FILM

My Name Is Maria / Documentary Feature Film

My Name Is Maria is a family documentary film that celebrates the diversity of Latin American culture and aims to lift up Hispanic children who are so often invisible in western culture. Maria Elizabeth Del Rey, a Cuban refugee, raised in an uncaring American school that barely cared to share even necessary school supplies with its Hispanic students, shares the importance of mentorship and acknowledgment of identity as she undergoes her ambitious The Bridge El Puente tour.

My Name Is Maria is a family documentary film that celebrates the diversity of Latin American culture and aims to uplift Hispanic children who are so often invisible in today's US media culture.

Maria Elizabeth Del Rey (MDR), a Cuban refugee, was raised in a barrio in Miami and attended an uncaring American school that was burdened with overcrowding and barely equipped to educate and break the language barriers of its Hispanic students. Del Rey shares the life-changing importance of her early mentors that cultivated her musical and leadership talents and acknowledgment of her identity to be more than invisible.

Years later, in a small elementary school classroom in Ojai, CA, Maria Elizabeth Del Rey taught cultural appreciation to predominantly privileged students. The program engaged the children with genuine enthusiasm and joy with bilingual music, art, and stories. For many students, this was their first view of the Hispanic culture as portrayed with elegance, respect, and inclusivity. The program culminated in a concert. On concert day, the auditorium was filled with electricity as the privileged children sang to the Hispanic children and families in the audience. Everyone was worried during the first song, are they making fun of Hispanics? Soon the power of music as an ambassador of goodwill came alive, and a bridge of understanding flooded the room when the Hispanic audience realized that their culture was seen positively for the first time with respect and honor. This moment catalyzed The Bridge El Puente. Maria became determined to give acknowledgment and positive identity to Hispanic children in both their own eyes and the eyes of their peers.

The show exploded with color and personality, through the songs, stories, and dances from the varied regions of Latin America. Vibrant Caribbean, South American, Central American, and indigenous native folklore showed the stunning cultural wealth of Latin America. The Bridge-El Puente reached over 67,500 children across the nation. The show's structure allowed children from all walks of life, to experience a modern and empowered view of Latin America.

The film's highlight is the breakthrough tour through Nebraska the heartland of America. MDR visited fifteen schools, various community centers, migrant worker children, and performed the final shows at the Lied Center concert hall in Lincoln, Nebraska. Over a hundred Hispanic students traveled from across the state to perform on stage with Maria to celebrate the climax and finale of this musical journey through Latin America. Four thousand people attended sold-out shows and celebrated Maria's mission to lift Hispanic children in their own eyes, and the eyes of their peers. My Name is Maria shows how powerful and tangible is the acknowledgment of positive cultural identity and the empowerment that can happen when invisible children feel visible.

Producer: ChildGood Films

Editor: Dan Swietlik ( Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth and Micheal Moore "Sicko" )

Style: Live Action Family Documentary Film

Format: 1 x 90min film 

Status: In development 

Delivery: 2020 Q1

Markets:

Family Documentary Film

Family Watch Together

Feel Good Family Non-Fiction 

Social and Cultural Documentary Film

Empowerment themes

Inclusive Content

Cultural Edutainment for Children

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