Documenting stories of inspiration and justice, Madeleine Blair and Betty Bastidas founded Maracuya Productions with the hope to bring about change. Their short film Can’t Hold Me Back, is a part of the American Graduate initiative, and is currently streaming as part of the PBS Online Film Festival.
Can’t Hold Me Back follows Fernando Parraz as he becomes the first in his family to earn a high school diploma, which is his ticket out of the struggles of inner-city poverty and violence. With a mountain of roadblocks stacked against his educational achievement, Fernando finds support from an unlikely figure: his father — a former gangster who has suffered the costs of his own mistakes.
This short film is a part of the American Graduate Initiative supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). This long-term public media initiative is dedicated to helping communities implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. American Graduate demonstrates public media’s commitment to education and its deep roots in every community it serves.
Watch Can’t Hold Me Back and VOTE for the 2013 PBS Online Film Festival People’s Choice Winner.