Community Cinema: The Graduates 10/1

KLRU and the Austin Public Library present Community Cinema. The free public screenings take place at the Windsor Park Branch Library (5833 Westminster Dr.) from 7 pm to 9 pm.

On  October 1st, watch a preview and discuss The Graduates/Los Graduados. This bilingual documentary explores pressing issues in education today through the eyes of six Latino and Latina adolescents from across the United States, offering first-hand perspectives on the barriers they have to overcome in order to make their dreams come true.

Dr. Pauline Dow, Chief Academic Officer Austin Independent School District, will discuss local educational issues. The presentation will also feature the short film Skipping Up with filmmaker Jim Mendiola in attendance.  Set primarily in Mark Twain Middle School in San Antonio, Texas, Skipping Up follows a group of eighth graders as they finish their year in the Middle School Partners Program, a new and highly successful dropout-prevention project that helps students who were previously behind catch up quickly.

Dr. Pauline Dow currently serves as Chief Academic Officer for the Austin Independent School District, an urban school district of 85,000 PreK-12 students in over 120 schools and learning sites, providing overall instructional leadership for curriculum and instruction, bilingual education, and special education to promote attainment of the District’s vision. Prior to this, she served as Associate Superintendent/Chief Academic Officer for the Ysleta Independent School District, a district with 62 schools serving more than 44,000 students.  She has focused  on establishing meaningful standards of excellence, strengthening school-community partnerships, and a culture of collaboration at all levels. Dr. Dow’s research focuses on the achievement of students in dual language education programs and the policy implications of bilingual schooling. Her most recent publication includes a book chapter published on June 13, 2012 by Springer: “Education Policies: Standardized Testing, English Language Learners and Border Futures” in Social Justice in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region. She is a founding member of the Institute for Language and Education Policy.

Jim Mendiola is an independent filmmaker, curator, and writer based in Texas. A Rockefeller Intercultural Media Fellow, Mendiola’s films have screened in numerous film festivals, museums, and colleges in the U.S., Mexico and Europe, public television and cable TV. His projects have been supported by the Independent Film Service, Film Independent, National Association of Independent Latino Producer, Latino Public Broadcasting, Mun2, SiTV, and the Sundance Filmmakers Lab. As a curator, Mendiola created the film program at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, programmed for San Francisco’s Cine Accion Film Festival, and is currently directing San Antonio CineFestival, the nation’s longest running Latino Film Festival. He is an artist-in-residence at the University of Texas at Austin where he is writing a book and creating a digital archive on the history of U.S. Chicano/Latino independent filmmaking.

Community Cinema is a groundbreaking public education and civic engagement initiative featuring screenings of films from Independent Lens on location in 100 cities and online. Between September and June, Community Cinema brings together leading organizations, community members and public television stations to learn, discuss and get involved in today’s critical social issues.

Special thanks to

Austin American-Statesman