About the DREAMer DOCS Filmmakers

DREAMer DOCS is a collaborative project of two filmmakers, Brenda Avila-Hanna, an award-winning, Mexican-born filmmaker whose work focuses on immigrant stories and Corey Ohama, an award-winning director and editor whose films take an artistic approach to social issues like growing up undocumented in America and the impact of the internment on Japanese-Americans.

Brenda Avila-Hanna

Brenda Avila-Hanna on page DREAMer DOCS Filmmakers

Brenda Avila-Hanna is an independent filmmaker and video journalist born and raised in Mexico City and currently based in the Bay Area. Brenda received a Master’s degree in Social Documentation from UC Santa Cruz where she completed her first documentary short, VIDA DIFERIDA (LIFE, DEFERRED), the coming-of age story of an undocumented teenage girl in New Mexico. The film screened at several film festivals including the San Francisco Latino Film Festival and Lakino Berlin. During her time as a graduate student at UCSC, she also produced THE AUDIO GADGETEER, a finalist for the International Documentary Challenge 2012 that premiered at Hot Docs Toronto. Her latest short, LIBERTAD, tells the story of an indigenous, transgender woman from Oaxaca, Mexico who lives in the Bay Area as she plans to return to her mother in Mexico after 20 years apart. The film won the Jury Award for Best Documentary Short at the 2016 Cine Las Americas International Film Festival. Brenda is also the field producer for NO PLACE TO GROW, a Cal Humanities grant recipient about food justice for inner-city Latino immigrants currently in post-production. She teaches courses on Visual Culture and Human Rights.

Corey Ohama

Corey Ohama on page DREAMer DOCS Filmmakers

Corey Ohama is an award-winning director and editor whose films take an artistic approach to social issues. Her most recent documentary, I WAS BORN IN MEXICO, BUT… is a found footage portrait of a young woman growing up undocumented in America. It premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Her documentary DOUBLE SOLITAIRE (1997) looks at the legacy of the Japanese internment on her father and uncle who were interned as children. Corey received the SECA Award in the Media Arts: Film from SFMOMA in 1998.

Corey also works as a documentary film editor. She has worked on the features GOING ON 13 (Tribeca 2008, ITVS), WONDER WOMEN! (SXSW 2012, Independent Lens), and NEW GENERATION QUEENS (ZIFF 2015). She holds an MFA in Film from San Francisco State University, and a B.A. in Semiotics from Brown University.

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