By Liz Lopez
In Austin for the Texas premiere of their documentary, No Mas Bebes (No More Babies), an official selection of the 2015 Austin Film Festival, producer Virginia Espino and director Renee Tajima-Peña spent nearly a decade uncovering and documenting the little known story of the ten women from among the hundreds forced to undergo tubal ligation surgeries who finally stood up for themselves with the aid of a courageous young Chicana lawyer, a whistle blower medical intern who first reported the alarming practice, a community and woman’s rights activist from East LA and the newsmen who covered the story as it unfolded a mere 40 years ago.
The film screens today at Noon at the Alamo Drafthouse Village Cinema and again on Tuesday, November 3rd at 4:30 pm at the Rollins Theater at the Long Center.
In an effort to celebrate and congratulate the filmmakers for their work, a reception will be held on Monday, November 2nd from 6:30pm – 8:30pm at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River St, Austin.
The host committee members are Chicana feminist author and scholar Martha Cotera (co-chair), Galan Productions principal and documentary producer Evy Ledesma Galan (co-chair), PODER director Susana Almanza, Texas Folklife director Cristina Balli, Escuelita del Alma founder and director Dina Flores, documentary filmmaker Sandra Guardado, St. Edward’s University professor Lisa J Hernandez, author Lindsey Lane, Texas Council on Family Violence prevention coordinator María Limón, La Peña co-founder Cynthia Pérez, former Cine Las Americas director Celeste Quesada, producer and arts advocate Rose Reyes and director of UT-Austin Student Diversity Initiatives Ana “Ixchel” Rosal.
Renee Tajima-Pena is an Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker whose films on immigration, race and social issues include Who Killed Vincent Chin?, My America…or Honk if You Love Buddha, Labor Women, The New Americans, and Calavera Highway. Her films have screened at Cannes, Sundance, Toronto and the Whitney Biennial. She is now Director of the Center of EthnoCommunications at UCLA, where she is a professor and holds an endowed chair in Japanese American Studies. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, Alpert Award in the Arts, the USA Broad Fellowship, and a Peabody..
Virginia Espino is a historian at the UCLA Center for Oral History Research, and has conducted oral histories with major figures in the Latina/o community. Her research on coercive sterilization at LACMC provided the basis for the documentary project. Her published research, Las Obreras: Chicana Politics of Work and Family, edited by Vicki L. Ruiz, and Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia. She has served on the California Commission for Sex Equity, and the Los Angeles Chicano/Latino Education Committee.
For more information, visit www.austinfilmfestival.com and for the reception, visit http://austintexas.gov/event/filmmakers-round-table
Source: Austin Film Festival and Austintexas.gov
By Liz Lopez