ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT - MARIA HERNANDEZ
My first real encounter with Film and TV Production was back in 2006, I was 16 and participating in the first version of the Summer Intensive Institute (SII), where I made my first short film "Butterfly." After this experience, the only vision I had of myself in the future, was one inside the film industry. I continued learning about the filmmaking process by enrolling in multiple film workshops, working as a volunteer in the GFDD Global Film Festival, and returning to the One Race Foundation as a Teaching Assistant. I was also fortunate enough to land a job as a Production Assistant for Vin Diesel's short film, "Los Bandoleros." In 2008, I moved to Madrid, where I studied Film Production aided by an international scholarship granted by Ibermedia and Directing aided by a National Scholarship granted by the Dominican Republic's Ministry of Higher Studies, Science and Technology. I returned to the Dominican Republic in 2010 and am currently directing and producing a documentary titled "Filarmonia."
"Filarmonia" is a story about limitations and the overcoming of these limitations through music. It's a story told by the Haitian-Dominican children living in the extremely poor sugar cane company towns, also known as "Bateyes," located near the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. My main objective throughout the film is to help the kids tell their story to the world and give them the opportunity to ask, not through any organization or paperwork, what they need, be it books, instruments, voluntary teachers...by giving the world a glimpse of their context and desire to overcome all that pushes them down.