Labor Rights Week 2012

Monday marked the beginning of Labor Rights Week in the US, lasting from August 27th-31st leading up to Labor Day.  This year’s theme determined by the US Department of Labor is “Promoting Labor Rights is Everyone’s Responsibility.”  This could not be more true, especially when it comes to the most vulnerables workers out there: the estimated 400,000 children who work as migrant farmworkers.

David Strauss, the Executive Director of AFOP (Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs) an organization we have worked with many times on the outreach for The Harvest/La Cosecha, wrote a wonderful blog post about America’s “Unfinished Business in the Fields.” Farmworkers make up about 2.5 million of our huge workforce performing work that is vital to our economy and to the food needs of our population. What the US needs to do is end the separate and unequal status of America’s farmworkers and bring them into parity with the rest of working Americans.

Watch this video message from Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis then be sure to reach out to your legislators and make sure they know there is work to be done:

Inocente wins UNICEF Special Award at EIDF

We are thrilled to announce that INOCENTE won the UNICEF Special Award at the EBS International Documentary Film Festival in Korea.

Korea’s Educational Broadcasting System showcased a number of socially conscious and educational non-fiction films in its  EBS International Documentary Festival.

The annual event is one of the very few documentary events in the world where the films are screened both in movie theaters and on TV. The festival celebrated its ninth edition this year, featuring 48 films from 31 countries. Some 710 films were submitted for this year’s line-up of the festival.

“I think the issue of education is considered very important worldwide,” said Kwak Duk-hoon, president and CEO of EBS, during a press conference. “We think documentaries can be great educational material for our kids. We hope to improve the quality of education in Korea with this culturally-rich event. The festival also offers conferences, where people can gather and talk about the social and cultural themes that are dealt with in the featured movies.”

One of the two competitive sections this year was titled “Edu-Choice.” The section consisted of a total of five films that carry educational values, including U.S. director Judy Lieff’s “Deaf Jam,” a portrait of a young girl with a hearing impairment and her powerful use of visual language; German director Edda Baumann-von Broen’s “Tall Girls: A Story of Giants,” which tells the story of five young women whose heights are above 1.85 meters; and  “Inocente.” All the movies in this section were screened for free.

The filmmakers are honored to have been a part of this festival and to have been chosen to received the UNICEF Special Award.

Fall 2012 Screenings of Inocente


Movies that Matter: The Jewish Museum’s High School Film Festival
12/6/12  10:00 am – 1:00 pm
FREE but registration required.  Teachers contact the scheduling coordinator to make a reservation:

Bahamas International Film Festival
More info: 

Wonder of Women Film Festival – National Council of Jewish Women
Eisenhower Corporate Campus
Livingston, NJ
More info: 


Seoul, South Korea
8/19/12 15:00
8/20/12 17:00
8/21/12 11:00
Seoul Museum of History
click here for more info 

OC Film Fiesta
Santa Ana, CA
9/2/12 at 3:30pm 

Golden, CO
9/7/12 8:30pm
9/9/12 12pm 

Ohio State University
Columbus, OH


Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival **WINNER Short Film Award***
Flagstaff, AZ
10/12/12 7pm
Orpheum Theater
Tickets and info 

Immigrant Youth Justice League
Chicago, IL
Loyola University Ceremonial Courtroom

Muestra de Cine Guadalajara
Los Angeles, CA
Universal Studios AMC Theater 

Heartland Film Festival **SHORT FILM FESTIVAL AWARD**
Indianapolis, IN

Friday, October 19, 2012        10:45 AM         Castleton           8
Friday, October 19, 2012         4:15 PM            Castleton           8
Saturday, October 20, 2012    12:30 PM          Traders Point    7
Sunday, October 21, 2012       7:00 PM            Traders Point    7
Monday, October 22, 2012     4:30 PM            Castleton           8
Tuessday, October 23, 2012    2:00 PM            Traders Point   10
Friday, October 26, 2012         11:30 AM           Castleton           12
Saturday, October 27, 2012     11:00 AM           Traders Point    9
Tickets and info

United Nations Association Film Festival
10/23/12 3:20 PM
East Palo Alto, CA
Eastside College Preparatory School
Event Info 

Cockatoo Island Film Festival
10/24/12 at 1:00pm
More info and tickets 

St. Louis International Film Festival
11/11/12 at 1:00pm
Plaza Frontenac Cinema
St. Louis, MO
More info: 

Helsinki Short Film Festival
11/14/12 at 19:00

A big week for Dreamers

By Susan MacLaury

As you know, last week was an important one for Shine because our documentary, INOCENTE, aired on MTV on Friday.  But last Wednesday was much more important.  That was the day that tens of thousands of Dreamers stood in line for hours to apply for protection  through President Obama’s Deferred Action program

This stopgap measure doesn’t provide a path to citizenship but does prevent the risk of deportation for individuals under the age of 30 who have lived in the US for 5 consecutive years, are currently in school or graduated from high school, earned a GED, or served in the armed services, who have no convictions for felonies or serious misdemeanors.

