Franco Productions

Director of Photography

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In Defense of Food

 

 

Grow Beautifully - Monrovia - 2015

 

CJA - 2015

 

The Imagine Bus Project - 2015

 

The Barber of Birmingham

 

The story of 85 year old Mr. James Armstrong, a barber, and a dreamer, on his journey from being a “foot soldier” during the Civil Rights Movement in the South to his unfulfilled plan to be present in the inaugural festivities of the first African American President of the USA.

 

Produced and Directed by Gail Dolgin and Robin Friday

 

 

2012 Academy Award Nomination

2014 duPont Columbia Journalism Award

 

web site

 

 

 

The Most Dangerous Man in America:

Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

 

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a high-level Pentagon official and Vietnam War strategist, concludes that the war is based on decades of lies, and he leaks 7,000 pages of top secret documents to The New York Times, making headlines around the world. Hailed as a hero, vilified as a traitor, and ostracized by even his closest colleagues, Ellsberg risks life in prison to stop a war he helped plan.

 

Produced by Rick Goldsmith and Judith Ehrlich

 

2010 Academy Award Nomination

 

web site

 

 

 

Daughter From Da Nang

Co-Producer / Co-Director / Director of Photography

 

The story of a Vietnamese mother and her Amerasian daughter that reunite in DaNang, after 22 years of separation, with unpredictable results.

 

Produced by Interfaze.

 

2003 Academy Award Nomination

 

web site

 

 

 

Freedom on My Mind

 

Two hour historical documentary utilizing powerful personal interviews filmed in the 1990s to tell the dramatic story of the Mississippi voter registration project from 1961 to 1964.

 

Produced by Clarity Educational Productions, 1994.

 

1994 Academy Award Nomination

 

web site

 

 

 

Rape in the Fields

 

A FRONTLINE Documentary investigating the systematic abuse of immigrant female agricultural workers in the United States. It’s a powerful, moving and infuriating examination of the conditions under which many women laborers in the U.S. fields and packing plants feel force to work.

 

Produced and Directed by Andres Cediel for the Center for Investigative Reporting in collaboration with UNIVISION

 

2014  duPont Columbia Journalism Award

 

web site

 

 

 

Walk the Walk

 

Walk the Walk is a dramatic half hour film about the ongoing challenges of diversity with the legal profession. The film is designed to jump start a conversation about how to confront and overcome the current obstacles to creating a truly diverse work force.

 

A new film by Abby Ginsberg, written by AJ Kutchins

 

 

 

 

Finding the Gold Within

 

In the intimate circle of Alchemy—which has been their “family” since sixth grade—they speak of their disappointments, despairs, trials and triumphs with a disarming honesty. Alchemy, Inc. and its leaders have been working in the school system in the Cleveland area, mentoring young black urban youth from middle through high school. Exploring ancient stories from diverse cultures, as well as drumming and writing, this innovative program gives the youth a chance to grow into self-knowledge, discipline and confidence. They are taught to “follow the sage within their hearts”.

 

Produced and directed by Karina Epperlein, Karinafilms

 

web site

 

 

 

Don't stop Believin': Everyman's Journey

 

The story of Arnel Pineda who was plucked from YouTube to become the new singer for the Rock & Roll band, JOURNEY.

 

Directed by Ramona Diaz

 

web site

 

 

 

The Storm That Swept Mexico

 

The story of the complex historical, social, political, economic and cultural forces that shaped the Mexican Revolution, influenced its course and determined its consequences and legacy.

 

Produced by Paradigm Productions. Directed by Ray Telles

 

web site

 

 

 

A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet

 

Inspired by the book of the same name by Philip Shabecoff and informed by advisors like Edward O. Wilson, A FIERCE GREEN FIRE chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century and one of the keys to the 21st. It brings together all the major parts of environmentalism and connects them. It focuses on activism, people fighting to save their homes, their lives, the future – and succeeding against all odds.

