Shot during the COVID-19 pandemic, Calle de la Resistencia, (2021, 79 minutes) directed by Denise Blasor, is an emotional look at the struggle of the Puerto Rican people to regain their dignity. With a unique blend of real- life footage and staged musical production, the film tells the tale of nine Puerto Ricans whose lives were forever changed by Maria, the deadly hurricane that left thousands of families without a home and millions without access to water, food, electricity, medicine and communications. Two years later, fate brings these nine people together to the epicenter of the protests that ultimately resulted in the resignation of the Puerto Rican governor, a symbolic triumph of the people over corruption, albeit short-lived. Featuring 20 original songs, Calle de la Resistencia picks up the pieces of a tragic history and transforms them into hope.
Guest Curator Marángeli Mejía Rabell is a Puerto Rico-born, Philadelphia-based connector, cultural organizer and producer, arts and culture curator, and programmer whose work is centered on co-creation, capacity building, leadership development, cross-sector collaborations, and honoring our roots as a tool for social change and community self-actualization. Marángeli’s practice is focused on community media practices, cultural organizing, intersectionality, accessibility and diversity. As Co-Founder/Creative Partner of AFROTAINO and Director of the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival she co-curates, designs and executes arts and culture programming, collaborations and multidisciplinary projects. She has served as the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival Director for over five years supporting the groundbreaking work of Latinx filmmakers. Under Marángeli’s leadership, PHLAFF has evolved into an international film festival that brings the best of US-based Latinx and Latin American stories to wide audiences. Throughout Marángeli’s career she has centered Latinx creators, stories and culture to bring about positive change and new representation. She brings strong skills in developing and leading projects, campaigns and programs that combine business and community objectives and over three decades of experience establishing systems and metrics to measure collective impact. She is a recent graduate of the inaugural cohort of the National Arts Strategies Leadership Coaching Training Program. Collaborations include: Pepon Osorio’s reForm at Tyler Contemporary, BrideNext, a Building Audience Demand project with Marty Pottender and serving as a Guest Curator for the Mural Arts Program for the first cycle of their Neighborhood Portraits Project.
With a long history of presenting film starting in the 1970s, in the 2020-21 season, the Annenberg Center returns this important art form to its regular line-up to broaden its inclusive arts programming while also supporting independent film at Penn and in Philadelphia. Curator-at-Large for Film Maori Karmael Holmes, also Artistic Director and CEO of BlackStar Film Festival, works with Executive and Artistic Director Christopher Gruits to develop a series of films that complement and amplify the Annenberg Center’s season programming across all disciplines.