“The Other Side of Immigration” Aims To Engage Everyone

NewsTaco recently interviewed Roy Germano, director of the documentary  “The Other Side of Immigration.” The film was released in 2009 and is based on Germano’s Ph.D. research.

NewsTaco: What brought you to filmmaking? 

Roy Germano: I got the idea to make a documentary in 2007 while pursuing a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Texas at Austin. I had been doing research in the Mexican countryside on the root causes of Mexican immigration for a couple years. I was learning some fascinating stuff in my travels that I wanted to share beyond the narrow audience that would ever read my dissertation.

One day it dawned on me to try to make a documentary based on my research. Two years later I found myself attending the premiere of “The Other Side of Immigration” at the Las Vegas Film Festival.

NT: Why did you originally want to make a film about such a controversial subject?

RG: I was born and raised in Kentucky. Like a lot of Americans, I grew up knowing very little about who Mexican immigrants are and why so many come to our country illegally. Once I started talking to Mexican immigrants in the U.S. and doing research in Mexico, I came to appreciate how an understanding of “the other side of immigration” — the perspective of immigrants and of people in immigrants’ home countries — could help us design immigration policies that work better for everyone.

That’s really the point of the film — a message that I think is just as relevant today as it was when I shot the film in 2008.

NT: How was your film received?

RG: The reception continues to exceed my expectations. Since premiering in 2009, “The Other Side of Immigration” has screened at over 100 film festivals, universities, conferences, and community events (and counting). It was one of 15 documentaries to make it onto the American Library Association’s 2011 Notable Videos List.

It has been debated and discussed by media outlets as different as Fox News, the Huffington Post, and Univision. “The Other Side of Immigration” isn’t a partisan film, and I’ve received countless emails from people on all sides of this issue mentioning that the film taught them a lot about a group of people they previously didn’t know much about.

NT: What are your future plans?

RG: I have a short film project in the works and am writing a book about Mexican immigration — a sort of companion to “The Other Side of Immigration.” I’ve also teamed up some friends in New York City to start a non-profit organization that will provide university scholarships to young people living in impoverished areas of Mexico. By funding higher education in Mexico, we hope more kids in the Mexican countryside can get the skills they need to be successful at home, reducing the impulse to migrate illegally to the United States.

Our first fundraiser will take place on January 30, 2012 at Pulqueria, a restaurant in New York City owned by one of the organization’s founders, Heather Tierney. Anyone who wants to donate or be involved should feel free to email me at [email protected] for more information.

[Courtesy Photo; Video By RoyPGermano]

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

U.S. citizen detained overnight by ICE – they thought he was undocumented

Victor Landa July 6, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (1.5 minute read)  This is startling news. Up until last night at a dinner conversation I believed that the idea that an American citizen would be […]

Willie Velásquez documentary is a lesson for Latinos on the importance of voting

NewsTaco May 9, 2017

*Why you should read this: Because today is Willie Velasquez day and a quick search of his name turned up no news stories. This piece, by Mercedes Olivera, is from […]

DIECIOCHO Podcast: Texas Rep. Rafael Anchia – Trump, Gerrymandering and Money

NewsTaco June 8, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (1 minute read, 34 minute listen)  It’s safe to say that the just-ended Texas legislative session was the most acrimonious in memory. We can talk for […]

Ted Cruz gets an earful in McAllen for July 4

Victor Landa July 5, 2017

*I’m posting this because it was mostly Latinos, organizing, protesting, making their voices heard. Everyone needs to know that Latinos in deep South Texas are standing up. VL By Patrick […]

Pence will host White House Cinco de Mayo party

NewsTaco May 4, 2017

*Why you should read this: Because there’ll be no Cinco de Mayo celebration at the White House (I know, big deal – we’ll be spared the taco-bowl). VL By Hadas […]

Vietnam War veteran fears he could be deported

Victor Landa July 7, 2017

*This Vietnam veteran, born in Mexico, was awarded two Purple Hearts and given U.S. citizenship after his service. He’s misplaced his documents and after paying $345 the government wants more […]

Castro will not run for U.S. Senate

NewsTaco May 1, 2017

By Victor Laneda, NewsTaco (i.5 minute read)    Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) says he will not be running for the U.S. Senate against Ted Cruz. Castro had promised to make […]

Henry Cisneros: Why Can’t Americans See Latinos Are Country’s ‘Saving Grace’?

Victor Landa July 7, 2017

*Good question. I think it’s because we’re not the ones telling our story. We need to fight for our narrative. VL By Suzanne Gamboa, NBC News (1.5 minute read)  SAN […]