Paz-Pastrana_RaulRaúl O. Paz Pastrana (Director, Producer, Cinematographer)
Raúl is a Mexican immigrant filmmaker, cinematographer, and multimedia creator. His work intersects contemporary art, political documentary, and visual ethnography to explore themes of “belonging” and “alienation” in immigrant communities. His films have screened worldwide, including at the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) in New York City, at the Sheffield Doc/Fest in the UK, and at DocsMX in Mexico City. He is a 2018 Princess Grace Awards Special Project Grantee, an Art Matters/Jerome Foundation Cassis France Arts Fellow, a Tribeca Film Institute All Access grant recipient, a 2018 IFP Filmmaker Labs fellow, a 2018-20 Firelight Media Documentary Lab Fellow, and a 2018-19 Ford Foundation, JustFilms grantee.  Website:

Jason pic_thumbnailJason De Leon (Producer, Advisor)
Jason is a Mexican-American and Filipino-American Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. He currently directs the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP), a long-term study of clandestine border crossing that combines ethnographic, archaeological, and forensic approaches. Jason was named a Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellow for the 2016-2017 academic year and he was awarded the prestigious 2016 Margaret Mead Award for his book “The Land of Open Graves.” Recently, Jason was named a 2017 MacArthur Genius fellow. Website:

Cecilia1Cecilia Girón Pérez (Producer)
Cecilia is a Mexican producer and filmmaker. She graduated from the Center of Cinematographic Studies at the UNAM in Mexico City. She has worked in more than 16 feature films, 25 short films, and on many commercials and TV programs. Cecilia has worked with renown producers and filmmakers such as Martin De Thurah, Maria Novaro, Juan Carlos Rulfo, and Everardo Gout. Recently she was the producer for the documentary film La Historia Negra del Cine Mexicano / The dark history of Mexican cinema, and for the documentary feature film El Sembrador / The Sower, winner of the “The warriors press prize”, “the best woman filmmaker” award and the “Audience award”at the 16th FICM (Morelia International Film Festival). Cecilia has attended workshops at the Cinergia in Costa Rica, CSUN LA- Ingmar Bergman Chair, Morelia Lab, Docs in Progress- DOCSMX, among others. Cecilia recently joined the production team of the documentary film “Border South/Frontera Sur.”

co-producer_ellen_knechel.jpgEllen Knechel (Editor, Co-Producer)
Ellen is a Spanish speaking filmmaker and editor. Her work often focuses on stories from Latin America and North-South relations. She is currently editing the feature documentary, Border South. Previously, Ellen assisted Lindsay Utz in cutting Quest, which received a Cinema Eye Honors Award for Outstanding Editing. Ellen was recently selected as a mentee in the 2018 class of the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship’s Diversity in the Edit Room Program. She also participated at the 2017 Camden/TFI Filmmaker Retreat, the 2017 DocsMX Docs Labs in Mexico City, and she is a Flaherty Film Seminar alumnus. She holds an MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University.


fiona_otway_photo2_by_paul_hinsonFiona Otway (Story Consultant)
Fiona Otway is a documentary filmmaker whose work is strongly influenced by anthropology, critical social theory, and experimental filmmaking. Her work often explores themes related to globalization, community-based social change, and cultural identity. Several of Fiona’s projects have been featured in top-tier film festivals and television broadcasts around the world. She was an editor on the film IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS, which was awarded the first-ever prize for ‘Best Documentary Editing’ at Sundance Film Festival and received several international awards, including an Academy Award nomination. Fiona was also an editor on the Academy Award-nominated film SARI’S MOTHER and edited HELL AND BACK AGAIN, which won the Sundance Film Festival ‘Grand Jury Prize’, a DuPont Award, and was nominated for a ‘Best Documentary’ Emmy as well as an Academy Award. website:

Odin_bw2Odín Acosta (Sound Design and Mixing)
Odín Acosta studied audiovisual arts at the University of Guadalajara. He has been working since 2006 as a sound designer. He has collaborated in more than 80 projects as a sound designer, editor and location sound mixer IMDB Odin Acosta. In 2010 he founded OA Sonido, a sound design studio. He participated in the Talent Campus of the Berlinale in 2013, he has worked for Viacom, BBC and Netflix. He currently works as a producer in the films “Away from Meaning” (Dir. Olivia Luengas) and is co-producer of “The blue years” (Dir. Sofía Gómez). From his career as a sound designer, the following works stand out, all of them winners of the ARIEL prize awarded by the Mexican Academy of cinematography:
Zimbo – Juan José Medina – Rita Basulto, The Aeronauts – León Fernández, Cerulia – Sofía Carrillo, El Ocaso de Juan – Omar Deneb Juárez, Maripepa – Samuel Kishi Leopo.

339010_320041198024287_1795549254_oKathryn Smith Pyle (Consulting Producer & Grant Writing)
Kathryn Smith Pyle is a Sundance Institute Fellow (2011 Documentary Edit and Story Lab; 2009 Creative Producers Lab). She was Producer on feature-length Children of Memory (2012); funders included ITVS, Sundance Institute, Latino Public Broadcasting, Chicken & Egg, and others; the film showed in festivals in North and South America and was broadcast on public television in 2013. She is Director-Producer of Farm Labor, an online short documentary film and website, and is a consulting Producer for Almost Sunrise (2016) and Border South (in production). She was a grant-maker in the US, Latin America and Europe; she writes about social issue documentaries; and has a doctorate in social policy from the U. of Pennsylvania.

13007150_2999045695633_5421314517406481325_nJohn Doering-White (Co-Producer, Advisor and Sound) is a doctoral candidate in the Joint Doctoral Program in Social Work and Anthropology at the University of Michigan. John’s research focuses on the intersections of immigration enforcement and humanitarianism that surrounds undocumented immigration through Mexico. His research is supported by a Fulbright García-Robles Grant and a Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant.



hala_headshot2Hala Hassan (Digital Strategist & designer for Social Impact)
Hala is a Lebanese graphic designer, illustrator and digital strategist based in New York. She is interested in design activism and how we can develop human-centered designs/innovations with social impact. Hala has worked on multiple digital campaigns and strategies for clients around the world under Mirum MEA. She’s also been doing freelance projects for over 8 years with clients around cities like Beirut, Dubai, Oman, Jeddah, Amsterdam, Paris, and New York. Website:


Ryan_headshotRyan McTear (Composer)
Ryan McTear is a Spanish speaking, composer, arranger and musician. He spent most of his twenties living between Los Angeles, Italy and Spain where he worked in television. He has written music for Film / TV and commercials.




Fotografía RVRRicardo Vergara (Editing Consultant, México)
Ricardo has a degree in Social Communications from the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana (Mexico), specialized in educational TV. He is a film editor with more than 10 years of experience in documentary projects, short fiction films, television series, commercials and video clips. Some of his work includes Soneros del Tesechoacán, Herencias Musicales, Álvaro, the Phantom of the Bombilla, Larissa, Portraits of a History, Mega Structures of National Geographic, We Paint Ourselves, and the award winning They called me King Tiger (participant in the 32nd Guadalajara International Film Festival).


Nels Bangerter (Consulting Editor, USA)

Gabriel Rhodes (Additional Consulting Editor)

Emily Parkey (AP/Production Manager)

Additional Partners:

Un Mundo Una Nación, Mexico

El Refugio La Sagrada Familia, Mexico

Movimiento Mesoamericano Migrante, Mexico

Colibrí Center for Human Rights, USA

La 72 Hogar Refugio para Personas Migrantes, Mexico