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Rethinking Patriarchy on Father’s Day

Since the last Father’s Day in 2017, there has been a desperately needed cultural shift toward critiquing the world’s patriarchal order. From #MeToo to #TimesUp to the record-breaking number of women running for office in this November’s US election cycle, millions around the world are seeking to free themselves from patriarchy’s most damaging effects on our lives. We at Sabana Grande Productions try to do our part by making feminist films and videos that feature stories of strong, independent, and creative women. However, we also aim to tell stories that show men collaborating with others to create a more compassionate existence for all.

Just like a world run by men has not led to a fair and equal way of life, a world that leaves out men’s contributions and insight would also be lacking and lopsided. During the month in which we celebrate fathers, we at Sabana Grande Productions celebrate the men (whether or not they are fathers) who do the hard work of listening to women, queer people, children, and anyone else who is unlike them. It’s important for all of us to try and understand where those who are different from us are coming from so that we can work together to dismantle patriarchy. Our films and videos feature characters on both sides of that dialogue, and we will continue to do so in the years to come.

Exclusive Trailer Release

I am not sure how my father would have felt about rethinking patriarchy’s dominance in our culture. He had his share of entitlement, but he was also enamored with my mind and my creative potential. He was determined that there would be no walls placed before his daughter. We never got to find out whether he would have walked all the way to feminism for me, but he certainly gave me the confidence I needed to get there myself and to marry a feminist man and raise feminist sons. We’re sharing our trailer for the film we’re making about my father, The Weeping Season, with you before we release it to the world. These 2 minutes and 25 seconds have been in the works for 14 years, as my husband Nate, who is the film’s director of photography, and I work alongside many talented crewmembers to bring the story to life. We wouldn’t have a trailer without our editor, the brilliant Cristina Carrasco, who found a way to bring all the disparate pieces together. Enjoy!

Unearthed Photo of the Month

My parents divorced when I was three years old, and we moved back to Caracas from New York City—where we’d lived for a year as they unsuccessfully tried to rescue their marriage. One of the places where my mom and I lived when we returned was La Quinta Bambi, a spacious, somewhat abandoned house that generous relatives loaned to us for a few months. The pool, which we never used, was a green universe brimming with leaves, algae, and frogs. My father would stop by every afternoon as we figured out how to rebuild our family now that he lived apart from us.

This photo hung in our hallway for years. I had the vague recollection that my father had taken it, and after he vanished, I’d feel his presence whenever I walked by. As I learned to read and as I regained the English I lost upon returning to Caracas, I made out what the card I’m holding says, written in my mom’s handwriting: “I love you, Dad. Alexandra.” Deciphering the message on the card unleashed the memory of our first Father’s Day after the divorce. I remembered Dad getting out of the car and Mom and I coming to greet him. He took out his camera and captured the family to which he still belonged enough to take this photo but not enough to be pictured alongside us—even on Father’s Day. He vanished a year and a half later and Father’s Day became a tortured holiday for me, as classmates asked whom I was going to give the school-made cards and gifts to when I had no father. The photo in the hallway reminded me exactly for whom I was making them, even though he wasn’t pictured in it.

My Video Book Receives the Distinguished Book Award

My video book, Cámara Retórica: A Feminist Filmmaking Methodology for Rhetoric and Composition, received the 2017 Computers and Composition Distinguished Book Award this May. The award, for which I’m immensely grateful, is a big honor for the project, which is the first-ever collection of interconnected video essays. Those interested in films made by women and people of color, like the ones we make at Sabana Grande Productions, should check out Chapter 2, “The Principles of Feminist Filmmaking.”


As we celebrate Father’s Day, we invite you to use #FilmsForAKinderWorld on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to discuss existing or in-production film, TV, and video projects that show us fathers and father figures that foster kindness and growth in themselves and in others. Combine #FilmsForAKinderWorld with #FathersDay to discuss projects that showcase father narratives that help us create a more just future for generations to come.

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