"If you can humanize divisive issues, you have a better chance of reaching those who might not know anything about immigration, or know any undocumented immigrants. By getting to know the people on the screen through watching their daily lives, viewers may start to care about what happens to them, and question what they thought about the issues before."
Anayansi Prado & Heather Courtney
We met in 2003 when we were both hired to film the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, a 10-day bus ride from Los Angeles to New York modeled after the Freedom Rides from the Civil Rights movement. We both had a strong interest in and commitment to immigration issues, having both made previous films about undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
We stayed in touch and throughout the years talked about working together again on a project, but both got busy with our own films. In 2013 we started researching together the idea of a documentary about Dreamers. That’s when Anayansi was invited to screen her film CHILDREN IN NO MAN’S LAND at Wellesley College and met a professor who told her about Freedom University, an organization for DACA students in Georgia, a state that banned them from its top state universities, and made them pay international tuition at any other public college in the state.
We took our first trip to Georgia in November 2013, and in our first hour there, met and interviewed Alejandro/Cheesecake. The next day we met Silvia. And after just 3 days, we knew they were people whose stories we wanted to follow. And so began our 4-year journey making THE UNAFRAID.
Anayansi Prado (Co-Director/Producer/Cinematographer)
An award-winning documentary filmmaker and instructor, Anayansi Prado was born in Panama and moved to the United States as a teenager. She attended Boston University where she received a B.A. in Film. She directed and produced the award-winning documentaries Maid in America (2004, Independent Lens), Children in No Man’s Land (2008) and Paraiso for Sale (2011) which were broadcast nationally on PBS. Anayansi is a Rockefeller Media Fellow and is a Creative Capital Artist and has received support for her work from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Tribeca Film Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures, The Fledgling Fund, Latino Public Broadcast, ITVS and others. Prado is a Film Expert for the American Film Showcase (2009-present) and works on a regular basis with the State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs to bring documentary filmmaking training to aspiring filmmakers in developing countries. Anayansi lives in Los Angeles, California.
Heather Courtney (Co-Director/Producer/Cinematographer)
Heather Courtney is a Guggenheim fellow and an Emmy-winning filmmaker. Her film WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM won an Emmy, an Independent Spirit Award, and a SXSW Jury Award. The film received rave reviews from the New York Times and the Washington Post, and was broadcast nationally on the PBS program POV. It made several Top 10 films of 2011 lists, including Salon’s Best Non-fiction, and was supported by many grants and fellowships including from ITVS, the Sundance Documentary Fund, the United States Artists Fellowship, and POV/American Documentary. Heather was also a fellow at the Sundance Edit and Story Lab. She has directed and produced several other documentary films including award-winners LETTERS FROM THE OTHER SIDE and LOS TRABAJADORES/THE WORKERS, which both focused on immigration issues, and were broadcast nationally on PBS. She has been funded by ITVS, the Sundance Documentary Fund, the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, Latino Public Broadcasting, and the Austin Film Society, as well as a Fulbright Fellowship and an International Documentary Association award.
Editor: Colin Nusbaum
Associate Producer: Eric Crabb
Finishing Editor: Miranda Youseff
Additional Editing: Mary Lampson
Additional Cinematography:Hilda Mercado, Jay Williams, Nausheen Dadabhoy, Erick Stoll, Alejandro ‘Cheesecake’, Meredith McKay, David Goehring
Consulting Producer: Richard Ray Perez
Story Consultant: Jean Tsien
Music: Germaine Franco
Sound Mix: Walter Ledesma
Assistant Editor: Rudik Osorio, Aaron Howell, Laura Cardona
Sample Editor: Juli Vizza, Esteban Arguello
Color Correction: Different by Design
Graphics: Lani Rodriguez
Poster design: Julio Salgado
End credits song: "YOUNG, LATIN & PROUD" - Performed by Helado Negro