Documentary viewing event will honor Hispanic Heritage Month
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the community is invited to dinner and a show at the Steamboat Christian Center to view the documentary “Document ED.,” a short film by Alan Dominguez.
The film tells the story of immigrants living in sanctuary in churches and synagogues in Colorado to avoid deportation as their cases progress through the legal system. Dominguez created the film in partnership with high school film students in Denver, many of whom are undocumented immigrants themselves.
Dominguez, an award winning, Denver-based filmmaker, said he had always wanted to make a film about the immigrant experience.
“I am also a film teacher to mostly Latinx students, and many are undocumented, so the thought of making a film with students who are living the same reality was really an appealing idea,” Dominguez said. “It was amazing to not only document the stories of these women living in churches but to also document the experience of making it. I really wanted my students to see everyday heroes and interact with them.”
In Steamboat, event organizer Jorge Avila has put together events and celebrations for the community in the past during Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
“This event will be good for the community,” Avila said. “It’s informative and educational. I believe that our community has a very good heart, but sometimes, it’s not always clear how we can move forward in one direction together. We live in a bubble, and sometimes, we don’t want to be involved in certain things that are happening in the world but that are a reality.”
Avila, who has lived in Routt County for nearly two decades, has seen the local immigrant population grow.
“It’s not just the Hispanic community,” he said. “We have many immigrants from many places in Steamboat, and we see a struggle between cultures and trying to adapt to the system. We need to be conscious as a town.”
On Saturday, Oct. 9, the doors of the Steamboat Christian Center will open at 7 p.m. to welcome the community in for dinner at 7:30 p.m. and a viewing of the documentary at 8 p.m. Following the film, which is about 35 minutes long, Dominguez will host a discussion and Q&A session with the audience.
The film, Avila said, is geared toward the entire community, and the goal is to empower, especially students and youth. Erick Ocampo, from the Steamboat Christian Center, said that through this event, they want to inspire young people, whether they are part of the immigrant community or not, to believe that they can do whatever they want and can reach whatever goal they have.
“We’re talking about every young person, not just immigrants,” Ocampo said. “We need to make sure they know that the community cares for them in whatever issues surround them.”
What: “Document ED.,” a film by Alan Dominguez
When: Dinner at 7:30 p.m., show at 8:30 p.m. with discussion and Q&A to follow Saturday, Oct. 9
Where: Steamboat Christian Center, 821 Dougherty Road
Cost: Attendance is free and child care is provided. The film will be shown in Spanish with English subtitles
Dominguez said that empowering youth is really at the center of the film.
“The students that I teach are mostly BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color), so to put the storytelling tools in their hands was an extremely powerful opportunity for them to tell stories about their community and how immigration policies affect them,” he said. “A lot of the time young people of any background are not given the chance to speak their truths, and for people of color, even less so. I wanted to shift that paradigm and give them the agency to be a part of telling stories that are meaningful to our time and place in the world.”
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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