Announcing the HBO/NALIP Documentary Filmmaker Award Winner!

It is with great pride that HBO and NALIP announce this year's HBO/NALIP Documentary Filmmaker Award winner and finalist.

Social change has been at the core of HBO's critically acclaimed and award-winning documentary programs, with a myriad of issues presented in uncompromising quality and honesty. A long-term sponsor of NALIP, HBO created in 2009 this $10,000 cash award for Latino filmmakers to focus its lens on the Latino experience. With this award, HBO supports the growth of social commentary by Latino documentarians. Films were judged based on the uniqueness of their topic/subject matter, the professional quality of the film, and the structure, tone and style planned for presenting the topic to an audience.

Out of the many high quality submissions this year, a winner and finalist, were selected by a panel of professional filmmakers and the HBO Documentary Films executives:


Looking at the Stars
Alexandre Peralta, Director and Editor

Look at the stars. Keep your head up. Don't let anyone stop you from achieving your dreams. The film is a motivational and inspirational documentary about the ballerinas at the Fernanda Bianchini Ballet Association for the Blind who are empowered women but also, happen to be visually impaired. It focuses on the triumph and tribulations of Geyza, the Prima Ballerina who was one of the first students at the school and is now a performer in their company and a ballet teacher. The film also follows the founder of the school, Fernanda, as well as three other ballerinas: Thalia, Marina and Talita. Though it is not always easy, these women prove that anything is possible when you follow your dreams.
Olhando Pras Estrelas (Looking at The Stars) was originally conceived at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, where the film crew met. Our goals are to empower young women with disabilities and affect the way the blind community is perceived. With that in mind, we would also like to create an accessible version of the film that has a rich sound design and narration so that the blind community, included in the viewing experience, can understand the film, and be inspired to follow their dreams.

Jessica Gonzales vs. the United States of America
Katia Maguire and April Hayes, Director and Producer (LPA 2009)
Jessica Gonzales vs. the United States of America is the story of one woman, who after surviving the murders of her three young daughters, becomes a crusader for the human rights of American women and children who suffer from domestic violence each year and depend on restraining orders to protect them.  The film is currently in post-production and has been supported by the ITVS Diversity Development Fund and the Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant.