Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Conference Coordinator’s Report

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Confirmed Speakers
Lourdes Portillo

Lourdes Portillo was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and moved to the United States in 1960. Her films focus on the representation of Latina/o identity, human rights, social justice and Latin American realities. An equally important aspect of her filmmaking is experimenting with the documentary form. Her most recent film, Señorita Extraviada (Missing young woman), released in 2002, is a documentary about the disappearance and death of young women in Juarez and the search for truth and justice by their families and human rights groups. It received a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, the Best Documentary Prize at the Havana International Film Festival, and the Néstor Almendros Prize at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. It premiered on P.O.V. and received more than 20 prizes and awards around the world. The film inspired a number of governmental and non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International to conduct intensive investigations into the disappearances and murders of women in Juárez. Lourdes Portillo made her first film, a dramatic short called After the Earthquake, in 1979. Some of the other documentary, dramatic, experimental and performance films and videos she has made are the Academy Award-nominated Las Madres: The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo (1986); La Ofrenda: The Days of the Dead (1988); Vida (1989); Columbus on Trial (1992); Mirrors of the Heart for the PBS series “Americas” (1993); The Devil Never Sleeps (1994); Sometimes My Feet Go Numb; 13 Days, a multi-media piece for a nationally toured play by the San Francisco Mime Troupe (1997); and Corpus (1999), a documentary about the late Tejana singer Selena.

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