tv Comunidad del Valle NBC September 15, 2019 9:30am-10:01am PDT
damian trujillo: hello and welcome to "comunidad del valle." i'm damian trujillo, and today we're celebrating 32 years of siren, plus a san francisco latino film festival on your "comunidad del valle." ♪ damian: we begin today with the monthly visit of the mexican consulate in san francisco. with me is the mexican consul general, remedios gómez arnau, here on "comunidad del valle." welcome to the show. our viewers on nbc haven't met you. so tell us a little bit about you. welcome to the bay area. remedios gómez arnau: thank you, damian. well, i'm very glad to be here in the bay area. we cover 13 counties, from san mateo, alameda, and contra costa, up to the border with oregon. we have around 900,000 people of mexican origin in this area.
we count both those born here and those born in mexico because we provide services to both of them, different types of services. i've been around in the united states in different posts. i've been in san diego previously, i've been to atlanta, i been to the carolinas, and now i'm here in the bay area very happy. damian: how do you speak english so beautifully? it's perfect. remedios: well, thank you so much. maybe it's because i've been here a long time. damian: well, welcome to the bay area. so tell us--you just finished up the-- [speaking foreign language] labor rights week. what kind of feedback did you get? are we still be--are there people still being claiming that they're being abused at work? remedios: oh, yes of course, and that's a very important effort that all the 50 mexican consulates in the united states celebrate and along with many of our local allies, with labor authorities, both of the federal and state level, and also with
many nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to providing information and helping, and many labor attorneys. so, we organize every year during the last week of august, these--the week of labor rights just before labor day. that's the reason, and the idea is to provide information to everyone about the rights. many people, they don't know what the rights are. they think that maybe because their migratory status is not clear that they don't have any right, and the idea of the week is to tell them no matter what's your migratory status, if you work, you have rights and they need to be respected. damian: all right, and it's safe to say that at the consulate, it doesn't matter if it's the labor rights week, all year you're able to help them if they have issues with their-- remedios: oh, yes, of course through our protection department. we provide information and services to the community, but we organize this week of labor rights just to highlight the
importance of respecting them and the importance of being well-informed about what your rights are. damian: okay, and now you're getting ready for [speaking foreign language] in fact, you've had it all weekend long and there's--it continues today sunday. remedios: yes, today, well, actually i'm going to have two gritos. you know, the way of celebrating mexican independence is shouting, you know, ¡viva méxico! and that's what i will be doing just in a while. and also many of the staff of the mexican consulate, the officials, they will be also going to other parts in the bay area, and they also attended. i did also yesterday. so yeah, it's a big celebration all over in the bay area. we invite the people tonight at san francisco, the main square. we will be doing the el grito there. damian: do you--i don't know if you've been to palacio nacional where the mexican president does it, but do you miss that, being at the zócalo, the palacio nacional? but then at the same time, you're carrying that tradition here in the bay area. remedios: yes, this is an old tradition of performing el grito
in the embassies around the world and at the mexican consulates in the united states and in other parts of the world besides the governors in mexico. they also do that. and the municipal presidents or mayors, they also do that. so everyone at the level, we are organizing these festivities and doing el grito. damian: all right, well, it's the mexican consulate in san francisco. they're here every month, and we're glad that you're able to meet now consul remedios gomez arnau, who is here for a few years, join us here in the bay area. there is a number to call, and there's mexitel if you need to make an appointment of some kind. any final thoughts, señora consul, before we let you go? remedios: well, we are here to serve not only the mexican community, but also the rest of the community because we want to improve the relationship between mexico and the bay area. we are here to help in any kind of information. those who want to visit mexico, we're--they are very welcome. if they want to invest or they want to do join business,
we are now involved in that, mexico with the united states. we actually are joint manufacturers and we are very important partners for california where we are the first export market. many people are not aware of that, but mexico is the first export market for california and around 1/2 million jobs are related to the trade with mexico, and what we want to do is to increase the benefits of our relationship. damian: maybe that's a topic for next month when you come next month. remedios: i'll be glad to talk about that. damian: thank you, señora consul. thank you for being here. and up next here on "comunidad del valle," the san francisco latino film festival. stay with us.
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damian: yeah, well, tell us about what you're going to be showcasing this year. lucho: yes, we're very excited to be going into the 11th edition of the san francisco latino film festival. we're running from september 20th through the 29th in--primarily in san francisco at the roxie, alamo drafthouse, and opera plaza cinema. there's a lot of films. we have about 92 films in total. so a lot for people to choose from. damian: ninety-two? lucho: ninety-two, but that includes the short films. so we have about 31 feature length films, documentaries, and narratives. we open with a biopic, "yuli," from cuba, and it's about an acclaimed ballet dancer from cuba that was the first black dancer, principal dancer for the london ballet. and we're going to close with a local film called "bring me an avocado," which is a interesting film, locally made, and that just represents a very small number of the sorts of films that we're bringing. damian: all right, we're looking at some clips here. but this is the one from cuba you're talking about?
lucho: yes, that was avocado. this is just sort of like a little quick picture of some of the images from the films, but we have everything from lgbt films, environmental films, dramas, comedies, thrillers. it really is something for everyone. we're really excited about having the number of shorts that we do because it really gives us latino filmmakers an opportunity for having their work screened and seen somewhere. damian: this is the 11th annual? lucho: eleventh one. damian: have you seen a difference in the oduction? are people thinking outside the box a little bit? i mean, you have to think outside the box if you want to be showcased at some of these festivals. lucho: yes, we receive about 500 submissions. so that's a lot of film to go through, and i would say that everything is generally improving. like, the quality is just amazing. that's what makes our job so difficult, that there's just so many films, so much content, but such few screen times that we have available. you could only show so many films. and we're still primarily a festival that serves latino
community and so we're kind of spread out throughout the bay area, and what we do in san francisco is more kind of like a destination for audiences to come and see films in san francisco. damian: how much popcorn do you go through throughout the year because you're watching movie after movie? lucho: yeah, we're watching a lot of films. so we do have some--a lot of the screenings that we do are online. so you can snack on anything, but we do sometimes watch things together and, like i said, it's very challenging. so we have--you know, like out of the 31 feature length films, about half of them this year are documentaries. so if you're into documentaries, you have a lot to choose from. damian: so it's a--obviously it's prestigious if you're going to be showcased at one of these festivals because 500 applicants narrowed it down to 30, you know, expanded films, and you're talking about the cream of the crop here. lucho: they really are. i mean, it's a combination of films from the us and latin america, and we have some films that, you know, are celebrated. like, for example, there's a film called "josé" that's
out of guatemala that won at the venice film festival for the type of film that it is. it's a lgbt-themed film. you don't necessarily see too many of those films coming out of guatemala. it's very acclaimed. we have another film with one of almodóvar's protégés, lola dueñas, and a film like that it's like a very subtle comedy of sorts, a drama, and these are films that are very well-known in other parts of the world and we're really happy that we're le to bring them to the san francisco so that our audiences and our community can see what other people are seeing in other parts of the world. damian: where do we stand in san francisco? you talking about venice and you're talking--there's a lot of film--where do we stand in san francisco? lucho: we're an important film city, yeah, film market because even though new york and la are going to be important places just as media centers, san francisco is a tastemaker.
