ALBANY, NY (10/18/2016)(readMedia)-- UNDERWATER DREAMS (United States, 2014, 86 minutes, color, written and directed by Mary Mazzio) will be screened on Friday, November 4, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. [note early start time], in Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, on the University at Albany Downtown Campus. The screening will be followed by commentary and Q&A with director Mary Mazzio and Lorenzo Santillan, one of the subjects of the film. Sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute as part of its series "The New Americans: Recent Immigrant Experiences in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Film," the screening is free and open to the public.
UNDERWATER DREAMS is a David and Goliath story about a group of high school students, sons of undocumented Mexican immigrants, who enter a sophisticated underwater robotics competition. With a very limited budget they fabricate their underwater robot out of parts purchased at Home Depot and take on engineering students from some of the most prestigious universities in the country. Gary Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times called the documentary "Moving and insightful...a telling snapshot of our nation's class and cultural divide."
The film was screened at the White House in Spring 2015 to highlight a new coalition of corporate funders, educational institutions, and non-profits, all galvanized together to fund STEM education for under-represented students. AMC Theatres also hosted community screenings across the U.S. to enable school and non-profit groups to enjoy the film on the big screen throughout 2014 and 2015, free of charge. The UNDERWATER DREAMS team was honored at the 2014 Hispanic Heritage Awards (broadcast on PBS) and the film was also awarded a Latino De Hoy Award by the Los Angeles Times.
Mary Mazzio is an award-winning documentary film writer/director dedicated to creating films that have social impact. She is founder and CEO of 50 Eggs, Inc., an independent film production company. Mazzio wrote, directed, and produced the highly acclaimed award-winning films CONTRARIAN (2013), THE APPLE PUSHERS (2011), narrated by Academy Award nominee Edward Norton, TEN9EIGHT (2009), LEMONADE STORIES (2004), APPLE PIE (2002), and A HERO FOR DAISY (1999). Mazzio is also an Olympic athlete, competing on the U.S. Rowing team in 1992.
Lorenzo Santillan was part of the team of high school students who participated in the robotics competition that is the subject of UNDERWATER DREAMS. He went on to college, despite being undocumented and is currently a chef in downtown Phoenix.
The film screening is part of "The New Americans: Recent Immigrant Experiences in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Film," a series that examines the challenges and achievements of recent immigrant groups in the United States. Funding support for the series is provided by University Auxiliary Services, and UAlbany's College of Arts & Sciences.
For additional information contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.