MORE