WEDU PBS Celebrates Latino Students Overcoming Obstacles with a Screening of The Graduates

TAMPA, FL (October 14, 2013) — WEDU’s Community Cinema returns for a third season with a screening of The Graduates/Los GraduadosPresented in partnership with the Independent Television Service (ITVS), The Graduates/Los Graduados explores the many roots of the Latino dropout crisis through the eyes of six inspiring young students from across the United States who are part of the burgeoning movement to increase graduation rates for the nation’s growing Latino population. Much more than a survey of contemporary policy debates, the student profiles in The Graduates offer a first-hand perspective on the special challenges facing Latino high school students, including dangerous and overcrowded schools, gang culture, and pressure to contribute to the family finances, teen pregnancy, and more. The two-part series is divided into a boy’s hour and a girl’s hour. The community outreach screening event will screen a portion of the series and be followed by discussion with local educators, parents, and students.

WHAT: FREE screening of The Graduates, followed by a community discussion to engage the public in dialogue about the Latino dropout crisis, followed by an intergenerational conversation about strategies to increase/support pathways to success for local students.

PRESENTED BY:  WEDU PBS and ITVS Community Cinema

WHEN: Thursday, November 7th beginning at 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: WEDU PBS, Berkman Family Broadcast Center, 1300 N Boulevard, Tampa

RSVP: This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and a reservation is requested.

A project of the public media initiative American Graduate and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in association with Latino Public Broadcasting, the two-part film is produced by Quiet Pictures and the Independent Television Service (ITVS).


Bernardo Ruiz, a writer and documentary filmmaker, founded Quiet Pictures in 2007 to produce independent documentary projects at the intersection of journalism and film. He is the director/producer of American Experience: Roberto Clemente (PBS, 2008), winner of the NCLR ALMA Award for Outstanding Made for Television Documentary. He directed and produced Reportero (POV, 2013) a gripping look into the world of Mexican journalists who cover organized crime and political corruption. Ruiz has worked as a journeyman director/producer for a variety of media outlets, including PBS, National Geographic, Planet Green and MTV, among others. Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, he grew up in Brooklyn, and studied documentary photography with Joel Sternfeld at Sarah Lawrence College. Before embarking on a career in documentary, he taught as an artist-in-residence in New York City public schools through Learning through an Expanded Arts Program (L.E.A.P.). He grew up in a household where education was a frequent topic of conversation — his mother has been a teacher of high-school Spanish for nearly 40 years.


Community Cinema is a national civic engagement initiative featuring free screenings of films from the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens. Presented by ITVS in partnership with local public television stations and community organizations, these in-person events and online social screenings bring community members together to learn, discuss, and get involved in key social issues of our time. Building on ITVS’s 20-year legacy of innovation in community engagement, Community Cinema and ITVS’s complimentary educational program Community Classroom makes public broadcasting a powerful resource for individuals, educators, communities, and organizations. For a complete lineup and more information about the Community Cinema series visit:


Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award winning weekly series airing Mondays on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS, the National Endowment for the Arts and the MacArthur Foundation. The senior series producer is Lois Vossen. More information at Join Independent Lens on Facebook at


WEDU is West Central Florida’s leading PBS station and public media company reaching 16 counties through media platforms including on-air programming and online experiences that broaden horizons, transport and transform and open gateways to new ideas and new worlds. Financially supported by the community, the organization offers a wealth of award-winning inspirational, educational and enlightening content over a variety of media platforms including: television programming, station’s website, and various social media platforms, monthly member magazine Premiere, educational outreach activities and a myriad of special events.  WEDU’s focus on the local community has resulted in the station being regarded as a beacon of trust for men, women and children of every walk of life no matter their age, ethnicity or socio-economic status. WEDU is a treasured community resource; a window to the world for the homebound and a vital educational source for the youngest members of society.  WEDU prides itself on its position in the Tampa Bay community as a leader, partner, informed citizen and a member of PBS, the most trusted institution in America (Harris Interactive Trust QuickQuery, January 2013). For more information, program schedules or to support WEDU visit; WEDU Public Media on Facebook and Twitter or call 813.254.9338.


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