Centre Film Festival
Along the southern desert border in Arizona, it is estimated that only one out of every five missing migrants are ever found. AGUILAS is the story of one group of searchers, the Aguilas del Desierto. Once a month these volunteers—construction workers, gardeners, domestic laborers by trade—set out to recover the missing, reported to them by loved ones often thousands of miles away. Amidst rising political repression and cartel violence, as well as the eternal difficulties of travel in the Sonoran Desert, the Aguilas carry out their solemn task.
AGUILAS lays bare the tragic reality of migrant death by venturing deep into the wilderness of the borderlands. The desert is a vast cemetery where the bodies and dried bones of migrants lie exposed under the scorching sun. In a world where efforts to humanize the migrant experience often get lost within the statistics and headlines, this documentary provides an observational and poetic response to one of the most pressing issues of our time, undocumented immigration and the hardships of the border crossing experience.
Runtime: 14 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan + Maite Zubiaurre
Kristy Guevara-Flanagan is an Associate Professor at UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film, and Television, where she heads the MFA Directing Documentary concentration. She has been making documentary films that focus on gender, death, and the Latinx community for nearly two decades. Guevara-Flanagan’s documentary and experimental films have screened at the Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, and HotDocs film festivals and the Getty Museum. Her work has broadcast on PBS and the Sundance Channel, received numerous awards, and been funded by ITVS, the Sundance Institute, Fork Films, the IDA, the Tribeca Institute, Latino Public Broadcasting, and California Humanities. Her films are currently in distribution with Women Make Movies.
Maite Zubiaurre has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University, New York. She is a professor of European Languages and Transcultural Studies, Spanish and Portuguese, Digital Humanities, and Urban Humanities at UCLA. Before joining UCLA, Zubiaurre taught at USC, UNAM (Mexico), ITAM (México), and UT, Austin. She is the author of numerous publications, the most recent one, an award-winning monograph on the cultural representations of contemporary refuse (Talking Trash. Cultural Uses of Waste, 2019). She is presently leading a collaborative project on migrant death and border activism and art that includes a scholarly monograph and a digital map. “Filomena Cruz” is Maite Zubiaurre’s alter ego as a visual artist and activist.
Home From School: The Children of Carlisle
“Kill the Indian to save the man” was the catchphrase of The Carlisle Indian Industrial School, a boarding school opened in Pennsylvania in 1879. It became a grim epitaph for numerous native children who died there.
A delegation from the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming attempts to retrieve the remains of three Northern Arapaho children buried far from home in the school cemetery, on a journey to recast the troubled legacy of Indian boarding schools, and heal historic wounds.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Country: United States
Director: Geoff O’Gara
For over 20 years, Geoff worked for public television as on-camera talent, writer, and documentary producer. He is known for his award-winning documentaries “Alan K. Simpson: Nothing Else Matters” (2012) and “Dick Cheney: A Heartbeat Away” (2015), both of which were broadcast nationally on PBS. His productions have won a variety of prizes, including a Heartland Emmy for best documentary (“Will Rogers & American Politics”, 2011, screenwriter), the National Educational Television Association (NETA) top prize for documentary (“Alan K. Simpson: Nothing Else Matters”, 2012), and NETA’s first place award for public affairs series (“Capitol Outlook”, 2010). Geoff is also the author of several books, one of which, “What You See in Clear Water” (Knopf), is about the Wind River Indian Reservation, and won the Spur award for best nonfiction from the Western Writers of America. He is a former editor of High Country News and has published in many national publications. He is currently working as Director, Producer & Writer of documentaries and scripts at Caldera Productions based in Wyoming.