FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA” DOCUMENTARY EXPOSES PLIGHT OF 400,000 CHILDREN WHO WORK AS MIGRANT LABORERS ON AMERICA’S FARMS
Executive Produced by Eva Longoria and Shine Global, the Producers of the Academy-Award® Nominated film, WAR/DANCE
Premieres in NY on July 29th and in LA on August 5th
July13, 2011 (New York, NY) – THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA, an award-winning new film by Shine Global, U Roberto Romano and Executive Producer Eva Longoria that examines the lives of child migrant laborers, will be released theatrically by Cinema Libre Studio starting on July 29 in New York at the Quad Cinema (34 West 13th Street) followed by Los Angeles on August 5 at Laemmle’s Music Hall 3 (9036 Wilshire Boulevard) with additional theatres to follow. Following its theatrical run, the film will be screened in up to 30 cities nationally as part of a comprehensive community outreach program. The film, which focuses on three Latino youths who are among the 400,000 children who work as migrant laborers on America’s farms, will also be broadcast nationally on the EPIX, the multiplatform media service, and EpixHD.com on October 5 with a DVD release later that month.
Directed by award-winning photographer and filmmaker U Roberto Romano, THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA tells the stories of three adolescents who travel with their families across thousands of miles to pick crops in southern Texas, northern Michigan and northern Florida during the harvest season. Along the way, they face back-breaking labor in 100-degree heat, physical hazards from pesticides, the emotional burden of helping their families through economic crises when work opportunities dry up, separation from their families and peer groups and dwindling hope for their educational and economic advancement. Actor Eva Longoria serves as executive producer through her company, UnbeliEVAble Productions.
“I’ve been an activist for migrant farm workers for over 10 years. When I learned about this film I knew I had to be involved,” said Eva Longoria.
“Very few of us understand the true cost of the produce that we buy in grocery stores every day,” said Susan MacLaury, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Shine Global. “While we only pay 80 cents a pound for tomatoes, the child who may have picked them has paid with his or her future.”
Zulema Lopez, 12, thinks of nothing but working in the fields, and one of her earliest childhood memories is of her mother teaching her how to pick and clean strawberries. Having attended eight schools in the last eight years, she struggles to keep up and is afraid she may not make it to high school. When asked what her dreams are, she replies that she doesn’t have time for them.
Perla Sanchez, 14, travels with her large family to pick crops across the United States. She watches as her classmates forge special bonds that she will never share with them as they advance from one grade to the next and she is left behind. And just when it seems that her father has found a job that will allow them to stay in one place and have some stability, a decline in his health sends them back on the road. She dreams of becoming a lawyer so that she can help other migrant workers who struggle to make ends meet.
Victor Huapilla is a 16 year-old living in Florida. His family migrated to the US when he was young looking for a better life and is on the path to full citizenship. To help support his family, Victor has had to balance his time between harvesting and going to school and his education suffers. While Victor is often in the fields, he’s glad his younger sisters are still spared the ordeal of picking up to 1500 pounds of tomatoes a day. But the expenses of legally bringing his two older sisters to America bankrupts the family and they can’t afford to migrate for work.
Albie Hecht, Co-Founder of Shine Global and Chairman of the Shine Global Board of Directors, said, “Kids who work all day in fields, and have to move every six months to follow the harvest, don’t focus on school. Their friendships suffer. Their physical health suffers. It is very hard for them to grow and develop, and many give up on life dreams or career ambitions. All they see is the harvest.”
Scenes from THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA have been presented to the US Department of Labor and members of Congress, including Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, who has presented scenes from the film to lawmakers in support of her introduction of the CARE Act, which would raise the minimum age of child farmworkers from 12 to 14.
Beyond the theatrical release, THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA was screened at the San Antonio Film Festival on June 22 where it received the audience award for Best Documentary as well as Outstanding Filmmaker award for director Romano. THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA will be shown in several different cities with MALDEF, and have special screenings at VivaFest in San Jose, CA, in September, the New York International Latino Film Festival in New York City in August, and for the Association of Latino Administrators and Supervisors in San Francisco in October.
Shine Global is also developing a free downloadable curriculum for teachers of grades 7 – 12. More information about the film and facts about America’s youth migrant farm laborers can be found by visiting www.theharvestfilm.com.
Theatrical distribution for THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA was negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers by Andrew Herwitz, President of the Film Sales Company, and on behalf of the distributor by Philippe Diaz.
THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA is a production of Shine Global, Inc. in association with Globalvision, Inc., Romano Film and Photography, Inc., UnbeliEVAble Productions, EPIX and Planet Green. Albie Hecht and Susan MacLaury: executive producers for Shine Global, Inc. Eva Longoria: executive producer for UnBeliEVAble Productions, Rory O’Connor: executive producer for Globalvision, Inc. and producer. Alonzo Cantu and Raul Padilla, Executive Producers
About Shine Global
Shine Global works to end the abuse and exploitation of children worldwide through the production of films and other media that raise awareness, promote action, and inspire political and social change.
Since its founding in 2005 as a non-profit film production company, Shine Global has given voice to some of the world’s most at-risk children, shared their stories, inspired millions of viewers, and won more than 20 major film awards, including two Emmys, an Academy Award nomination, and Best Director Documentary at Sundance.
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