Granito de Arena, Distribution Winter 2005

December, 2005

Granito de Arena shows at the worker-occupied Hotel Bauen in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Granito de Arena wins best documentary at the Tres Continentes Intl. Documentary Festival in Caracas, Venezuela!

November, 2005

Over 4,000 educators and graduate students attended a 4-day education conference in Caxambu, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Granito de Arena was supposed to screen 5 times during the conference, but we had to add two extra screenings after the 5th (and supposedly final) screening was so full that it was difficult to open the theater doors. Filmmaker Jill Freidberg participated in a debate about the film, and more generally about teacher resistance in Latin America, with professors Pablo Gentili and Miguel Arroyo. The debate, which lasted over two hours, created a space for Brazilian educators to talk about their own histories of resistance.

Granito de Arena screened in Mar del Plata, Argentina, as part of the People's Summit that took place at the same time as Latin American "leaders" were negotiating the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Once again, the screening was so full that some people were turned away. Teachers from the Mexican teachers' movement were in attendance and spoke for over an hour with audience members after the screening.


Granito de Arena, Distribution Fall 2005

October, 2005.

Teachers used screenings of Granito de Arena as a mobilizing tool for British Columbia public schoolteachers participating in one of the most important teacher strikes in British Columbia's history.

September/October, 2005.

Granito de Arena went on a mid-west tour that started in Minneapolis and ended in Columbia, MO, with stops in Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago. At Macalaster College, in St. Paul, students used the screening event to educate and mobiliize audience members about ongoing efforts to cut federal financial aid available to low-income students. At the University of Minnesota, the film screened in the Chicano Student Organization's space, and the students in attendance talked for over two hours about how to confront privatization at the University.

The screening in Madison, at the University of Wisconsin, had a huge turnout, with over 200 people in attendance. Thanks to the various departments and student organizations that helped to put the event together! Prior to the screening, Jill Freidberg went live on WORT 88.9 Community Radio and fielded calls from listeners about the privatization of public education in Mexico.

In Chicago, teachers and students packed a screening at the Art Institute of Chicago and had lots of questions and discussion relating to their own lives as public schoolteachers. At the Che Cafe, in Pilsen, audience members included activists from Mexico, Venezuela, and Ecuador, as well as teacher activists from Chicago. Filmmaker Jill Freidberg was invited to visit Little Village High School the next day, a brand-new public highschool serving mainly poor families of color...a highschool "born out of struggle" during which community members fought together with teachers and went out on hunger strike to demand that a quality highschool be built in their neighborhood. And they won!

The independent Ragtag cinema hosted a screening in Columbia, MO and the local teachers' union mobilized teachers from in and around Columbia to attend.

Granito de Arena is one of seven documentaries in the world nominated for the International Documentary Association's 2005 Pare Lorentz Award!


Granito de Arena, Distribution Summer 2005

Granito de Arena had its US premiere in Seattle, at the new independent neighborhood theater, Central Cinema. The two scheduled shows sold out, and a third late show had to be added to accomodate everyone who wanted to see the film! Post-screening discussions focused on the similarities between privatization policies in Mexico and in the US.

Granito de Arena had its world premiere in Mexico City, on May 20th, in the Museum of the City of Mexico, then went to Oaxaca where over 30,000 teachers were out on strike. The teachers were camped in the streets of Oaxaca, and we held open-air screenings every night, projecting on the sides of buildings in different parts of the "planton," or encampment. Hundreds of teachers attended the screenings and participated in heated discussions about the issues raised in the film.

During the week of screenings, the teachers launched a community radio project they have been developing for years. Radio Planton went on the air that week, and continues to this day, transmitting throughout the city of Oaxaca, featuring a wide range of programming that includes interviews with indigenous community leaders, children reading stories, youth activists talking about their struggles, and even a sexual diversity program every Tuesday.

The union local (Seccion 22) distributed 1000 copies of Granito de Arena to school districts throughout the state.