Filmmaker Amy Serrano’s most recently completed film, which she shot, produced, wrote and directed, is the feature-length documentary film “The Sugar Babies: The Plight of the Children of Agricultural Workers on the Sugar Industry of the Dominican Republic.” Narrated by Edwidge Danticat and composed of field recordings coupled with outside testimony, the film explores the lives of the descendants of the first Africans delivered to the island of Hispaniola for the bittersweet commodity that once ruled the world. These very same people continue to be trafficked from Haiti to the Dominican Republic to work in sugar under circumstances that can only be considered modern day slavery.
She also wrote, produced and directed the U.S. co-production for the feature-length film “MOVE! Where are you Going?” Produced in Rome, Italy and currently being distributed through Film Festivals in Europe, MOVE! is a fictional film composed of short films by 11 filmmakers in 6 continents exploring the dispassionate state of humanity through varied human emotions.
Her body of work includes directing and producing the PBS broadcast “A Woman’s Place: Voices of Contemporary Hispanic-American Women” featuring Isabel Allende, Dr. Antonia Novello, Bianca Jagger, Maria Hinojosa, Esmeralda Santiago, Marjorie Agosin and other barrier breaking Hispanic-American Women. Ms. Serrano also produced the award winning ?Adios Patria? The Cuban Exodus narrated by Andy Garcia (Berlin Film Festival, Best Documentary New York Independent Film and Video Festival, PBS). She executive produced the PBS broadcast and Emmy-Award nominated “Cafe con Leche: Voices of Exiles’ Children” and associate produced the Emmy-Award nominated Havana: Portrait of Yesteryear narrated by Gloria Estefan for PBS.
She’s received honours by the City of Miami, with a proclamation making October 27 “Amy Serrano Day.” Twice, she’s been named a “Woman of Today” in Glamour Magazine (Spanish Editions, August 2000 and August 2003). Glamour Magazine also named Ms. Serrano a “Woman of the Year” in their Millennium issue. During Women’s History Month, she was presented a Mentor Award by the Public School System and named a Distinguished Female Role Model by the Public Library System. She was also one of 8 women profiled in a documentary entitled “Evolution of Woman.” This national, cutting-edge photographic exhibit was first unveiled at New York City’s Metropolitan Pavilion. In June of 2003, Ms. Serrano became a recipient of the TESORO AWARD in Art and Culture. In January of 2004, Amy Serrano was awarded a Fellowship with the National Hispana Leadership Institute [NHLI] which has involved Leadership Education at Harvard University’s JFK School of Government, the Center for Creative Leadership, on Capitol Hill, and with various recognized leaders in social and civic change. In July 2004, Ms. Serrano was named a “Latina of Excellence” in Hispanic Magazine’s Top Latinas Roster for 2004.
Amy is currently directing her efforts through Amy Serrano & Associates, a creative media, communications, and consulting agency. Apart from commissioned and consulting projects for clients through Amy Serrano and Associates, Amy is also at work on a book on New Orleans where she has lived since 2007.
“This is Who We Are: Lessons from New Orleans on Resilience, Reinvention and Sustainability” is composed of observations, interviews, and portraits of individuals and organizations who in the aftermath of two human-made disasters, lost it all, yet survived tragedy, devastation, and found ways to begin again and thrive in a Post-Katrina and Post-Oil Spill New Orleans.
She is also engaged in producing a multimedia project that will involve a film, a book and traveling photo installation centering on the human rights of children. “Suffer the Children” will explore the lives of children being illegally trafficked and then forced to work under cruel and sub-human conditions. Through this project, and the use of creative visual media, social media and community events, she hopes to bring continued awareness to children’s human rights, impact public policy, and contribute to the cessation of abuse and exploitation of humanity.
She continues to be a featured guest lecturer at colleges, universities and cultural centers giving talks on the intersection of arts and activism; women and children’s rights; human trafficking and modern day slavery; hope during times of injustice; the ability to affect public policy through the communication arts; and many other inspiring themes.
A published poet, writer, essayist and speaker of 4 languages, she remains a committed Senior Fellow of the Human Rights Foundation in New York; a Fellow of the National Hispana Leadership Institute in Washington D.C.; a Board Member of Voz de Mujer, a women’s empowerment and leadership organization based in Texas; an Advisory Council Member of the Faulkner Society’ in New Orleans; a Member of the Spanish Embassy’s Young Hispanic Leader’s Association in Washington D.C.; and was recently appointed a founding Board Member to Ambassador Armando Valladares’ non-governmental organization, Human Rights for All.
She was also recently chosen as a subject of an upcoming documentary on Latina leadership in the United States, as well as one of nine subjects in artist Diego Quiros’’ upcoming multidisciplinary installation project “Citizens” based on civic involvement and lasting contributions to her hometown Miami-to be unveiled in 2012.