 

A film  by Mark Kitchell

 

web site

 

 

 

The New Environmentalists:

Suriname, Cuba, El Salvador, Philippines, Argentina

 

It features intimate portraits of environmental heroes (Goldman Environmental Prize recipients) who have placed themselves in harm's way to battle intimidating adversaries with only one goal: safeguarding the Earthís natural resources from exploitation and pollution.

 

Produced by Mill Valley Film Group

 

web site

 

 

 

The Skoll Foundation Videos

 

A series of short videos about social entrepreneurs whose purpose is to provide affordable solutions to economic and social problems all around the world (Mozambique, South Africa, India, Brazil, Peru, Philippines, etc) All under the philosophy of “doing well while doing good”.

 

Produced by Kikim Media

 

web site

 

 

 

My Father, My Brother and Me

 

Dave Iverson’s personal journey to understand Parkinson’s, the disease that has taken such a toll on his family.

 

Produced by Dave Iverson and Michael Schwarz for FRONTLINE

 

web site

 

 

 

Latin Music U*S*A The Chicano Wave

 

One of a 4 part series that tells the story of the rise of a new American music created by Latinos and explores the profound influence of Latin sounds in rock, jazz, hip hop, and rhythm and blues.

 

Produced by John Valadez/Kitchen Synch for WGBH

 

web site

 

 

 

Botany of Desire

 

A Documentary based on the Book by Michael Pollan “ Botany of Desire”

Four plants’ eye view: Tulips, Cannabis, Apples and Potatoes.

 

Produced by Kikim Media

 

web site

 

 

The Judge and the General

 

A Chilean Judge chosen to investigate criminal charges against dictator General Augusto Pinochet undergoes a transformation from Pinochet supporter to implacable prosecutor as he uncovers the horrifying truth about the atrocities committed by the General’s regime in the 1970s and ‘80s.

 

Produced by Elizabeth Farnsworth and Patricio Lanfranco Leverton.

 

web site

 

 

Nuestros Desparecidos -   (Our Disappeared )

 

Juan Mandelbaum returns to his native Argentina to find out what happened to friends and loved ones who were kidnapped and “disappeared” during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship.

 

Produced by Juan Mandelbaum

 

web site

 

 

Archeology of Memory: VIlla Grimaldi

 

About the experiences of six artists who were detained in one of the most infamous torture centers during the Chilean military dictatorship of Pinochet: Villa Grimaldi.

 

Produced by Marilyn Mulford and Quique Cruz.

 

web site

 

 

 

The Summer of Love

Co-Producer / Co-Director / Director of Photography

 

In the summer of 1967, thousands of young people from across the country flocked to the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco to join in the “hippie” experience, only to discover that what they had come for was already disappearing. By 1968 their celebration of free love, music and an alternative lifestyle had descended into a maelstrom of drug abuse, broken dreams and occasional violence.

 

Produced by Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco for The American Experience

 

web site

 

 

 

Orozco: Man of Fire

 

Mexican muralist Jose Clemente Orozco’s dramatic life, iconoclastic personality and dynamic painting changed the way we see art and politics.

 

Produced by Laurie Coyle and Rick Tejada-Flores, as part of the American Masters Series.

 

web site

 

 

 

Salud!

 

It examines the work of 28,000 Cuban health professionals serving 68 countries and explores the hearts and minds of international medical students in Cuba-now numbering 30,000.

 

Produced by Connie Field and Gail Reed

 

web site

 

 

 

Dark Swan

 

In the 15-minute dance film Dark Swan, Zimbabwean dancer Nora Chipaumire and filmmaker Laurie Coyle collaborate on a lyrical and provocative reinterpretation of the 20th century’s most famous ballet solo, Anna Pavlova’s The Dying Swan.

Chipaumire's contemporary restaging of The Dying Swan is a meditation on women's struggle to be free, a dance in which strength wrestles with fragility. The outcome is not inevitably death, but the possibility of getting on one's feet and walking away.

 

Produced by Laurie Coyle and Pleiades Productions

 

website

 

 

 

Waiting to Inhale

 

It examines the debate over legalizing medical marihuana in the USA and abroad. In the USA seven states have passed laws with medical marihuana provisions. Yet use, cultivation and possession remain illegal under federal law.

