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Over 20 years after the signing of Peace Accords in El Salvador, and in the light of recent events concerning the security of hard-won human rights documents, this discussion is very important. It also confirms the timeliness of our very personal film, Niños de la Memoria.

Panelists are: David Morales – Human Rights Ombudsman of El Salvador, Dr. Terry Karl – Gildred Professor of Latin American Studies and Professor of Political Science, Stanford University, and Héctor Silva Avalos – Fellow, Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, American University.

Please follow this link to the discussion.

Here is further background information on the discussion published by the event sponsors, The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University

Following the end of El Salvador’s 13-year civil in 1992, the country’s legislature passed a General Amnesty Law. For years, the law has provided generalized protection against prosecutions for human rights abuses committed during the conflict. But the years of amnesty may be coming to an end: El Salvador’s Constitutional Court has recently agreed to hear a challenge to the constitutionality of the law, and a decision is expected in the next few months. The appeal follows last year’s ruling by Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), which found that the amnesty law conflicts with international human rights standards. The IACHR directed Salvadoran authorities to consider the law null.

Overturning the amnesty would dramatically change the status quo in El Salvador. The Attorney General would be free to open investigations and carry out prosecutions in a number of well-known cases, such as the 1981 El Mozote massacre and the 1989 massacre of six Jesuits, their housekeeper, and her daughter. Prosecuting these cases would test the Salvadoran judicial system’s capacity to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate impartially and without fear or favor.

The prospect that the amnesty might be overturned has generated intense debate in El Salvador about the amnesty, the role of the Constitutional Court, and how the Attorney General might respond. This debate is also taking place in a moment in which the integrity of human rights archives in El Salvador is in question.  Tutela Legal, the human rights office of the Archdiocese of San Salvador, was abruptly closed in early October, and there is uncertainty about how the Archdiocese will manage Tutela’s records, which constitute one of the largest human rights archives in the country. The archives of Pro-Búsqueda, an organization that attempts to identify children who disappeared during the war and re-connect them with their birth families, were recently destroyed by armed men who burst into the organization’s offices at night. If the amnesty were to be overturned and prosecutions to move forward, the contents of these records—and, in turn, their protection—will be more important than ever.

This panel will discuss the challenges in protecting human rights records, the prospects for overturning the amnesty and the challenges that will present for the Constitutional Court, the Attorney General, and the judicial system.

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Recently completed for the 10th Annual NHS Human Services “Leading the Way” Awards Gala, our new trailer received applause and a standing ovation for the members of Hollywood Beauty Salon of the NHS Germantown Recovery Community.

The members of HBS were honored with the Fran Eagan Courage Award at the Gala for sharing their life stories of courage and determination as depicted in the documentary which aims to de-stigmatize mental illness and promote recovery. Prior to the Gala, press convened on the Germantown Recovery Community to feature the project, it’s members, and their award.

This clip is from the local ABC station, this from CBS, and listen here to a piece from KYW Radio.

The Gala was a fundraiser for the organization and for the documentary. Please, go here to contribute to this wonderful, uplifting project. Specify Hollywood Beauty Salon documentary. Keep us going!

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Voices Across the Divide was shown this month in Tel Aviv at the film festival, Nakba and Return, organized by Zochrot.

Co-producer/director, Alice Rothchild, posts feedback and links on the Voices fb page. Check out the good work the film is doing.

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It’s been said that the editor gives a documentary life. But how do you create an editing strategy that allows you to share the story you want to tell? Documentary editor Ann Tegnell speaks about her process with Q & A about post-production and your project.

The Craft of Editing

DATE: Tuesday, December 3, 2013; TIME: 7:00PM – 8:30PM; FALL 2013

to be RESCHEDULED in 2014

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If you haven’t heard about it, yet, go here and check it out. It’s the latest project by Glenn Holsten, with Rachel Hollywood Carr project advisor, Ann Tegnell editor, Daniel Traub cinematographer, Willa Rohrer associate producer and Lex Gstein assistant director.  Anthony_Mirror

The Place – The Hollywood Beauty Salon is a tiny beauty parlor tucked inside the Germantown Recovery Community, a non-profit mental health facility in Northwest Philadelphia, which is a program of NHS Human Services. The salon is not open to the public, but serves a small clientele in profound ways. Men and women undergoing treatment for mental illness gather here to have their hair done, share stories, and support each other as they rebuild their lives.

The Recovery Model – The Germantown Recovery Community is a community-integrated recovery center that serves persons with behavioral health and addiction challenges. The film presents to a national audience NHS Human Services’ successful execution of a model of mental health care—unique to the city of Philadelphia—that combines both treatment and rehabilitation services that are individualized, choice-based, consumer-driven, family-inclusive and community-based.

The Film – Currently in production, Hollywood Beauty Salon is also a feature-length documentary that tells the story of the salon—and its clients’ journeys of recovery—in imaginative ways. Documentary filmmaker Glenn Holsten is partnering with members of The Germantown Recovery Community to produce a film that weaves together powerful narratives of transformation. Hollywood Beauty Salon tells stories of struggle from darkness—including mental health challenges, addiction, trauma, and abuse—to hope and light, revealing the strength of this special community.

In the meantime, see Sanetta fly! on the Recovery Diaries video. This short taste of the piece is too wonderful!oc87rd_sanetta_greenscreen

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Lucky Daniel! He’ll be leading the post-screening discussion. We await a report. Carmel Art & Film Festival

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Ninos de la Memoria is showing:

Niños de la Memoria screens on Saturday, November 16 at 2:00pm as part of Newark, NJ Public Library’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration, September 12 – December 31, 2013

Screening and discussion on October 30th at The Dennis Brutus/Merrill Goldwyn Center for the Study of Human Rights at Worcester State University, Worcester, Mass.

DocBuenosAires 13 on October 18 & 22 in the section “Ten Years of the Sundance Documentary Fund”

August 8th at the World Fellowship Center in New Hampshire

Niños de la Memoria was featured as part of The Global Perspectives Film Series, a partnership between MIC, ITVS and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, Meridian International Center July 30

And while all this screening and discussion is going on, there has been quite a bit of activity in El Salvador on the human rights front regarding access to information about the disappeared and accountability of the perpetrators. Visit the Ninos de la Memoria Facebook page to find out what has been going on.

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Filmmakers Alice Rothchild and Sharon Mullally will be presenting Voices Across the Divide at the Boston Palestine Film Festival. The screening will take place Monday, October 21 at 2pm at the Cambridge Public Library. This showing is free and open to the public.

Voices Across the Divide is a powerful documentary and oral history project exploring the Israeli/Palestinian conflict through rarely heard personal stories. Narrated by Alice Rothchild, an American Jew raised on the tragedies of the Holocaust and the dream of a Jewish homeland in Israel, the film follows her personal journey to understand the Palestinian narrative, while exploring the Palestinian experience of loss, occupation, statelessness, and immigration to the US.

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For all those who can’t listen to live radio in the middle of the morning, you can still hear the interview Marty Moss-Coane conducted with my colleagues, Glenn Holsten, Daniel Traub and Lily Yeh, about our piece “The Barefoot Artist”.

Just recently completed, “The Barefoot Artist” chronicles Lily’s life, work and the spaces in-between, revealing a beautiful, courageous, imperfect soul. What a pleasure to, filmically, walk that path with her.

Listen here!

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