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Washington Immigration FilmFest explores hidden worlds

Check out this Article from the Post discussing the Immigration Film Festival

Washington Immigration FilmFest explores hidden worlds


What the appreciative, English-speaking families clapping in the church basement don’t know is that the part-time performer has a secret. Handsome in his tight, black mariachi suit, Miguel Cortes mentions it in Spanish after he takes his bows, but no one understands. So he just smiles.

Not long before, immigration authorities in Raleigh, N.C., gave Cortes 120 days to leave the country. If he doesn’t go back to Mexico voluntarily, he will face deportation and criminal charges, with little hope of returning legally. He can comply with the order — or he can disappear and take his chances. Or maybe a lawyer will win him a reprieve.

Above all, he has his family to consider: His wife and daughters entered the country with him illegally 12 years before, but they have not been ordered deported. Should he leave the them behind so the girls can finish their education?

Cortes makes his decision in the new documentary, “120 Days,” by director Ted Roach, one of 28 features, documentaries and shorts to be presented Thursday through Sunday during the Greater Washington Immigration FilmFest.

“Part of the trick was how do you tell an everyday story in a way that’s going to be watchable in a movie and watchable for English-speaking Americans,” says Roach, based in Chapel Hill, N.C. “That’s who I wanted to reach, because that’s whose minds I’m trying to change.”

Read more here Washington Immigration FilmFest explores hidden worlds


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