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  • 2/08/10

    Lost Souls (Animas Perdidas) Tells the Story of a Latina Filmmaker’s Troubled Family, Torn Apart by Borders Both Physical and Emotional

    “A courageous search for human dignity that dares to ask the questions no one wants to ask concerning immigration.” – Josefina Lopez, co-writer of “Real Women Have Curves

    Visit the companion website

    (San Francisco, CA)— Filmmaker Monika Navarro was 21 years old when she began making a film about her uncle Gino, a man who was deported from the U.S. and died in Tijuana, where he was then buried in an unmarked grave. Two months later, her uncle Augie was also deported; both had been legal U.S. residents, military veterans — and drug addicts. As filming progressed, Navarro uncovered a family history that embodied the best and worst of the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico. But, as she says early in the film, “I found myself also telling a different story — about the kind of exile that has nothing to do with the government.” A universal story about the powerful bonds that hold families together through disappointments and broken promises, Lost Souls (Animas Perdidas) will premiere on the Emmy® Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens on Tuesday, March 23 at 10 PM (check local listings).

    Lost Souls (Animas Perdidas) moves from idyllic Southern California, where the filmmaker’s Mexican-American family has lived for more than four decades, to Mexico, piecing together the tragic events that lead to her uncles’ deportations. Her camera in tow, Navarro interviewed her mother, uncles, and cousins, opening a Pandora’s box of family secrets. Raised by a single mother, she reconnects with her absent father and slowly pieces together an epic story about an immigrant family with a dark history of abuse, addiction, and abandonment — as well as a history of achievement and strength. Compelling and honest, Lost Souls (Animas Perdidas) introduces viewers to a remarkable family willing to confront the secrets of its past and find ways to accept, forgive, and forge ahead.

    To learn more about the film and the issues involved, visit the companion website for Lost Souls (Animas Perdidas) at www.pbs.org/independentlens/lost-souls. Get detailed information on the film, watch preview clips, read an interview with the filmmaker, and explore the subject in depth with links and resources. The site also features a Talkback section, where viewers can share their ideas and opinions.

    Lost Souls (Animas Perdidas) will be available for purchase from PBS Home Video.

    About the Filmmaker MONIKA NAVARRO (Director/Producer/Co-writer) Lost Souls (Animas Perdidas) is Monika Navarro's first documentary film. It received support from the LEF Moving Image Fund, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, and the City of Ventura Humanities Council. Navarro produced Lost Souls (Animas Perdidas) as a WGBH filmmaker-in-residence, and has screened the film at several festivals nationally, including the Boyle Heights Latina Film Festival, where she was given an award for best director. Navarro is a first-generation Mexican American who was raised in Southern California; by telling her family’s story, Navarro aims to humanize immigration policy issues.

    Navarro was festival director for the 2005 Do It Your Damn Self!! National Youth Video and Film Festival. She received her BFA in Studio Art from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University, and currently lives in Boston.

    About Independent Lens Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Independent Lens features unforgettable stories about unique individuals, communities and moments in history. Presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), the series is supported by interactive companion websites, national publicity, and community engagement campaigns. Independent Lens is jointly curated by ITVS and PBS, with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts. The series producer is Lois Vossen.

    CONTACT Voleine Amilcar, ITVS
    415-356-8383 Ext. 244
    voleine_amilcar@itvs.org

    Mary Lugo
    770-623-8190
    lugo@negia.net

    Cara White
    843-881-1480
    cara.white@mac.com