BULLS AND SAINTS by Rodrigo Dorfman on PBS' POV Series World Premiere

BULLS AND SAINTS by Rodrigo Dorfman on PBS’ POV Series World Premiere

Latino/x Migrant Communities of the Emerging “Nuevo South” Come into Focus in ‘POV”s World Premiere of BULLS AND SAINTS

Debuts on PBS Television Nationwide Monday, September 18, 2023 and Streaming on PBS.org and the PBS App Until December 17, 2023

A tale of love, tradition, and the desire to return home, Bulls and Saints documents reverse migration through the everyday lives of an undocumented family who are part of the thriving rural Latino/x migrant community in the rural South.

America’s longest running non-fiction series presents Bulls and Saints, a richly captured portrait of a migrant family’s life in the wake of the Great Latino Migration to the American South. A co-production with Latino Public BroadcastingBulls and Saints directed by Rodrigo Dorfman and produced by Peter Eversoll will make its world premiere and national broadcast on Monday, September 18, 2023 at 10pmET/9C (check local listings) and will be available to stream until December 17, 2023 at pbs.org, and the PBS App. In addition to standard closed captioning for the film, POV, in partnership with audio description service DiCapta, provides real time audio interpretations for audiences with sensory disabilities.

Bulls and Saints challenges the typical migrant narrative with a tender and intimate view of an undocumented family living in rural North Carolina and their unrelenting quest to return to their homeland of Michoacán, Mexico. Dorfman’s film explores the everyday realities of life as an undocumented migrant—from the quotidian interior moments to the extraordinary experiences that shape their lives in their close knit community. All the while, their homeland is never far from their thoughts. 

The migrant story is often told through the lens of the arrival to the United States in search of economic opportunities or more simply, a better life. Bulls and Saints explores reverse migration as Tacho and Cecilia plan a future for themselves and their children outside of the US, charting the days until they can save enough to make the journey back to Mexico. In between phone calls to their native Cherán, working long hours, and financial planning, their family finds joy in the Latino/x migrant community through the shared traditions of food, religious celebrations, and in the bull rodeos. 

Rodrigo Dorfman’s own experiences as a Chilean exile in the US, having been forced to leave his own birthplace as a child, allow him to compassionately understand Tacho’s situation and to foster a deep connection with him and his family. The end result is a truly collaborative community-driven film. Situated at the intersection of cinema verité and the aesthetics of Latin American magical realism, Dorfman presents the community members with dignity and as partners to the filmmaking process, while highlighting the complexities of being undocumented and far from home. 

Bulls and Saints captures the unyielding love between family near and far, the yearning for home in heart and mind while offering a tale of redemption and resilience. For those curious to understand the life of a migrant, to understand the challenges faced by migrant workers and their families, to understand the importance of community and the bonds of tradition, the film presents the colorful and compelling lived realities of the “Nuevo South.”

Bulls and Saints director Rodrigo Dorfman said, “Twenty years ago when I decided to settle in the United States, I thought I had lost Latin America forever, and then a miracle happened: the Great Latino Migration brought it to my doorstep. The arrival of millions of Latin American migrants to the American South gave me the chance to find a way to belong in this country without having to lose my roots. After two decades of being a community documentarian and an emerging “Nuevo South” folklorist, I am grateful that POV has given me and my Latino/x communities the chance to share with a national audience the never before seen stories of a community looking for a way to belong as part of our Nation’s ongoing journey toward a more perfect union.”

“Rodrigo Dorfman’s film brings us to the interior world of working class migrant communities of the ‘Nuevo South’—from domestic spaces, to Feast of San Francisco celebrations and into rodeo culture—providing a full and dynamic portrait of familial and community bonds we so rarely see in Latinx stories. This film touches on a universal longing for home, for redemption and the persistence needed to keep moving forward. We hope audiences gain insight into struggles of undocumented workers, their dreams and their contributions to the fabric of our country,” said Erika Dilday, Executive Director American Documentary and Executive Producer, POV and America ReFramed.