and so, people do look to what's happening in san francisco and that includes the kinds of films that we program. so it's not unusual for us to be contacted by other organizations around the country to get information about the films that we program. so i think there's some credit there. damian: and it's a circuit? they go from here and they hop around to different areas. lucho: it's up to the filmmakers, what they want to do with the film. a lot of times it's like, "i've made a film. what do i do next?" and then there's others that really do know what they're going to do next. but film festivals are a way of raising visibility for a film, especially independent film that doesn't necessarily have marketing dollars to do pr and marketing around the film. so we're a publicity vehicle. damian: do you learn something from the documentaries that you showcase or is it kind of a rehash of a topic that we're aware of? it just highlights on one person-- lucho: there's always something great. in fact, one of the films that we're showcasing is a film called "carlos almaraz playing with fire," and he's an artist
from la, initially--born in mexico that he was really at the forefront of chicano art. i didn't know who he was, but anybody who was maybe about 10, 15 years older, they know who he is. and so it's really--so you have some of the profiles on him from his--from footage from his own work. but you also have cheech marin who's a known art collector talking on the film and of course you have edward james olmos, and the director of this film is richard montoya. so it's all one big sort of connection, but i didn't know who he was. so in many ways, i learn a lot about what's happening here and other parts of latin america through the film submissions. damian: well, cheech marin has a funny song about mexican americans, but that's a whole different-- lucho: oh, yeah! damian: here is the showcasing times:
september 20th through the 29th. it's in san francisco, oakland, and in berkeley. it's the san francisco latino film festival. it's back in the bay area. thank you, lucho, for the work. lucho: thanks so much. damian: all right. gracias. and up next on "comunidad del valle," 32 years of siren. stay with us.
of siren helping the community. maricela gutierrez is here. she is the executive director of siren. welcome back to the show. maricela gutierrez: thank you for having me. damian: it's been--well, describe the work. thirty-two years and it's probably nonstop. your phone keeps ringing 7 days a week sometimes. maricela: yes, literally tripled overnight since 2017, but i really feel siren was made for this moment. i think 32 years ago, our founders envisioned a situation like this and really thought about building a safety net for immigrants and refugees here in the silicon valley, and since then we've expanded to the central valley. damian: but when you say it's tripled, i mean, that's just incredible.
in 2 years, you have tripled the amount of traffic that is coming in, ringing your phones, and knocking on your doors. maricela: exactly, just, you know, many people seeking services, really worried that they may be deported or have--or be at risk for deportation, individuals that now want to become citizens and want to get registered to vote, lots of media calls obviously, and just the advocacy has really increased. we're advocating on everything that comes down from the white house. we're pushing back. damian: you said that, you know, your--people are calling on the phone and they're worried about deportation or how they might be--we're looking at a graphic of what you're going to be having here at the 32 anniversary celebration. we'll get into that in a second. but is it a legitimate concern? do they have legitimate concerns of being deported, being detained and being shipped out of this country? maricela: yes, i think so. you know, in the obama era, you know, folks that may have been here many years and had crossed illegally, if you use that word, were not at risk.
we're now in the time of cruelty and so i think, you know, anyone's at risk that's undocumented that's living in this area. even lpr, people that are legal, permanent residents that have been here for years that maybe had a misdemeanor, very young made some mistakes are now at risk as well. so it kind of has opened up the pandora box about what can happen to people that are living here. damian: what does that mean staffing wise for you all if it's tripled in the last 2 years of staffing wise? how have you had to accommodate and adjust? maricela: yeah, you know, it was difficult in the beginning, but we did plan ahead by really launching a texting platform where people can text siren when they're worried about ice bein' at their door, have questions and we text them their "know your rights" and are able to launch legal observers. we were able to build up our removable defense services. we had open those up already and had attorneys ready to go to represent people in court, and then slowly we also did a lot of fundraising too. so this moment also created an opportunity for us to do even more fundraising, and had an amazing 30 year gala where we
