Sabana Grande Productions

Overview

Sabana Grande Productions LLC is a film and video production company I founded in 2013. The company’s goal is to produce independent documentaries, videos, and video essays that tackle topics from feminist perspectives. Sabana Grande projects are made through feminist filmmaking, so that everyone’s contribution is valued and crew members mentor and support each other.

We always make a point to hire women, people of color, and queer people to work on our projects. As a production company, our goal is to tell stories that transform the world by tackling complex topics and looking at them with authenticity, emotional openness, and a promise of hope even during times when the world seems to be falling apart.

Projects

General Interest Documentaries

The Weeping Season (Feature documentary in production)
A filmmaker, Alexandra Hidalgo, investigates the 1983 disappearance of her father—inventor, writer, and martial artist Miguel Hidalgo—in the Venezuelan Amazon. As she returns to the site of his vanishing decades later, she uncovers dark secrets about the man she always idolized and after whom she molded her identity, forcing her to come to terms with a very different person from the father she remembers and to rethink her own life and who she now wants to become.

Teta (25 minutes, 2017)
In Teta, Alexandra Hidalgo tells the story of her journey nursing her youngest son, Santiago, for twenty-two months. Teta uses Hidalgo’s narration and the footage shot by her husband to portray the ups and downs of nursing a baby as a working mother of two. As the film shows Santiago go from his first nursing session minutes after being born to his last as a walking and talking toddler, Teta illustrates the transcendent emotional bond created by nursing, not only between mother and child but between all members of the family. It has been the official selection at 27 film festivals in 13 countries and received 8 film festival awards.

William and Santiago Simultaneous (5 minutes, 2016)
William and Santiago Simultaneous explores a question millions of parents ask themselves: just how alike are my children? The filmmaker and her husband filmed their sons reaching the same milestones during the boys’ first year of life, placing the images side by side on the screen so audiences can see how the boys’ individual journeys mirror each other. Besides providing a meditation on how siblings grow up, the film is a joyful look at what it’s like to make sense of the world for the first time.

Vanishing Borders (90 minutes, 2014)
This feature documentary showcases the lives of four immigrant women living in New York City, who transform their communities with their work. The film provides a personal and complex portrayal of immigration in contrast to the abstract and generalized representations often found in the mainstream media. It has been the official selection at 11 film festivals and 7 universities, received 5 film festival awards, and been featured on multiple press outlets. It is now available on Amazon Prime and Vimeo On Demand.

Video Book
Cámara Retórica: A Feminist Filmmaking Methodology for Rhetoric and Composition (160 minutes, 2017).
This collection of six interconnected video essays examines feminist filmmaking and film and video production in Rhetoric and Composition. It was published by the Computers and Composition Digital Press, an imprint of Utah State University Press. It won the 2018 Computers and Composition Distinguished Book Award.

Video Essays
Motherhood on the Screen: An Exploration of Wounds Opened and Closed Through Home Video.” (23 minutes, 2019)
Published in Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, this video essay examines the ways in which looking at decades-old home videos helps a Venezuelan mother and daughter face and work through issues in their relationship.

Creating our Pasts Together: A Cultural Rhetorics Approach to Memoir.” (24 minutes, 2018).
This video essay, published in the Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics, provides strategies for engaging with personal stories in ethical ways that involve collaborating with family, friends, and others who lived alongside us through the events we discuss in our memoirs.

A Feminist Approach to Social Media” (16 minutes, 2016).
Published in Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy and co-authored with Katie Grimes, this video essay provides principles of feminist engagement with social media.

Alto Precio: Love, Loss, and Rebellion in Raising Bilingual Children.” (25 minutes, 2016).
This video essay, published in Technoculture: an Online Journal of Technology in Society, explores the complications and rewards that arise when raising a child as a bilingual speaker of Spanish and English in Michigan, a state that is traditionally monolingual.

Introduction to Race, Rhetoric, and the State Special Issue” (10 minutes, 2016).
Co-authored with Donnie Johnson Sackey, this video essay provides an introduction to a Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society special issue.

A Visual Argument for Ethnic Studies (2 minutes, 2016).
Featured on Literacy and NCTE, this video essay argues for the value of ethnic studies for all students, regardless of race or background.

Family Archives and the Rhetoric of Loss (18 minutes, 2015).
This video essay, which is a chapter in the digital book Provocations: Reconstructing the Archive published by Computers and Composition Digital Press, theorizes the ways in which we can connect with our family and friends to craft histories of our past through objects and the memories and stories they evoke.

A Mother’s Cinematic Peregrinations (5 minutes, 2015).
Featured on Raising Films, this video provides an autobiographical account of being a mother and a filmmaker.

If you’re interested in screening our work or in learning more about our philosophy, feel free to contact me.