Friday, August 30, 2013

Vanessa Libertad García, Filmmaker, Dies at 29

By Claudio Iván Remeseira | Posted Friday, August 30, 2013, at 12:00 a.m. ET. Last modified Friday, Aug. 30, at 1:45 p.m. ET

Vanessa Libertad Garcia, a talented director and writer whose work veered around issues of lesbian love and cultural identity, died on August 17, 2013; she posted a suicide note on her blog.

The daughter of Cuban immigrants, Garcia was born and reared in Los Angeles. She got her breakthrough while still in college when she met director Anayansi Prado, who was working on her film "Maid in America," a documentary on Mexican and Central American immigrants employed for domestic labor in the U.S. Vanessa joined the project as an intern and ended up being an associate producer. The documentary premiered on the Emmy Award-winning PBS series "Independent Lens" in 2005. 

That same year, Ms Garcia produced, wrote, and directed two shorts: Small Statistics, a documentary about the education of children in India's lowest social class--the so-called "untouchables"--and  A Two Woman One Act, an oniric encounter of a recent widow and her sister-in-law at the wake of the former's husband and latter's brother, a pandillero. A formally adventurous exploration of lust, pain, and the Catholic rituals of death, the short earned García a HSF/McNamara Family Creative Arts Grant.

Over the next few years she would complete four shorts, act in a feature film ("The Accidental Death of Joey By Sue"), direct her own first feature ("Good Mourning Lucille”) and write the script for a second one (Dear Dios). At the same time, she published two collections of poems and short-stories and left behind an upcoming book of poetry, "Bloody Fucking Hell". "Good Mourning Lucille" (Watch Below) will premiere in January 2014. 

Her tragic death has cast a sour light on the suicide epidemic affecting young Latinas across the country.

Read more at LatinoBuzz and Colorlines.

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