co-presented with Community Cinema
One of the largest celebrations of George Washington's birthday in the world takes place in the border town of Laredo, Texas. This 116-year-old tradition has evolved into an entire month of inventive reenactments and bi-cultural celebrations, many of them involving their Mexican sister city, Nuevo Laredo. The most preeminent event of them all, however, is the invitation-only Colonial Ball hosted by the elite Society of Martha Washington.
Society daughters, most of them Mexican American, are invited to debut in elaborate Colonial gowns representing iconic figures from America's revolutionary history, to reenact a ball thrown by America's first First Lady. Las Marthas follows two of the young debutantes one a prominent member of Laredo society and the other a newcomer from Mexico as they prepare for this rite of passage.
Las Marthas unravels the origins of the celebration and explores why a town like Laredo, with such deep Mexican roots, feels such affinity for America's Founding Father, and how against all odds the Washington's Birthday Celebration has managed to persevere and even flourish, thanks to the Mexican American girls who continue to wear the gilded burden of tradition.
Cristina Ibarra (Director/Producer) is an award-winning Chicana filmmaker from the U.S.-Mexico border between El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico. Her critically-acclaimed documentary The Last Conquistador had a national broadcast on PBS's P.O.V. Her short narrative film, Dirty Laundry: A Homemade Telenovela, won multiple awards at festivals and was broadcast nationwide on the PBS series ColorVision. Ibarra wrote and directed the narrative mini-film Wheels of Change for the New York International Latino Film Festival to play before every feature film screening. Latino Public Broadcasting funded her comedic interstitial Grandma's Hip Hop. She is a founding member of Fulana, a Latina interdisciplinary collective, where she created award-winning satirical shorts. Ibarra is the recipient of numerous fellowships from, among others, the Rockefeller Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, CPB/PBS Producer's Academy, NALIP's Latino Producers Academy, and Creative Capital. She is also the writer/director of a feature film in-development, Love & Monster Trucks.
Erin Ploss-Campoamor (Producer) is an award-winning filmmaker, with experience in both documentary and narrative, the director of several shorts and the producer of a feature film, Dark Mirror (IFC Films). She wrote and directed the semi-autobiographical short film La Americanita (The American Girl), which won two Best Short Film awards, as well as the short film April in the Morning. Erin is the producer and co-writer of Love & Monster Trucks, a feature length narrative film, in development, for which she was recently a semifinalist for the Sundance Institute's Creative Producing Fellowship and the Sundance Writer's Institute. Ploss-Campoamor was born in Canada to American parents and raised all over North America in an extended multicultural family, speaking English, Spanish, and French.
ABOUT COMMUNITY CINEMA & DCTV PRESENTS:
DCTV was selected by Community Cinema as a Producing Partner for the 2013-2014 season, and looks forward to screening more incredible previews of films from PBS's Independent Lens.
Community Cinema is a groundbreaking public education and civic engagement initiative featuring free monthly screenings of films from the Emmy Award-winning series Independent Lens and other PBS presentations. Community Cinema is on location in more than 95 cities nationally, bringing together leading organizations, community members, and public television stations to learn, discuss, and get involved in key social issues of our time.
DCTV Presents is DCTV's signature screening and event series that highlights innovative and provocative work from the independent filmmaking community. From screening films by emerging artists to hosting master classes led by renowned groundbreakers in the industry, each event offers the public a unique and inclusive opportunity to share, support and embrace truly independent art. All events are open to the public, and serve super cheap drinks, alcoholic & non!
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