Women Filmmakers: Immigrant Stories 2017 – Documentary Shorts Screening and Reception

New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) continues Women Filmmakers: Immigrant Storieswith short documentary films featuring: Shiri Paamony Eshel’s Maria, Naiara Eizaguirre’s Resident Alien, Daniela Cruzat and Farrah Lopez’sBorn to Stay.

Date: Thursday March 30, 2017
Time: 6 PM
: Ridgewood Library 20-12 Madison St, Ridgewood, NY 11385

From Manhattan: Take the M train (towards Middle Village- Metropolitan Ave) to Forest Ave

From Brooklyn or Queens: Take the F train (towards Jamaica-179 St) then take the M train (towards Middle Village-Metropolitan Ave) to Forest Ave

Screening followed by a Q&A and reception with the filmmakers.
Free Admission. RSVP in advance to reserve seats.


25:24 mins

Maria is an 18 year old poet, daughter of Mexican immigrants from the Bronx, NY. Maria’s life was never easy, as she had to live with her alcoholic father, mother, mother’s schizophrenic husband and 2 sisters. The family moved between housing projects and shelters and never really had hope for a better future. When Maria started going to high school she experienced depression and social isolation which led her to cutting herself. Luckily she started writing poems. The movie opens the door to the world of a young woman who, against all odds, keeps the faith; no family support, not an easy life, with only her poems to keep her from falling. The images from Maria’s present life in college and with her parents are weaved with her past in the form of artistic storytelling.

Shiri Paamony Eshel (Director) worked as broadcast manager for the independent student radio 106FM in Israel in 2000 and the years following while promoting African culture through the radio and actively helping African refugees has made Shiri interested in Human Culture. Human Culture in all its glorious shapes and colors, all over the world; communal histories and the personal stories their made of, music – the way it travels the world, connecting people where all other means have failed, art – the way it does not need words of a specific language to touch the soul, all that and more attracted Shiri to Maria. A young girl who is producing beauty in the storm that surrounds her, the way she is expressing all her pain through her art that helps her to heal. Shiri was raised in Israel, is an SVA alumni, and she is currently living in NYC.


Resident Alien
17:50 mins

Carlos was born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, reportedly the city with the world’s highest homicide rate outside a war zone. At the age of 15, Carlos saw his best friend shot dead in front of him. As a witness, he would have to join the gang responsible or be murdered. Carlos chose an alternative yet equally dangerous path. He was one of 60,000 unaccompanied children to cross the U.S. border from Central America in 2014, fleeing drug cartels that use children as foot soldiers. Along their treacherous route, they ride atop ‘The Beast’, the infamous freight train to the border. The fight against ‘The Dream’ deferred continues in NYC where he tries to become an American citizen.

Naiara Eizaguirre-Paulos (Director) was born and raised in San Sebastian, Spain. She is a multimedia journalist passionate about the work of informing the public and for most of her professional career has worked in television as an on-air reporter, host, and producer. Naiara covered pressing Spanish and European current affairs with an international news value and a special focus on politics, human rights, immigration policy, culture, movies and fashion. After ten years of professional experience in Spain Naiara has decided to make her next career move to study the craft of documentary, society’s moral witness.

Born to Stay
23:27 mins

During a tumultuous election year, Elvia grapples with the fact that her father was deported and her mother lives in fear of deportation. In an all-white community in upstate New York, she leads her debate club to a school-wide presidential debate reenactment in an effort to inform her peers and eliminate the growing threat to her tight relationship with her mom.

Daniela Cruzat (Co-Director) is a Chilean journalist who worked as a reporter for the prime-time news broadcast on Chile’s public television station. She covered social justice, education, and breaking news before starting her masters in Documentary at Columbia Journalism School, where she was a Cabot Scholar. She recently graduated and is currently an Associate Producer and shooter for CNN Headline News Documentaries.

Farrah Lopez (Co-Director) is a native New York journalist who has covered culture, identity, and political issues. From researching and content building at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture to interning at NBC, she has covered a wide range of issues from education in the poorest districts to cultural preservation. She recently earned her masters in Documentary at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and currently works for National Geographic’s Emmy Award-Winning Show Explorer.   

Special Thanks

NYC Council Member Elizabeth Crowley

March 30 @ 6:00pm
6:00 pm — 8:00 pm (2h)

The Ridgewood Public Library
20-12 Madison Street
Ridgewood, New York 11385

Join the conversation on social media:
#nywift | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.