An Open Letter to NYC: La Tierria de Adioses

(Preceded by a quartet of short documentary films from three first-generation young women filmmakers from the Maysles Documentary Center.)

Missing Question Mark
Vicky Lee, 2015, 7 min

How To Be Bad
Vicky Lee, 2016, 7 min

En El Barrio
Kati Perez, 2015, 3 min

Malaku Santiago and Savio Zigbi-Johnson, 2013, 7 min


La Tierra de Los Adioses
Stefani Saintonge, 2014, 28 min.
Zapotitlán Palmas, a small mountainous community in the south of Mexico, where 50% of the residents (80% of the men) have migrated to the United States. Engulfed in a culture of migration, the women and children left behind continue their lives missing their loved ones on the other side.


Seventh Grade
Stefani Saintonge, 2014, 11 min
Everyone is growing up except Patrice. But when a raunchy rumor threatens her best friend’s reputation, she’s forced to join the party and embrace adolescence.


Q&A with Director Stefani Saintonge, and emerging young filmmaker Vicky Lee, and reception with Haitian food to follow screening.

Stefani Saintonge is a Haitian-American filmmaker and educator. In 2014, she won the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Discovery Award for her short film, Seventh Grade and her documentary, La Tierra de los Adioses, won Best Latin American Short Documentary at the Festival Internacional de Cine en el Desierto. Her work, which focuses on women, youth and immigration, has screened at several festivals in the US and abroad. She is a recipient of the Jerome Foundation Film and Video Grant, and she works as an educator and adjunct professor in New York. She holds an MFA in Documentary Film Studies and Production.

This program is part of An Open Letter to NYC:
Immigrant Documentary Filmmakers and Their Films

Starting with the periods before, during, between, and after the two world wars through to the present day, the American film industry would not exist without the immigrant filmmaker. In fact all contemporary American art and media, including the current documentary renaissance, is enlivened by and rooted in the modern immigrant experience. An Open Letter takes stock in immigrant, refugee and expatriate documentary filmmakers and/or documentary films about immigration and pays special attention to filmmakers from dominant and emerging NYC populations including those of Caribbean, Eastern European, Latin American, South and East Asian, Middle Eastern and West African descent. Programmed by Jessica Green and Edo Choi.

This series is supported by New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) as part of the 2016 Immigrant Cultural Initiative.