 

Produced by Jeff Riffe

 

web site

 

 

 

The Bridge So Far

 

On the remarkable wild and troubled history of the new east span of the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge.

 

Produced by David Brown.

 

web site

 

 

 

Thirst

 

Is water part of a human right for all people? Or is it a commodity to be bought and sold in the global market? Filmed in Bolivia, India and the U.S. THIRST shows communities struggling with these questions, as water becomes the world most valuable resource.

 

Produced by Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman..

 

web site

 

 

 

The New Americans  (Dominican Republic Story)

 

The series follow a diverse group of immigrants and refugees as they leave their home and families behind and learn what it means to be new Americans in the 21st century.

VF shot the initial stages of the Dominican baseball players.

 

Produced by Kartemquin Films.

 

web site

 

 

 

My Journey Home ( Nigeria and Vietnam Stories)

 

The two-hour program follows Adiele, Lam and the Peña brothers as they travel to their

ancestral homelands, Nigeria, Vietnam and Mexico respectively.

VF shot the Nigeria and Vietnam stories.

 

Produced by WETA Washington

 

web site

 

 

 

Matters of Race: The Divide

 

Ten years ago, Siler City, North Carolina, was a black and white town of segregated communities with a shared geography and an unsettled history. This quiet, rural southern town is a "laboratory" for the national transformation that is fundamentally altering America's sense of itself.

 

Produced by Roja Productions.

 

web site

 

 

 

Everyday Heroes

 

The behind the scenes look at a diverse team of young adults serving a year in a San Francisco area AmericCorps program. Despite their best intentions, they are confronted by a host of obstacles, including a racial divide that threatens to thwart their efforts.

 

Produced by Kovno Communications.

 

web site

 

 

 

Discovering Dominga

 

The story of a young Iowa woman who returns to her native Guatemala on a remarkable journey of self-discovery and political awakening as she uncovers a shameful political crime committed against her Mayan people.

 

Produced by Pat Flynn and Mary Jo McConahay.

 

web site

 

 

 

Nasci Mulher Negra. ("I was born a black woman")

 

Co-Director/Director of Photography/Editor:

 

A Documentary about the remarkable life of Benedita da Silva, the first Afrobrazilian woman to be part of the Brazilian Senate.

 

Produced by Global Exchange, 2000.

 

web site

 

 

 

The Good War, and Those Who Refused To Fight It.

 

PBS documentary about Conciencious Objectors in the Second World War.

 

Produced by Insight /Paradigm Productions, 1999.

 

web site

 

 

 

In Search of Law and Order

 

Three part PBS series about Juvenile delinquency and the Justice system in the USA.

 

Produced by Kikim Media, 1997.

 

web site

 

 

 

The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez

and the Farm Worker's Struggle

 

Ninety-minute documentary on the history of the United Farmworkers Union and its founder Cesar Chavez.

 

Funded by the ITVS and NEH, 1996.

 

web site

 

 

 

Making Peace : Soul Survivors

 

One of a four part PBS documentary series funded by the ITVS. Soul Survivors follows the work of poet-writer, previous gang member, Luis Rodriguez with street gangs in Chicago, 1996.

 

web site

 

 

 

Cada Cabeza Es Un Mundo  (Each Mind is a World)

Co-Director/Director of Photography/Editor:

 

One hour documentary film using personal stories of school-drop outs to encourage Latino high school students to stay in school.

 

Produced for the Hispanic Education and Media Group, 1994.

 

information

 

 

 

Corn is Who We Are, Only Death Will Take Me From This Place, Spreading Beauty Wherever I Go.

 

Three 20-minute interpretive films on multicultural history in New Mexico produced for American Encounters project, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, 1994

 

 

 

Cuba Va:  T h e  C h a l l e n g e  o f  t h e  N e x t  G e n e r a t i o n

Producer/Director/Cinematographer/Editor:

 

One hour documentary about the current economic crisis in Cuba from the perspective of the         youth.  Independent production funded in part by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation and aired on KQED, 1993.