raised a lot of money and hoping to do so again this year. damian: all right, we'll talk about that again, pero, you know, i remember i used to get hate mail and hate messages. one person called and said i didn't sound like a gang member anymore here. how have you guys dealt with that? have you guys received similar inquiries, if you will? maricela: yeah, definitely. unfortunately, that is a situation. i think whenever i do a media interview or attorneys are on the radio or the media, we do get some of those hate calls like, "go home," and, you know, racial slurs and things like that, but we kind of just put it on the back end and just keep it moving 'cause we have bigger solutions that we're trying to resolve and really represent people and provide a safety net for people. and so that's really our mission. damian: okay, so there's a cause for celebration, 32 years. talk about the grand celebration that y'all are having. maricela: yes, we're super excited. it's 32 years of building immigrant and refugee power, and we're really building power for 2020 really thinking about the census, massive voter campaign-- [speaking foreign language]
and raising funds to really expand our removal defense services. as i mentioned, we expanded to the central valley. so we'd like to hire more attorneys and provide more deportation defense. damian: removal defense services, talk about that. maricela: so yeah--so removable defense is someone that is undocumented and has a fear of being deported or has a deportation order from uscis, from immigration, or has fear of deportation, or someone that's arrived here new and they're seeking political asylum. we're able to do also political asylum and find a way to have them be protected and have some form of relief to stay here. damian: what keeps you invigorated every day? again, 'cause those hate calls come through. the media keeps calling you all the time. it's nonstop. your head is in a spindle. what keeps you motivated and full speed ahead? maricela: well, i'm a dreamer. i have lots of hope. i wouldn't do this job if i didn't have big dreams and big hopes. i feel like another world is possible. we're just in an era where we're being challenged, but it's opening up the doors for bigger and greater things.
we were in this moment with proposition 187 many years ago and we were able to flip the state and really create amazing changes that people are now leading the state; senators like maria elena durazo, who's one of our keynotes, senators like kevin de león who are mobilizing in prop 187. so we're seeing that movement now, and i think we're going to see--we're thinking beyond these next few years. we're thinking beyond that 10, 20 years from now. damian: i think prop 187 backfired if i'm not mistaken. again, it's siren's 32nd anniversary celebration. it's on october 11th at 5:30 at the mexican heritage plaza in san jose. there you can get your tickets there at anniversary@ siren-bayarea.org. we'll be back with siren. stay with us. ♪
it's a celebration of celebrating immigrants and refugees, the economic impact, the beautiful contributions, the cultural contributions, the diversity that they bring here to this country and this valley. so it's going to be mariachi estelar, gabriela sepulveda who was on "american idol," was also on jenni rivera's telemundo, telenovela. damian: she was on "comunidad del valle" as well. i wanna point that out. maricela: she played the daughter of jenni rivera. has a new song out. so we're really excited to hear her new music. really young, amazing singer who has--is going to go really far. our keynote speaker is senator maria elena durazo, new senator who was a longtime labor leader, one of the highest ranking labor--women labor leaders here in the country. so it's really exciting. it's going to be really powerful. and, you know, a strong message also about how we're here to stay and building power for 2020. damian: one thing i gathered for--in our conversation here is you're not being reactive at siren. you know, you're not just defending on what's happening now. you're thinking about the future.
what are we going to do in 2020 and in 2022 to make sure that the work that we're doing meets the standards of what we expect in those years? maricela: exactly, you know, we have to think ahead. this moment is a moment in time. we're learning a lot from this moment and we're learning what not to do and what we can do better, but it's all about building forward and looking forward, and we've been doing a lot of work in registering 16-year-olds. we started that in 2016 when secretary padilla passed that legislation. and so now we are looking to engage those 16-year-olds in 2020, and we've been engaging them since then and really inviting them to different events. and we know that when someone votes for the first time, they become a long time voter. and so, we're really hoping that they show up as 18-year-olds to vote for the first time. damian: a lot of times, people when they get attacked the way immigrants have been attacked, people who maybe we tend to shrivel up and accept the attacks. it seems like what's been happening now with the attacks on immigrants, it's making people stronger.
