PBS celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month 2012 with a lineup of programming that entertains, informs and explores the culture of Hispanic and Latino Americans. With subjects ranging from mariachi music to masked wrestlers, from visionary architects to poets, these special programs provide fascinating insights into the lives of generations of Hispanic Americans who have enriched our nation and society.
PBS’ celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month extends beyond the broadcast and onto pbs.org. The PBS video player— where viewers can watch hours of free PBS programming online and on their own time — will feature a special collection of new and PBS archive programs honoring Latino culture.
“PBS is committed to airing informative programming that not only pays tribute to the historic contributions of the culture, but also celebrates its impact on our nation,” said Donald Thoms, Vice President, Programming. “We hope viewers will find PBS’ commemorative programming both enriching and enjoyable.”
VOCES ON PBS, a showcase of outstanding documentaries that celebrate the rich diversity of Latino life, premieres Fridays, September 28-October 19 at 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET. VOCES kicks off with “Tales of Masked Men” (September 28), an absorbing insider’s look at the world of Mexican “lucha libre,” famous for its masked wrestlers, followed by “Escaramuza: Riding From the Heart” (October 5), about a gutsy team of women rodeo riders vying to represent the U.S. at the National Charro Championships in Mexico. “Unfinished Spaces” (October 12) tells the story of the Cuban Revolution through its most significant work of architecture, Cuba’s National Schools of Art, and the three visionary men who designed it, while “Lemon” (October 19) follows Puerto Rican poet/performer Lemon Andersen, a three-time felon and one-time Tony Award winner, as he struggles to take his life story to the New York stage while battling his darkest demons.
Other new programs include POV’s “El Velador (The Night Watchman),” a mesmerizing film about a security guard who watches over the extravagant mausoleums of some of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords. Directed by Natalia Almada, the film premieres on Thursday, September 27, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET.
New programs are joined by a strong lineup of encore programming. PBS ARTS presents JOHN LEGUIZAMO’S TALES FROM A GHETTO KLOWN, a profile of the actor/playwright and his unorthodox rise to success, and MARIACHI HIGH, an inspiring year in the life of a group of high school students who have devoted heart and soul to their music. Other highlights include powerful documentaries such as NOT IN OUR TOWN: LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS, a look at the residents of a Long Island town who take action after a local immigrant is killed in an attack by seven teenagers.
PBS programs have recently been recognized with three Imagen Awards, for “honoring positive portrayals of Latinos and Latino culture in entertainment.” Awards were given to FRONTLINE’s “Lost In Detention” for Best National Informational Program, GREAT PERFORMANCES’ “Il Postino From LA Opera” for Best Variety or Reality Show and the PBS KIDS GO! series NOAH COMPRENDE for Best Web Series: Comedy.