 

information

 

 

Reaching Across Cultures

Producer/Director/Cinematographer/Editor:

 

Multi-cultural training video utilizing dramatic vignettes, designed to educate families of pregnant women about the dangers of second hand smoke. Produced for the Calif. State Dept. of Education & the American Lung Association 1993.

 

 

 

¿M I  B E B É  F U M A N D O ?

Producer/Director/Cinematographer/Editor:

 

 Informational video produced to convince pregnant women that smoking is harmful to a fetus.  Produced for the Calif. State Department of Education & the American Lung Association 1992.

 

 

 

Is It Really Magic?

Director/Editor:

 

A training video for child care workers about the importance of a healthy and safe environment.   Produced for the American Red Cross, 1992.

 

 

 

Venceremitos

Editor:

 

40 minute documentary about a group of young people from the United States attending an         international peace camp in Cuba, sponsored by the Organization of Cuban Youth, 1991.

 

 

 

Juntoscontra El Abuso

 

A docu-drama about child abuse in the Latin Community. Funded by the State of Calif., nationally      televised & distributed to child abuse prevention centers, 1991.

 

 

 

New Bridges

 

Informational video promoting New Bridges, a program designed to bring  teenagers together in a supportive community to examine the issues of racism, sexism, anti-semitism and gay/lesbian oppression. 1990.

 

 

 

Between the Devil and the Tigers

Producer/Director/Cinematographer/Editor:

 

A docu-drama based on tragic testimonies given by peasants of an agricultural community in Colombia about the savagery of the period of Colombian history known as La Violencia.  Independently produced, 1990.

 

 

 

Univision - KDTV / Channel 14

Producer/Director:

 

Responsible for the production of community service programas, life news programs, and commercial spots.  1981-1989.

 

 

 

Nicaragua for the First Time

Co-Producer/Cinematographer/Editor:

 

A documentary about the legitimacy of the controversial 1984 presidential elections in Nicaragua.  Produced by Adrian Carrasco, Nick Bertoni, Vicente Franco, 1985

 

 

 

Young/Rubicam Agency

Copywriter:

 

Spanish language copywriter for advertising campaigns, 1991-1995.

 

 

 

Awards

 

Daughter from Da Nang:

  • Emmy Award Nomination for Cinematography
  • Academy Award Nomination
  • 2002 Sundance Film Festival - Grand Jury Prize Best Documentary
  • San Francisco International FIlm Festival - Golden Gate Award, Best Bay Area Documentary
  • Ojai Film Festival - Best Documentary Feature
  • Durango (Colorado) Film Festival - Filmmaker's Award
  • 2002 Texas Film Festival - Best Documentary and Audience Choice  Award
  • New Jersey Film Festival - Best Documentary
  • Nashville International Film Festival - Honorable Mention-Best Documentary
  • Cleveland International Film Festival - Runner Up - Best Film

 

1985  Mexico Earthquake Coverage -  G. Foster Peabody Award

 

Freedom On My Mind - Academy Award Nomination

 

Cuba Va - Silver Apple Award

 

Each Mind is a Different World - Silver Apple Award

 

Nasci Mulher Negra - Best Documentary Award, Latino Film Festival

 

 

Film Festival Screenings

 

  • Sundance International Film Festival;
  • Montreal International Film Festival;
  • Viennale, Vienna;
  • London International Festival;
  • Latin American Festival of New Films, Cuba;
  • Human Rights Watch Film Festival (New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston);
  • Film Arts Foundation, SF;
  • Latino Film Festival, Marin County;
  • Cine Accion Film Festival, SF.

 

 

Education

 

  • MA in film Production:  San Francisco State University
  • BA in Film Production:  University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Undergraduate studies/Photography major:  El Camino College, Torrance, CA
  • Undergraduate studies/Journalism:  University of Madrid, Spain

      (Studio) 415-282-3069                (Cell)  415-902-4478               (Email) vefoiofilms@gmail.com