Thursday, May 21, 2009

Documentary Film Preview

Please consider attending this free event on Tuesday, May 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the Guadalupe Theater:


At 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26th, a preview screening at the documentary film As Long As I Remember: American Veteranos, by Laura Varela and Fernando Cano, and panel discussion will be offered at the Guadalupe Theater, 1300 Guadalupe Street; Sponsored by American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions.

Produced and Directed by San Antonio filmmaker Laura Varela, the documentary chronicles the experiences of three South Texas Vietnam-era veterans who are also artists: visual artist Juan Farías, author Michael Rodríguez and poet/performance artist Eduardo Garza. The film takes the audience through the lives of the artists and their families: growing up in the Mexican American community, their military service in Vietnam , and their lives after the war. Through their stories the film examines the role of art in memory, post-traumatic stress syndrome, activism, and the current conflict in Iraq.

The film will be preceded by a reception and followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers, Michael Rodriguez, Eduardo Garza and Dr. Norma Cantu who are featured in the film. The panel discussion will explore what the legacy of war means to an individual and to a community.
The documentary As Long As I Remember:American Veteranos was funded by grants from Humanities Texas, Latino Public Broadcasting (a part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Minority Consortia) and the San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs.

Much of the documentary was filmed in the West Side of San Antonio and features poet and performance artist Eduardo Garza and the Circulo de Hombres, a men’s support group sponsored by AIT. The filmmakers are honored to bring this film to the community.
This event is sponsored by the City of San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs. It is FREE and open to the public. For more information please call (210) 227-4940 or visit

About Laura Varela ( San Antonio-based media artist, activist and educator, Laura Varela, is originally from El Paso . She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Radio, Television and Film from the University of Texas and has attended the Sundance filmmaker’s lab, the NALIP/UCLA Producers Academy, the CPB/PBS Producer’s Academy at WGBH Boston, and the NALAC Leadership Institute. Her projects are community-based and focus on issues of social justice and cultural preservation. Her current project raúlrsalinas and the Poetry of Liberation is funded by Humanities Texas, ITVS, The NALAC Fund for the Arts, The Ford Foundation and JP Morgan Chase. In 2005 she co-produced Pan de Vida/Bread of Life with Guillermina Zabala, and in 2004 joined Anne Lewis and Heather Courtney to produce Texas Majority Minority for the Voting in America project. Her film A Slight Discomfort: Echoes from the Clinic won the 2002 Premio Mesquite Award for Best Experimental Work at the San Antonio Cine Festival.

In San Antonio , Ms. Varela’s work has been exhibited at the Blue Star Art Center for Contemporary Art, The Museo Alamdea, the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center , Gallista Gallery, and the UTSA Downtown Art Gallery . Artist residencies include Swarthmore College and Art For Change in 2006 and Hoschule Niederrhein and Faust Academy , Germany in 2007.

About Norma Cantu Norma E. Cantú, born in Nuevo Laredo , Tamaulipas , Mexico , grew up in Laredo , Texas and currently serves as Professor of English and U.S. Latina/o Literatures at the University of Texas at San Antonio . She received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska -- Lincoln . She is the editor of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo book series , at Texas A&M University Press. Author of the award-winning Canícula Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera, and co-editor of Chicana Traditions: Continuity and Change,Telling to Live:Latina Feminist Testimonios and Dancing Across Borders: Danzas y Bailes Mexicanos she has just finished a novel, Cabañuelas and is currently working on another novel tentatively titled: Champú, or Hair Matters, and an ethnography of the Matachines de la Santa Cruz, a religious dance drama from Laredo, Texas. She is known internationally as a poet, fiction writer, folklorist and scholar of Chicana cultural production. She has received many awards including the Américo Paredes Prize from the American Folklore Society, the Modern Languages Association Division of Chicana/o Literature Scholar of the Year, and the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies Scholar of the Year Award.

About Michael Rodriguez ( Michael W. Rodriguez is a published author of short stories, essays, and a play. His work has been published by the University of California Press , Oxford University Press, and Scribner. He is a 1995 graduate of Incarnate Word College , where he majored in Communication Arts. He is also a 2005 graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing at Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos , Texas . Michael's first book, Humidity Moon, was published by Pecan Grove Press in the summer of 1998. Michael lives in San Antonio , where he continues to work on his first novel.

About AITThe American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions (AIT-SCM) is a nonprofit organization established by the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation, descendants of the aboriginal people who populated South Texas and Northeast Mexico . The organization works for the preservation and protection of the culture and traditions of the Native American tribes and other indigenous people who resided in the Spanish colonial missions. AIT-SCM provides a wide array of programs that address the social needs and cultural aspirations of the diverse indigenous communities in San Antonio , Texas .