When Ilse Cruz was a toddler, she and her mom immigrated from Mexico to Chicago in search of better opportunities. Now a passionate dancer and ambitious high school student, Ilse hopes to go to college and one day visit the family she left behind. However, her undocumented status pushes these dreams further out of reach. Halfway through her senior year, Ilse learns her DACA permit qualifies her for a special document that allows her to return to Mexico. Through a life-changing trip, Ilse reconnects with her family and Mexican roots – and her legal re-entry to the U.S. fast-tracks her application process for permanent residency. Six months after she graduates from high school, Ilse obtains her green card – mere weeks before Donald Trump takes office. While Ilse’s mother rejoices in these unexpected events for her daughter, her own fate grows ever more uncertain. (Length: 13:27) Published on The Atlantic and selected for the 2017 Chicago Latino Film Festival and the Washington, D.C. International Film Festival.

Beyond the Seal

An interactive web documentary capturing the story of small farmers striving to change the way American consumers view and eat bananas, and the industry behind the perfect yellow fruit. Through a model of business called Fair Trade, small banana producers, activists and visionaries are building a more just supply chain from Ecuador to the United States that prioritizes their health, families and communities. Best Student Film and Audience Choice Award at the 2016 Real Food Film Festival. College Photographer of the Year 2016 Award in Multimedia Excellence. Screened in cities across the country, including as an immersive gallery exhibit in Philadelphia. Watch the full web doc here:


Para Ontem (Due Yesterday)

The traditional fisherman and Afro-brazilian community of Martelo, located on Ilha de Maré, an island in the Bay of All Saints in northeastern Brazil, has seen their land and environment dramatically change over 57 years of oil extraction on their territory. "Para Ontem" explores the implications of Brazilian oil giant Petrobras's activities and the chosen direction for the country's economic growth on the environmental, land and cultural rights of traditional peoples. Para Ontem screened at the 2014 Northwestern Conference on Human Rights and the 2014 MOSTRA de Filmes Americanos at the Academia Internacional de Cinema in Sao Paulo. Portuguese with english subtitles.