It was President Obama’s effort to stem the deportations of young Latinos in the wake of the congressional defeat of The Dream (Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors) Act of 2011.

The DREAM Act was first proposed in 2001 by Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT).   It would have provided conditional permanent residency to undocumented persons of good moral character who graduated from U.S. high schools, arrived in the United States as minors, and lived in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment.  If they were to complete two years in the military or two years at a four-year institution of higher learning they would obtain temporary residency for a six-year period. Within the six-year period, they could qualify for permanent residency if they had “acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the United States or [had] completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor’s degree or higher degree in the United States” or had “served in the armed services for at least 2 years and, if discharged, [have] received an honorable discharge.  This bill would have included illegal immigrants as old as 35 years of age.

It has subsequently been proposed in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011, with variations that ultimately lowered the age limit to 29, and required individuals to have entered the US before the age of 15.  Ultimately its failure at the federal level left states to consider passing their own versions of the legislation, with California doing so in 2011.

INOCENTE tells the story of a 15-year old homeless, undocumented artist by the same name who, with her mother and 3 younger brothers, has moved in and out of 25 shelters in San Diego since her father was deported for domestic violence when she was 6.  Inocente and her brothers could be the poster children for The Dream Act. The film illustrates graphically how limited the options are for families that are undocumented.  Try as hard as they will, their status severely limits their chances to succeed or create stability for their families.   Fortunately, the Izucar family portrayed in INOCENTE has been able to obtain VISAs and are protected from deportation as they continue on their path to citizenship.

But as we saw last Wednesday, there is so much more to be done, so many young adults with dreams and talents and the desire to become full citizens in the country to which they were brought as children.  The President’s act is a step in the direction of protection of young people and Shine wants to applaud all of the Dreamers who took this step.  INOCENTE was made for young adults like yourselves and we hope it plays a role in improving your lives.

Learn more about the film INOCENTE at

For more information about deferred action and how to apply visit The New York State Youth Leadership Council

Inocente on MTV Friday, August 17 at 10/9c

Inocente will air on MTV Friday, August 17 at 10/9c

Winner of “Best Documentary Short” at the 2012 San Antonio Film Festival,Inocente” tells the story of a talented 15 year-old Latina who, as an undocumented homeless immigrant, refuses to surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings and fiercely pursues her dream of becoming an artist.  By chronicling the journey of this immensely talented young woman, the documentary sheds light on the current lightning rod issues of immigration and homelessness in America in a strikingly personal way.

“‘Inocente’ poignantly captures the beauty and strength of a young woman who refuses to let her surroundings define her,” said Chris Linn, Executive Vice President of Programming and Head of Production for MTV.  “We’re thrilled to premiere this documentary and hope it not only continues the dialogue on youth immigration and homelessness, but serves as an inspiration to those struggling to overcome obstacles in pursuit of their dreams.”

“MTV is the perfect partner for ‘Inocente.’ The network can activate an audience of millions of young adults and teens who can make an impact on these critical issues,” said Albie Hecht, co-founder of Shine Global, the nonprofit filmanthropy organization distributing the film.

Color is Inocente’s personal revolution. Its extraordinary sweep on her canvases creates a world that looks nothing like her own dark past. Inocente survived life’s greatest challenges, punctuated by a father deported for domestic abuse and an endless shuffle, year after year, through the city’s overcrowded homeless shelters and the constant threat of deportation. Told entirely in her words, the documentary joins Inocente at a turning point in her life, when, for the first time, she decides to take control of her own destiny.

Inocente’s situation is unfortunately not unique. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there are about 1.7 million homeless youth under the age of 18 in the United States. To date, this country continues to have the largest number of homeless women and children of any industrialized nation.

For more information on “Inocente” and the issues explored in this documentary head to

“Inocente” was directed by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine and produced by Yael Melamede, Albie Hecht, Sean Fine, Andrea Nix Fine, and Emanual Michael, and is a Salty Features, Unison Films, Fine Films Production.