maricela: yes, so it's not only about knowing your rights, but knowing your power, and working from a place of power is what we're telling our communities like; yes, you can feel attacked, you can hide out, but at the same time what is that really going to do? we need you to find that power, that there is people here to support you, that you do have rights as a resident of this state, of this country, and that there's many opportunities for you to take a stand and advocate, and that we know when someone feels self-empowerment, that's when we see true community change. and so providing those opportunities, we're holding monthly cenas with immigrants and refugees, really talking about the political landsce, breaking down policies like public charge and the new asylum ban so that they understand what that means and how they can use that to create knowledge and build power. damian: and again, you said that your work has tripled. do you think that that still--there are still lots of people who are still in the shadows who aren't seeking the help because they're just too afraid, too worried? maricela: yes, i do believe so. i think that there's a lot of people that are not--trying to live under the radar given the situation that we see
and all the horrific images that we see in the media, and we're inviting people. that's why we're creating cenas and different opportunities to--or dinners to build confianza, build trust with the community and really engage them in a way that we're building trust, we're communicating, and we're sharing information that is positive, but also showing the pluses and deltas of everything and being really honest with them. damian: how have they reacted when you empower them? i know that there are several moms in the alum rock school district, parents who once you give them the tools and the empowerment, boy, they start their own ad hoc groups and they're out there and they're mobilizing and they're doing their--the way they know how to do it. maricela: yeah, it's beautiful to see just when people start feeling that self-empowerment and really start knowing that their voices matter. i mean, they've spoken before the board of supervisors, they've come down with us to the state capitol to advocate for health for all. it's a big ballot, a big bill that we're pushing for.
they've been really instrumental in forming communities in their local neighborhoods and really hosting what they call-- [speaking foreign language] conversations about policy issues impacting immigrants, and they invite siren and they host these kind of like taco, coffee talks that they host in their home. and so, you know, once they get that power, it's like no stopping them. damian: what do you think--because when you have news conferences and whatnot, there--those civic leaders are standing shoulder to shoulder, toe to toe with you. what do you think it is about your movement that draws that kind of attention? maricela: i think, you know, we all have come from somewhere. we're not all indigenous to this land where--unless you're native american. and so, we need to relate to that and have a lot of compassion and come from a place of kindness. and i think many of our legislative leaders that are progressive, they're really understanding that--understand that, that people are here really trying to make a better life, care for their families, and, you know, they wouldn't be here and made that long trek if they didn't have to.
and i think that's really the place that we should all come from. damian: all right, well, happy 32 years. siren is celebrating 32 years at the mexican heritage plaza, october 11th at 5:30, and there's a web address for more information. any final thoughts, maricela gutierrez? maricela: yes, please join us. you can find more information on our website. it's going to be a really fun event. we're also closing it off with a dance--some dancing, a really amazing dj. so, you know, it's not about just thinking about the moment, but we're building long term and this is siren's way of building long term. damian: happy birthday. maricela: thank you. damian: all right, and now here's what's happening in your comunidad on "qué pasa." ♪ ♪ ♪
damian: and our saludos to those celebrating a special day, felicidades. ♪ ♪ damian: and here's our contact information. you can follow me on twitter. my handle is @newsdamian. you can follow me on instagram. my handle is @newsdamiantrujillo. so a couple of options for you. also, pick up a copy of "el observador" newspaper and support your bilingual weeklies all across the bay area. also, join us on telemundo, canal 48, your "comunidad del valle" every sunday. [speaking foreign language] [singing in foreign language]
g hispanic heritage month. let's talk about it. [music playing] welcome to "talk stoop". comedian and actor arturo castro found success during his time on "broad city" and "narcos," but he's since moved up and is headlining his own comedy central show, centered around life as a modern latino. hello. hi, arturo. you made it. - how's it going? - we were just-- i did. --talking about the faux stoop. the faux stoop? yeah, i have a really bony butt. so these sort of stoops, like, it's like direct bone to-- - wood and bone. - --to wooden-- - just-- - yeah, it's just-- - it's intense. - --completely-- yeah-- it's happening right now. and that is just who i am, people. yes. [laughter] get to know me. so many people fell in love with you on "broad city."