Filmmaker Mayra Flores Stops By Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month Film Series To Discuss Her Film
Julian Corbett

As part of an ongoing film series to celebrate Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month at CGPS, last Thursday, filmmaker and arts educator Mayra Flores visited students in the Prep School to share her short film Nuestro País. Conceived, as Ms. Flores said on Thursday, in reaction to the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the 2016 presidential election, Nuestro País is an intimate retelling of the immigration story of Ms. Flores’ own mother. Through inventive and affecting hand-drawn animation, the film chronicles her decision to leave Mexico and the sacrifices and rewards that came along with her new life in the United States.

The session was hosted by World Language Department Head Anne Grande, with technology teacher Melanie Royster and Spanish teacher Jessica Gines also in attendance. After screening the film, Ms. Grande invited Ms. Flores to talk about her background and the creative influences that inspired her work on the film. “When I first applied to film school, it was with the intention of telling stories that aren't typically told,” Ms. Flores said. “And that’s been my motivation, from when I was 18 years old up until now – to capture these stories that aren't taking the mainstream.”

Students asked questions about the technical details of Ms. Flores’ film – she was the sole animator, working with traditional pen-on-paper methods – and shared their appreciation for the often overlooked perspective Nuestro País focuses on. “I thought the way you told your story was really great because it told a story that’s original in some ways, but that also relates to others,” said Alexa R. “A lot of people can probably relate to this story,” added Mysha J.

As the question-and-answer session came to a close, Ms. Grande thanked Ms. Flores for her contribution to the film series. “I took a risk just sending you an email. I’m so grateful to you personally for helping us with this conversation that we're having,” Ms. Grande said. “Giving us the opportunity to hear other people's stories and perspectives – that’s really what the essence of this film series is about.”

You can watch Mayra Flores’ original film Nuestro País here.

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