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Latino Public Broadcasting's New Season of 'VOCES' Shares Personal Stories of the Latino Experience in America With KCET and PBS SoCal Serving as Presenting PBS Stations For Two New Documentaries

‘Letters to Eloisa’ spotlights the power that artists can have on our shared culture while ‘American Exile’ spotlights the toll immigration policies can have on families.
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VOCESLetters to Eloisa” and “American Exile.” Photos courtesy of PBS. Download

pbssocal.org/voces

kcet.org/voces

Los Angeles, Calif. – September 14, 2021 – PBS SoCal and KCET, Southern California’s flagship PBS stations that are home of the entire PBS schedule as well as award-winning, original local content, announced today a partnership with Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) to act as presenting stations for two upcoming documentaries that are part of LPB’s signature series, VOCES. The documentaries are “Letters to Eloisa,” a moving portrait of a once-heralded gay Cuban writer who was silenced by the revolution, and “American Exile,” which follows two Mexican-American brothers—Vietnam veterans—who are facing deportation despite their military service. The Southern California premiere of “VOCES: Letters to Eloisa” will take place on Fri., Oct. 15 at 10 p.m. on PBS SoCal and Sat., Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. on KCET. “VOCES: American Exile” will premiere in Southern California on Tues., Nov. 16 at 10 p.m. on PBS SoCal and Sat., Nov. 20 at 10 p.m. on KCET.

VOCES highlights the best of Latino arts, culture and history as well as shining a light on current issues and generational impacts that affect Latino Americans today. As part of PBS’s commitment to support and present diverse content created by a broad array of storytellers, VOCES showcases stories from new and established filmmakers that highlight the rich diversity of the Latino experience. The new season of VOCES premieres this fall and features four very unique documentaries to roll out as part of PBS’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Additional presentations from VOCES airing in Southern California include “Fruits of Labor, a co-presentation of VOCES and POV that follows a California teenager working towards graduation while toiling in the fields to support her family, and Lights, Camera, Acciòn, a co-presentation with AMERICAN MASTERS that is an up-to-the-minute look at Latinx representation in Hollywood.

In celebration of Veteran’s Day, Latino Public Broadcasting and PBS SoCal will co-host a virtual event to honor all those who have served in the United Stated Armed Forces. The event includes speakers from VOCES: “American Exile” director John J. Valadez and from regional Southern California advocacy organizations like the President of the San Diego chapter of Veterans for Peace and the Former Operation Coordinator for the Deported Veterans Advocacy Project, Jan Rhuman with additional speaskers to be announced at a later date. The virtual event will take place on Fri., Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. To register for the event and find out more details, please go to pbssocal.org/voces.

VOCES is slated to air on stations across the country and scheduled as follows on local PBS stations (*subject to change):

VOCES and POV: “Fruits of Labor” – Mon., Oct. 4 at 10 p.m. PT on PBS SoCal and Sat., Oct. 9 at 11:30 p.m. on KCET

A co-production of POV and Latino Public Broadcasting, co-presented by POV and VOCES
A teenager with dreams of graduating high school and going to college is forced to work when ICE raids threaten her family’s stability since her mother is undocumented. Forced to become the family’s primary breadwinner, she works long days in the strawberry fields and the night shift at a food processing factory while still trying to study. Set in a small agricultural town on the central coast of California, this is a coming-of-age story about a determined young woman traversing the seen and unseen forces that threaten to keep her family trapped in poverty. Directed by Emily Cohen Ibañez.

VOCES and AMERICAN MASTERS: “Lights, Camera, Acciòn” – Tues., Oct. 5 at 10:30 p.m. PT on PBS SoCal and Wed., Oct. 6 at 9:30 p.m. on KCET

A co-presentation of AMERICAN MASTERS and VOCES
A celebration of the incredible impact Latinos have made in Hollywood — past, present and future, with a focus on the exciting new wave of talent that is blazing their own trail in the industry. Featuring prominent Latinx voices in film and television, this special captures the candid perspectives of talent from in front of and behind the camera, as they share their personal journeys and outlook on the future. Included are actors Edward James Olmos, John Leguizamo, Eva Longoria, Jimmy Smits, Gina Torres, Justina Machado and Xolo Maridueña (Cobra Kai); showrunners Tanya Saracho (Vida), Peter Murrieta (Mr. Iglesias) and Marvin Lemus (Gentefied), and more. Directed by Ben DeJesus.

