Versión en español.

Welcome to Our Community!

As our logline asserts, we are a production company that uses the unstoppable power of the moving image to transform the world into a more compassionate and inclusive place. Many of us feel—and the media on both sides of the spectrum constantly reminds us—that we seem to be experiencing a global turn toward chaos and negativity. We at Sabana Grande Productions have decided to fight back through storytelling that explores underrepresented perspectives with nuance and respect for those we feature onscreen and for our audiences.

We believe in the power of story, in particular, stories that connect us to the way others inhabit the world through the sound of their voices, the expression on their faces, and the physical and metaphorical homes they inhabit. We believe in our collective ability to turn the tide by fostering a clearer understanding of those who are unlike us, since fear of the unknown “Other” is to blame for many of our current conundrums.

Through this community letter we not only share project updates but invite you to join in the production process for our documentaries and video essays by providing feedback on drafts and project ideas and helping us create a social media movement that celebrates the films that make the world a kinder place.


We invite you to use #FilmsForAKinderWorld on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to discuss existing or in-production film, TV, and video projects that are transforming the world.

In May, we encourage you to combine #FilmsForAKinderWorld with #democracy and #CrisisVenezuela to bring attention to the contested May 20 Venezuelan election for the country’s president and for the legislative and municipal councils. The election, which was supposed to take place in late 2018, was moved to May earlier this year, making it harder for the opposition, most of whom are boycotting it, to organize their campaigns. Use the hashtags to discuss films that show the current situation in Venezuela and films that show struggles toward democracy as well as democracy’s value to a society.

Simultaneous Filming in Different Countries

Production for The Weeping Season, a feature about my father’s 1983 disappearance in the Venezuelan Amazon, is progressing beautifully. We have a brilliant team filming in Venezuela this year through our partnership with La Pandilla Producciones. We filmed a key conversation with my Aunt Yarima, my dad’s sister, using with two crews in two countries—Venezuela and the US—at the same time. The moment captures the situation many of us find ourselves in, as we relate to those dearest to us through their disembodied voices and our memories of the faces we love as we hear them speak.

Unearthed Photo of the Month

When my father disappeared, video cameras were not a common household item. Luckily, our family took hundreds of photos over the decades. Some of The Weeping Season’s characters, like my father and grandmother, live in the film through photos. As exclusive content for community letter subscribers, we feature a photo and a short anecdote to accompany it in every issue.
My grandmother, Olga, seen in this photo wearing a white hat, was fond of telling her grandchildren that we are descendants of Simón Bolívar, the Venezuelan hero who liberated five countries from Spanish rule. As soon as we started studying Bolívar in school (which was the moment we walked through the door), we learned that he had no children, so she found herself having to qualify her story. The connection was always convoluted as she told it, but basically, we’re descendants of Bolívar’s younger sister, Juana Nepomucena de Bolívar y Palacios. Whether or not we in fact carry some diluted version of Bolívar’s blood in our veins, Olga made it one of her life’s goals to preserve his legacy. In 1958, while working as a Cultural Attaché for the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington DC, she was one of the people responsible for erecting a statue to her beloved Simón on the corner of Virginia Avenue and 18th Street. It stands today as a reminder that, even under the current administration, the United States is a country that values those who fight for a more just world, no matter where they were born.

Revolutionizing Memoir

My latest video essay, “A Cultural Rhetorics Approach to Memoir” was published in the peer-reviewed publication The Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics. The video essay argues for taking the memoir genre beyond our isolated recollection of our lives and instead sharing the creative process with those who lived the stories we’re telling alongside us. It looks at the role others can play in the research, production, and editing stages, and at the ways in which we can ethically manage those relationships while creating rich and engaging memoirs whether they are films, books, essays, or podcasts. You can view the video essay here.

Conversing About Agnès Varda

I was invited to a roundtable hosted by cléo: a journal of film and feminism featuring filmmakers whose work has been influenced by Agnès Varda. I had a magnificent conversation with Sofia Bohdanowicz, Indra de Bruyn, and Caroline Leone about the ways in which Varda’s visionary approach to filmmaking has transformed our own films and the culture at large. Click here to read it.

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Versión en español.

View the previous community letter.