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Cities of Sanctuary Film Series

April 28, 2017

Casita Presents: Cities of Sanctuary Film Series

6 Films Celebrating the Immigrant Spirit In New York City and Beyond

All film screenings are FREE. Schedule below.

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A scene from Mosquita y Mari which opens Casita’s film series this May.

BRONX, NY – (April 2017) Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education in partnership with the New York City Council and Council Member Rafael Salamanca is proud to present Cities of Sanctuary Film Series with screenings and discussions of six critically acclaimed movies that celebrate the immigrant spirit in New York City and beyond.

With support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cities of Sanctuary Film Series will include movies that showcase New York as a longstanding sanctuary city but also illustrate how its residents - long-time citizens and newly arrived residents alike - create sanctuary for themselves and others. Whether a sports documentary like Doin’ It in the Park or a mainstream comedy like I Like It LIke That, the program includes films for all community members regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, age and even taste. Furthermore, following the screening of each film, Casita Maria will facilitate a dialogue among audience members, giving them an opportunity to share their reflections on the movie and ideas for forging a sense of community in the South Bronx across the borough’s diverse residents. When possible the filmmakers have been invited to join these conversations, making themselves available to answer the audience’s questions.

“These courageous narratives and public conversations about migration and movement in New York City and in other U.S. cities are necessary now more than ever,” says Haydee Morales, Executive Director of Casita Maria. “Ours is a city that was built by immigrants, and they continue to be instrumental to its fabric, economically, politically and culturally.”

While the demographics of Hunts Point continue to be overwhelmingly Latino at 80 percent, it is also becoming more diverse. The majority of Latino residents remain Puerto Rican, and like the 20 percent of residents who are African American, they have withstood generations of change. Joining them now in ever increasing numbers, however, are Dominican, Mexican and Honduran immigrants.

Regardless of its composition, Casita Maria has a long history of serving this community which is the poorest congressional district in the United States. The first and oldest Latino charity in New York City, it serves 1,000 children and families daily through education and youth development programs and additional 5,000 residents through public arts programming such as the upcoming film series. Recognizing her own parents’ migration from Puerto Rico to New York City in the 1950s, Ms. Morales describes the vital role that the city’s public institutions have played in providing sanctuary to newcomers. “Fortunately, my parents had and we continue to have organizations like Casita Maria to support and ensure the success of these families,” says Ms. Morales. “As a first generation Puerto Rican woman who now holds this leadership role, I feel a responsibility to extend Casita’s legacy of assisting the newest New Yorkers who deserve their shot at the American Dream just like those who came before them.”

In fact, the decision to host conversations after each screening is intended to encourage dialogue among the diverse audience members. “The paradox of the moviegoing experience is that it’s at once communal and personal,” says Sofia Quintero, a lifelong Bronxite and curator of the series” “You sit in the dark with a group of strangers, each of you going on a personal journey. So imagine if when the lights came on, you were able to share what you learned and experienced and hear the same from the person sitting behind you. Films like Mosquita y Mari beg to be discussed. We’re hoping that these screenings and conversations cultivate a sense of community among the diverse residents of Hunts Point and maybe even lead to some inspired collaborations. Sanctuary lives in our relationships to one another.”  

The Cities of Sanctuary Film Series will take place across four days: May 19th from 6:30PM - 9:30PM, May 20th from 11:00AM to 6:00PM, June 23rd from 6:30PM - 9:30PM and June 24th from 11:00AM - 6:00PM. All screenings and dialogues take place at Casita’s auditorium at 928 Simpson Street in the Bronx. All events are free and open to the public. The films cover a range of subject matter so we encourage parents to consult each movie’s rating to determine suitability for their children’s viewing.

For more information: contact Luis Pagan, Marketing & Media Manager at Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education or visit Casita Maria’s website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages: @casitamariabx

Haydee Morales Quote
“Ours is a city that was built by immigrants, and they continue to be instrumental to its fabric, economically, politically and culturally.”

Sofia Quintero Quote
“We’re hoping that these screenings and conversations cultivate a sense of community among the diverse residents of Hunts Point and maybe even lead to some inspired collaborations. Sanctuary lives in our relationships to one another.”


SCHEDULE*

Friday, May 19, 6 PM - MOSQUITA Y MARI

In a fast-paced immigrant community where dreams often lose to the need to survive, teens Mosquita y Mari find sanctuary in each other.

Saturday, May 20, 11 AM - MAD HOT BALLROOM

This award-winning documentary follows a group of NYC kids as they learn ballroom dancing and prepare for a citywide dance competition.

Saturday, May 20, 3 PM - SURPRISE FEATURE**

When his grandmother dies, a Mexican boy is determined to travel to the U.S. to find his mother. Kate Del Castillo stars in this poignant movie.

Friday, June 23, 6 PM - DOIN’ IT IN THE PARK

New York City is the worldwide mecca of summer basketball, and this vibrant documentary explores the history, culture and social impact of this scene.

Saturday, June 24, 11 AM - SURPRISE FEATURE**

You won’t want to miss this visually stunning drama which tells the story of four Latino immigrants in New York.

Saturday, June 24, 3 PM - I LIKE IT LIKE THAT

In this edgy and touching comedy, a young woman must find a way to support her family when her husband is arrested during a blackout in the Bronx. The first studio picture directed by an African American woman.   

* Subject to Change

** Due to licensing restrictions, we are prohibited from revealing the title in our promotional material. To inquire about the surprise feature, please call Luis Pagan, (718) 589-2230 ext. 6091


Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education is the oldest Latino charity in NYC, founded in 1934.  The South Bronx-based community arts and educational organization presents diverse, contemporary visual and performing arts and education programming for all ages. casitamaria.org