to continue to support this film go to: www.thesalinasproject.org
About the Filmmaker
My name is Carolyn Brown and I’m a Journalism Professor at American University and an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker. As the daughter of a Latin American immigrant, who grew up in a bicultural and bilingual family, I feel especially connected to the Latino community. I understand the struggles and dreams of immigrants and am committed to telling their stories. All of my work is about Latino communities, the Latino experience in the U.S., the border, and the anti-immigrant movement. My first two films have done great on PBS stations and NBC affiliates. But I’m not done with this very important work. There are more Latino voices that need to be heard. The goal of this project, and my work, is to intervene in popular stereotypes that depict Latinos as “illegals,” or “gang members,”. I want to tell positive and realistic stories about Latinos and the communities where they live.
For more about my work and me visit www.carolynebrown.com.
What I Need
I'm trying to raise money to complete the final production and post-production of this film. So far, about 80% of the film is shot. This work has been funded mostly by a grant from American University.
About The Salinas Project Documentary
hour south of the wealthy Silicon Valley, and twenty minutes east of the
affluent Monterey/Carmel area, home of the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course,
sits the agricultural town of Salinas. The city of Salinas is at the head of a
fertile valley – a part of the country brought into America’s consciousness
through the stories of John Steinbeck. Along with an abundance of other crops,
80% of the nation’s lettuce and artichokes are grown here. Every day, Americans
eat produce that is handpicked by immigrant farm workers in this area, but few
understand the challenges the farm workers and their children face.
On the east side of Salinas, in a neighborhood known as Alisal, deplorable housing conditions and gang violence are part of daily life. Alisal is 92% Latino with a per capita annual income of $11,917. Despite the challenges there are big changes happening in the community and a sense of renewal and pride. Young people are surviving and thriving. This documentary profiles the children of immigrant farm workers living in Salinas. Without resources, and sometimes undocumented, their future is often uncertain, but their hope and resilience is abundant.
This film helps viewers understand a community that is often misrepresented in the media. News stories focus on gang violence, often marginalizing the lives of those who work in the fields and their children. The film brings to light the systemic causes of the problems in East Salinas and highlights the successes and hopes of this community. The Salinas Project is an expanded exploration of the lives of four young people who are overcoming the social, political and economic constraints that confront many Latinos in America.