Student's Migrant Documentary Wins Award
From the sun-baked migrant fields of the Rio Grande Valley to the glitz of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Arnulfo Hernandez is pursuing his dreams of a better life. A senior majoring in communication, the former migrant worker and CAMP student is already inspiring others through his documentary, "Harvesting a Dream."
Chronicling a return visit to his family and the migrant fields, the documentary debuted at the Cine Sol film festival at South Padre Island last year and has inspired a St. Edward's classmate to write and illustrate a bilingual children's book. The documentary also won recognition in the recent Reel Life Video Contest, sponsored by the state of Texas' College for Texans Campaign. Hernandez's parents were on hand April 1 to see him win the grand prize award, which includes an all-expense-paid trip to the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. Additionally, his film will be shown at high schools across the state as part of the College for Texans Campaign efforts to encourage more students to prepare for and attend college.
"If my documentary film inspires someone to overcome their personal challenges to go to college, that would really make the pain of telling my story worth it," he said.
"We know that video is a powerful way to reach young people, and we wanted to encourage college students to tell their stories," said Don W. Brown, commissioner of higher education. "Parents and students need to know that college can be affordable and that a college degree greatly increases earning power."
The video contest was open to all Texas college students and challenged them to create stories that show how people have overcome obstacles to get into college. Twenty-one other college filmmakers from across Texas also won recognition in the competition, including Adam Mitchell '03, whose film "Doors" finished second in the "experimental video" category.