Alexandra Blaney ’09 was an associate productor for Inocente, which last night won the Academy Award for best short documentary. The film tells the moving story of a homeless 15-year-old undocumented immigrant in San Diego “who refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be caged by her life.”
Blaney watched the awards show and cheered from afar in New York, where today she was back at the office of Shine Global (where she has worked for two and one-half years), happily working amid the post-Oscar buzz. “We’re getting a lot of phone calls asking about showing it all around the world,” said Blaney in a quick phone interview with PCM, mentioning a new call from South Korea. Though the film might seem very specific to the U.S., Blaney notes it’s really “a universal story about immigrants and refugees in every country.”
In an online interview for the PRIZM Project, Blaney explained how she made her way into the documentary film world:
I never thought about film as a career option until my last year of college. I double majored in international relations and history with a focus on Latin America and always found myself drawn to the cultural aspect of politics especially as manifested in social movements. I studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina where there is actually a pretty vibrant independent film community … When I returned to the US for my last year of college I took a Latin American documentary film class where I was introduced to political documentaries and the Tercer Cine (Third Cinema) film movement of the 1960s-70s which decried the Hollywood model of film as mere entertainment and business. Over the course of that class, as we watched and studied documentaries by Lourdes Portillo, Fernando Pino Solanas, Fernando Birre, and Patricio Guzman, I became more and more convinced that I should work in film and documentaries. Specifically, I wanted to work with a non-profit documentary film production company and was determined that if one did not exist I would found one. Luckily I found Shine Global, which was doing the exact type of work I wanted to do.