VOCES: “Letters to Eloisa” – Fri., Oct. 15 at 10 p.m. on PBS SoCal and Sat., Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. on KCET

The film brings to life the story of a once-heralded gay Cuban writer, José Lezama Lima, an all but forgotten figure of the Latin American literary boom that included Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, Octavio Paz and Mario Vargas Llosa. Lezama’s semi-autobiographical opus Paradiso, which included homoerotic passages, broke the silence on homosexuality in Cuba and sent shockwaves throughout the Spanish-speaking literary world. It also set its author on a collision course with the Cuban Revolutionary government. Told through letters written by Lezama to his sister in exile, the film is a haunting portrait of the writer’s life, his struggle for artistic freedom, and tragic end. Directed by Adriana Bosch.

VOCES: “American Exile” – Tues., Nov. 16 at 10 p.m. on PBS SoCal and Sat., Nov. 20 at 10 p.m. on KCET

As teenagers, Valente Valenzuela and his brother Manuel volunteered and were sent to fight in Vietnam. They came home decorated, but were also physically and psychologically scarred. Now, some 50 years later, they’ve received notices of deportation. Shocked and confused, the brothers soon learn they are not alone and that thousands of veterans are being deported because of misdemeanor offenses after completing their service in the armed forces. Together, they decide to don their uniforms for one last fight, this time as veterans’ rights activists. Filmed over the course of seven years, American Exile is a deeply personal film about two unforgettable men seeking justice for themselves and the many others in their situation. Directed by John J. Valadez and Carleen L. Hsu.

Online hubs at pbssocal.org/voces and kcet.org/voces will provide digital resources comprising a selection of cultural content that includes video clips and essays exploring José Lezama Lima's legacy as well as at least one essay per film.

VOCES will stream simultaneously with broadcast and be available on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video app, available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV and Chromecast.

VOCES is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Join the conversation on social media using #Voces and #PBSSoCal

About PBS SoCal and KCET

PBS SoCal and KCET are both part of the donor-supported community institution, the Public Media Group of Southern California. PBS SoCal is the flagship PBS station for diverse people across California and delivers content and experiences that inspire, inform and educate. PBS SoCal offers the full slate of beloved PBS programs including MASTERPIECE, NOVA, PBS NewsHour, FRONTLINE, and a broad library of documentary films with works from Ken Burns; as well as educational content including PBS KIDS programs like DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD and CURIOUS GEORGE. KCET showcases the best of PBS and is a leading source for arts, culture, and news in Southern California. Through innovative storytelling, KCET explores and expresses our dynamic local communities helping residents understand and connect with the region's diverse communities and ideas. For additional information about both KCET and PBS SoCal productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org and pbssocal.org KCET Originals and PBS programming are available to stream on the FREE PBS App on iOS and Android devices, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, and Chromecast. KCET is also available to watch live on YouTube TV.

About VOCES

Produced by Latino Public Broadcasting, the acclaimed PBS documentary series VOCES features the best of Latino arts, culture and history and shines a light on current issues that impact Latino Americans. Devoted to exploring the rich diversity of the Latino experience, VOCES presents new and established filmmakers and brings their powerful and illuminating stories to a national audience — on TV, online and on the PBS app. VOCES is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Luis Ortiz is series producer; Sandie Viquez Pedlow is executive producer. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

About Latino Public Broadcasting

Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) is the leader in the development, production, acquisition and distribution of film and digital cultural media that is representative of Latino people or addresses issues of particular interest to Latino Americans. These programs are produced for dissemination to public broadcasting stations and other public media entities. Providing a voice for the diverse Latino community throughout the United States, Latino Public Broadcasting is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. LPB also produces the acclaimed PBS documentary series VOCES, exploring the rich diversity of the Latino experience. VOCES presents new and established filmmakers and brings their powerful and illuminating stories to a national audience — on TV, online and on the PBS app

Between 2009 and 2020, LPB programs won over 130 awards, including three prestigious George Foster Peabody Awards as well as Emmys, Imagen Awards and the Sundance Film Festival Award for Best Director, Documentary. LPB has been the recipient of the Norman Lear Legacy Award and the NCLR Alma Award for Special Achievement – Year in Documentaries. Sandie Viquez Pedlow is executive director of LPB; Edward James Olmos is co-founder and chairman.

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