Last week, ITVS filmmaker Ilana Trachtman joined the mariachi band comprised of students featured in the LPB-supported film Mariachi Highfor a performance at the Naval Observatory Residence for the fourth annual reception in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month (running Sept 15 – Oct 15). The documentary, which kicked-off PBS’s Arts Festival last year, spent a year in the life of top-ranked members of Zapata High School’s championship mariachi ensemble on the Rio Grande in South Texas. Mariachi High director Ilana Trachtman offered BTB this report from the event.
Vice President Joe Biden talks to High School Mariachis from Zapata Texas on the front porch of the Naval Observatory Residence, before a Hispanic Heritage month Reception, September 26, 2012. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
As documentary filmmakers, we always hope that our stories will take exciting and unexpected turns while our cameras are rolling. It’s pretty exciting when the unexpected happens during outreach as well.
A serendipitous series of events brought 18 of the current mariachi musicians from Zapata High School to the Naval Observatory Residence, to play for Latino leaders across the country at Joe Biden’s annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. Continue reading →
Actor Anna Deaveare Smith discusses her role as host of the PBS Arts Summer Festival with BTB. The interview was conducted last January at the TCA Press Tour in Los Angeles, where the actor was performing her one-woman-show Let Me Down Easy.
The PBS Arts Summer Festival expands the scope and diversity of the arts on television, with a multi-part weekly series and new original online content that takes viewers across the country and around the world. The Summer Festival kicks off tonight with the ITVS funded documentary Mariachi High, which captures a year in the life of top-ranked members of Zapata High School’s championship mariachi ensemble on the Rio Grande in South Texas.
To learn more about the PBS Arts Summer Festival and see the full broadcast schedule, please click here.
The ITVS-funded documentary (airing Friday, June 29 on PBS) presents a year in the life of top-ranked members of Zapata High School’s championship mariachi ensemble on the Rio Grande in South Texas.
At a time when the Latino dropout rate is the highest of any group nationwide, intolerance toward immigrants (and perceived immigrants) is growing, and public school funding is being cut, these teens continue to pursue excellence through a connection to their cultural heritage. Continue reading →
ITVS recently approved funding for the documentary Mariachi High by filmmakers Kim Connell and Ilana Trachtman.
In a part of America that rarely makes headlines, there is a small town with a group of teenagers who will captivate your ears and warm your heart. Mariachi High presents a year in the life of the champion mariachi ensemble at Zapata High School on the Rio Grande in South Texas. As they compete and perform with astonishing musical virtuosity, these teens, and the music they make, will inspire, surprise, and bring you to your feet.