Girls In Progress
May 22 2012
by Jessica Mayorga, Director of Marketing, NCLR
(This was first posted to the ALMA Awards 411 blog.)
A new film, Girl in Progress, was released recently, and just in time for National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. Simply stated, teen pregnancy, sexuality, and the drama of growing up are topics in the Latino community that merit attention and frank discussions.
Girl in Progress speaks to these issues and puts a Hollywood spotlight on a topic that has long been taboo in Latino households but that very much needs to be addressed. We’re excited to see past ALMA nominees and popular Latino talent drive this film and encourage us to change these experiences for our families. Eva Mendes plays a starring role in Girl in Progress as an overwhelmed and preoccupied single mother of an attention-starved preteen (played by Cierra Ramirez) seeking her own identity and independence. The film vividly and sometimes painfully demonstrates that a parent’s attention and interest in a child’s life makes all the difference and can be the deciding factor for success. We watch the daughter, Ansiedad, make unguided and perhaps devastating decisions as she acts out, desperate for her mother to just be a mom to her. This portrayal of a family dynamic that is not uncommon in Latino communities brings forward issues of parent-child communication, sexuality, and the need for honest and open dialogue at home.
May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month; it’s the perfect time for families to watch this movie and use this opportunity to break the ice about issues that we may not always feel comfortable talking about. We know that too many of our daughters enter this cycle of teen pregnancy, and that it often interrupts—if not permanently suspends—educational aspirations, career opportunities, and the opportunity to just be a girl and live out their dreams. This film, and National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, remind us that we can no longer be silent about these tough topics.
We applaud Hiram Martinez for this screenplay and the excellent Latino actors who brought the story to life.
At ALMA, we advocate for media responsibility, media literacy, and respectable roles for Latinos in American entertainment. We believe in educating Hollywood and educating audiences. We applaud this film for complementing our mission as we strive to tackle challenges in our communities and strengthening opportunities for Latinos of all ages.
Issues: NCLR ALMA Awards
Geography:California, Far West, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, Texas