WHO

Bulls and Saints
Director: Rodrigo Dorfman
Cinematography: Rodrigo Dorfman
Producer: Peter Eversoll
Executive Producers: Erika Dilday and Chris White for American Documentary | POV
Editor: Rodrigo Dorfman
Running time: 52 min.
Countries: United States
Year: 2023

Bulls and Saints was co-produced by Nuevo South, LLC and Firelight Media in association with American Documentary | POV and Latino Public Broadcasting, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Rodrigo Dorfman is the director. The producer is Peter Eversoll. Executive Producers are Erika Dilday and Chris White for American Documentary | POV, Sandie Viquez Pedlow for Latino Public Broadcasting and Stanley Nelson and Marcia Smith for Firelight Media.

About the Filmmakers

Rodrigo Dorfman, Director/Producer
Rodrigo Dorfman is an award-winning Latino filmmaker and multimedia producer living in Durham, North Carolina. He has worked with POV, HBO, Salma Hayek’s Ventanazul, and the BBC among others. His short One Night in Kernersville won the Jury Award for best short at Full Frame (2011). “NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South,” a national touring museum exhibit based on his documentary work was exhibited at the Levine Museum of the New South, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Atlanta History Center. His documentary Fiesta! Quinceañera premiered on PBS stations nationwide in April 2019 and his documentary This Taco Truck Kills Fascistswon the Best Louisiana Feature Award in 2018 at the New Orleans Film Festival. His latest documentary Quaranteened was broadcast on PBS nationwide in 2022. His memoir, Generation Exile, was recently published by Arte Publico Press. He is currently working on The Disobedient One, part 2 of the Bulls and Saints Trilogy.

Peter Eversoll, Producer
Peter Eversoll is a photographer and visual artist working primarily on documentaries and projects using community-generated photography and video, both in the USA and abroad. For over a decade he worked with farmworkers in North Carolina through the NC Migrant Education Program, as an education advocate. He co-founded the farmworker advocacy non-profit NC FIELD (www.ncfield.org) in 2010. He has an MFA in painting from La Academia de San Carlos, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. In 2007-08 he was Visiting Artist at FARO de Oriente in Mexico City and was Artist in Residence at Golden Belt Studios in Durham, NC in 2009. He has exhibited his work throughout the USA and Latin America and is a member of the Aztlan Photo agency. From 1998 to 2004 he earned his chops as a dairy farmer in Oaxaca, Mexico.

About POV
Produced by American Documentary, POV is the longest-running independent documentary showcase on American television. Since 1988, POV has presented films on PBS that capture the full spectrum of the human experience, with a long commitment to centering women and people of color in front of, and behind, the camera. The series is known for introducing generations of viewers to groundbreaking works like Tongues Untied, American Promise, Minding The Gap and Not Going Quietly, and innovative filmmakers including Jonathan Demme, Laura Poitras and Nanfu Wang. In 2018, POV Shorts launched as one of the first PBS series dedicated to bold and timely short-form documentaries. All POV programs are available for streaming concurrent with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. For more information about PBS Passport, visit the PBS Passport FAQ website.

POV goes “beyond the broadcast” to bring powerful nonfiction storytelling to viewers wherever they are. Free educational resources accompany every film and a community network of thousands of partners nationwide work with POV to spark dialogue around today’s most pressing issues. POV continues to explore the future of documentary through innovative productions with partners such as The New York Times and The National Film Board of Canada and on platforms including Snapchat and Instagram.

POV films and projects have won 46 Emmy Awards, 27 George Foster Peabody Awards, 15 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards® and the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award. Learn more at pbs.org/pov and follow @povdocs on social media.

About American Documentary, Inc.
American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.

Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, the Open Society Foundations, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Park Foundation, and Perspective Fund. Additional funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the Chasing the Dream and Peril and Promise public media initiatives of The WNET Group, Chris and Nancy Plaut, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.

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