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Production Status: Post-Production
Every weekend, at rodeos from Illinois to California, teams of young, Mexican American women, Escaramuzas Charras, climb onto sidesaddles in elegant charra suits or ruffled adelita dresses and weave their galloping horses through dangerous, high speed ballets, as heart-stopping as the revolutionary-era “skirmishes” for which they’re named.
Escaramuza: Riding from the Heart follows one such team, Escaramuza Charra Las Azaleas, on their quest to represent California and the United States at the National Charro Championships in Mexico, where “to be Charro is to be Mexican.”
Amidst unprecedented drug violence across the border, and multiplying challenges to their way of life at home, these rapidly assimilating young women sacrifice their time, money and personal safety to keep their centuries-old Charrería traditions alive in the U.S., as their own identities and values are shaped by it. Their tremendous strength of will and heart helps them overcome the obstacles in their path, and makes Las Azaleas inspiring examples of Latina self-determination and empowerment.
Such a direct and authentic experience of their world, told in their own words, has never before been seen in a feature documentary.
The Creative Team
PRODUCER/SOUND RECORDIST/CO-EDITOR: Robin Rosenthal
DIRECTOR/DP/EDITOR: Bill Yahraus
CO-PRODUCER: David Hayes-Bautista
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/MUSIC SUPERVISOR: Margaret Guerra Rogers
Robin Rosenthal is a former video artist and art instructor, with 20 years experience in film and television Post Production. She edited the documentaries Chamoru Dreams for Pacific Islanders in Communications’ “Pacific Diaries“ series, and the award-winning Mary Jane Colter: House Made of Dawn about the groundbreaking architect (both broadcast nationally on PBS).
Bill Yahraus began his career in the documentary unit at KQED, San Francisco, before making social issue documentaries collectively (The Jail, Song for Dead Warriors, Robert Wall: Ex-FBI Agent). Brought to Los Angeles by Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden and Haskell Wexler to edit Introduction to the Enemy, Bill stayed to form the Focal Point Films collective, where he made the award-winning Homeboys about the Cuatro Flats gang. He edited fiction features for directors Richard Pearce and Sam Shepard among others (Heartland, Country, The Long Walk Home, Far North, Silent Tongue), and also consulted on the Academy Award-winning documentary Broken Rainbow. Bill teaches film production in the School of Cinematic Arts at USC.
Working together as Pony Highway Productions since 1996, Bill and Robin made the feature documentary A Circus Season: Travels with Tarzan (PBS), and the Eclipse-winning series On the Muscle: Portrait of a Thoroughbred Racing Stable. Before starting Escaramuza, Bill edited and Robin Post Supervised the acclaimed human rights documentary Screamers, featuring the band System of a Down (BBC Storyville and theatrical) for Director Carla Garapedian.
Co-Producer David Hayes-Bautista, Director of the Center for Latino Health and Culture at UCLA, has been exploding myths and stereotypes about Latinos in California society for over two decades through his research, books, and now documentaries. Rounding out the core creative team, Margaret Guerra Rogers, independent music consultant and supervisor, and formerly VP of Music Affairs at Telemundo, brings her impressive background in Latino music to the soundtrack for Escaramuza.
DONATE to this Film
We’re now in Post Production, shaping 175 hours of footage into a Rough Cut, and working towards Completion in the Summer of 2012. As the recipient of a grant from Latino Public Broadcasting’s Public Media Content Fund towards critical Post Production expenses, we are one step closer to our goal of a public television broadcast, but we still need your help. Funds raised here will cover necessary expenses of putting the documentary on the air—including licensing fees, closed captioning, Errors & Omissions insurance and PBS deliverables. Donations in any amount are welcome; every increment helps us reach our target of $20,000.
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CONTACT the filmmakers with any questions about this Latino-themed film:Pony Highway Productions
11300 Manzanita Mesa Road
Littlerock, CA 93543
Telephone: (661)944-3741 [United States]
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ponyhighway.com/
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