ITVS and Kentucky Educational Television Present Eren McGinnis and Ari Palos’ BEYOND THE BORDER To Air Nationally on Public Television Stations in April 2002
Over the past decade, thousands of Latinos seeking a better life have migrated to Midwestern states like Kentucky, which offers low-paying jobs in the tobacco, manufacturing and horseracing industries. However, as these Latino communities have swelled, so too has the xenophobia and discrimination they face.
Eren McGinnis and Ari Palos’ BEYOND THE BORDER, airing nationally on public television stations in April 2002 (check local listings), traces the painful transition made by four sons in the Ayala family as they leave behind their parents and sisters and struggle to overcome cultural, class and language barriers in Kentucky.
By following the Ayala brothers as they leave their home in Michoacan, Mexico, and relocate to the Bluegrass region, BEYOND THE BORDER offers viewers the opportunity to explore a range of complexities surrounding the immigration experience, including responsibility to family, community and culture. The documentary traces each man’s individual and collective journey. Initially, the program focuses on the two younger brothers, Marcelo and Horacio, and their adjustment to living in Kentucky. The second part focuses on Gonzalo, the eldest, who has had what he calls "a very hard life" and whose sense of self-worth has been strained by an addiction to alcohol. The documentary is rounded out by following Juan, who left at 14 in order to support his parents and younger brothers and sisters.
The program aims to humanize the immigrant experience but to do so in a way that avoids pathos and victimization. Viewers see firsthand the results of the way the U.S.-Mexico border is policed and learn the effects of economic and racial discrimination on Mexican immigrants.
BEYOND THE BORDER is a co-production of Dos Valos Productions and KET, the Kentucky Network, produced in association with ITVS, the Latino Public Broadcasting, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional Funding Provided by The KET Fund for Independent Production, The Kentucky Humanities Council and The National Endowment for the Humanities, The Kentucky Oral History Commission, and The Kentucky Arts Council.
Since its inception in 1991, programs produced by ITVS have transformed, reinvented and revitalized the relationship between the public and public television. From ground-breaking series like THE FARMER’S WIFE and AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY to specials including Emmy Award winners SING FASTER: THE STAGEHANDS’ RING CYCLE; SCHOOL PRAYER: A COMMUNITY AT WAR; GIRLS LIKE US and NOBODY’S BUSINESS, and the Peabody Award-winning TRAVIS, A HEALTHY BABY GIRL, COMING OUT UNDER FIRE and THE GATE OF HEAVENLY PEACE, ITVS productions have dared to bring TV audiences face-to-face with the lives and concerns of their fellow Americans. In the process, ITVS has changed minds, opened hearts, inspired dialogue and brought viewers out of the box and into their communities and communities they might never have known about. For information, contact ITVS at 501 York Street, San Francisco, CA 94110; e-mail: Nancy_Fishman@itvs.org or visit the ITVS website at www.itvs.org.