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Action! Social Action: ‘Justice for My Sister’ by Kimberly Bautista

Action! Social Action: 'Justice for My Sister' by Kimberly Bautista

Having just taken the Audience Award at LALIFF, Justice for My Sister was so compelling that I had to take action and so I interviewed the filmmaker Kimberly Bautista….

Kimberly Bautista’s debut feature length documentary film, Justice for my Sister, received funding from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Latino Public Broadcasting, the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, and the Dutch Embassy in Guatemala. Justice for my Sister‘s educational distribution is with New Day Films, and FilmOption International Inc represents its international sales. It has screened in over 150 communities in Guatemala with the help of the Guatemalan Justice for my Sister advocacy team. Kimberly launched a text message-based service in Guatemala to supplement the film and to connect audiences to resources, references, and counseling after community screenings. Her new media and outreach campaign received first prize in the Cuban Hat Transmedia Pitch at Sunny Side of the Doc in La Rochelle, France in June 2012. The film has won several accolades, including the HBO-NALIP 2012 Documentary Filmmaker Award, the Camera Justitia Jury Prize at the 2013 Movies that Matter Festival in Holland, and the Ojo Latinoamericano Jury Prize at the 2013 International Human Rights Film Festival in Sucre, Bolivia. Most recently, it won the Prize for Best Documentary at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival.

In June 2013, Kimberly spoke at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland on a panel about Violence Against Women & Girls in Latin America & the Caribbean, where she presented Justice for my Sister and the film’s campaign. Kimberly is the recipient of the inaugural 2013 Young Alumni Achievement Award from her alma mater Pitzer College for Commitment to Promoting International Domestic Violence Prevention through the Use of Media. She received the prestigious 2012 Alumna of the Year Cornelian Award from Mayfield Senior School for exemplifying the school’s motto, “Actions Not Words.” She was the finalist for the 2013 Estela “Rising Star” Award for Documentary from NALIP for her work with Justice for my Sister.

In 2006, Kimberly founded and directed the Intercultural Web Exchange, a video pen-pal web program between young women in Quito, Ecuador and young Chicana women in Pomona, California. The project lasted for over three years and culminated in a college prep opportunity for the participants. In 2008, Kimberly filmed testimonies of Guatemalans who witnessed human rights violations; these videos were to be used as evidence of genocide to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights with prosecutors from Cal Berkeley and the Myrna Mack Foundation. She has since worked as a freelance field producer both in Latin America and California for clients in the non- profit sector (Hebrew Immigrant Aide Society, The UN Refugee Agency) and the corporate sector (Herbalife). She has also worked on films such as Patricia Cardoso’s Lies in Plain Sight and Morgan Spurlock’s Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope, and television programs on LATV and The Learning Channel. She wrote and directed two public service announcements that aired on Univision to encourage Latinos in the Los Angeles area to pursue a higher education.

Kimberly holds a Master’s in Social Documentation from University of California, Santa Cruz for film production. In Spring 2013, she worked as a lecturer at California State University Monterey Bay in the Visual and Public Art Department. She acted as a jury member for the Connect the Docs transmedia pitch competition at the 2013 Hot Docs Conference & Forum in Toronto, Canada. She spoke on two panels–about investigative journalism & advocacy film, and women and girls in public media–at the International PUblic Television Screening Conference (INPUT) in El Salvador this May 2013. 


“We have established a campaign in Guatemala where we train young people in violence prevention, and they in turn facilitate workshops on healthy relationships with diverse audiences, from the National Civil Police, to indigenous communities, among others. We also have a service called texting peace, where our film advocates connects audiences to services and references via text messaging. We want to bring this documentary and campaign to all of Latin America. Our allies in the Dutch Embassy in Costa Rica have submitted our proposal to the Central American Integration System (SICA).”


• Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF), Best Documentary

• Festival Internacional de Cine de los Derechos Humanos de Sucre, Bolivia,  “Pukañawi 2013/Ojo Latinoamericano” Jury PrizeJuly 2013  

• UN Human Rights Council Session 23 ­ Panel “Violence Against Women &  Girls in Latin America & The Caribbean,” Switzerland, June 2013  

• International Public Television Conference (InPuT), El Salvador, May 2013  

• Cine Las Americas Festival, Austin Texas, April 2013  

• Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, April 2013  

• University of San Francisco Human Rights Film Festival, April 2013  

• Movies That Matter Festival, Holland, “Camera Justitia” Jury Prize, March 2013  

• Puerto Rico International Film Festival Vieques Island, December 2012 

• Women Make Waves Film Festival, Taiwan October 2012  

• San Francisco International Latino Film Festival, September 2012  

• Fine cut premiered at Palacio Nacional (National Palace),Guatemala, Nov 2011  • 150 community screenings and workshops in Guatemala

• 20 university screenings (including USC, University of Wisconsin, Madison, University of Minnesota, Duluth, and Cal State Monterrey Bay) 


• Estela Award Finalist, National Association of Latino Independent Producers, 2013 

• Inaugural Young Alumni Achievement Award for Commitment to Promoting International  Domestic Violence Prevention Through Use of Media, Pitzer College, 2013  

• Winner of the 2012 HBO/NALIP Documentary Filmmaker Award  

• 2012 Cornelian Award “Alumna of the Year” from Mayfield Senior School  

• First Place Winner, Cuban Hat Transmedia Pitch, Sunny Side of the Doc, France, 2012  

• Speaker at Firelight Media’s Creating Social Impact through Story in a Transmedia World  Seminar, May 2012  

• One-Year Latino Artist Mentorship, NALIP, 2010­-11  

• Princess Grace Award, Documentary Honorarium, 2008  

• Hispanic Scholarship Fund, McNamara Creative Arts Grant, 2008

Audience Engagement Campaign (Select List of Events) 

• 30 facilitators (replicators of campaign) trained in violence prevention and public speaking in Guatemala

• 150 community screenings and violence prevention workshops in Guatemala

• 17 screenings and workshops with police, prosecutors, and judges in Guatemala (funded by Movies That Matter Foundation and consultation by UN Women) 

• Text-message campaign in Guatemala to provide references, advice, and advocacy to audiences (launched in collaboration with Freedom Connect

• Panel discussion co-hosted by LAPD and Central American Consulates in Los Angeles, with service providers tabling event

• Take Back the Night Event in Boyle Heights 

• Mujeres Al Frente leadership workshop series with promotoras (community health promoters) from our partners at East LA Women’s Center

International Conferences

• First Place Winner, Cuban Hat Transmedia Pitch, Sunny Side of the Doc, France, 2012 

• Latin Side of the Doc, Mexico City, November 2012
• Rio Content Market, February 2013
• MipDoc, April 2013

• Hot Docs Canadian Forum, April 2013
• International Public Television Conference (InPuT), El Salvador, May 2013

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